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Petrology Activities and Examples Collection

This is a collection of educational resources used in igneous and metamorphic petrology courses. The collection includes lab exercises, classroom activities, problem sets and more. The purpose of this collection is to allow for the sharing of materials within the community of petrology teachers. You can



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Application of Sr Isotopic Data to Tuolumne Intrusive Series, Sierra Nevada, CA part of Teaching Examples
Jeff Tepper, University of Puget Sound
In this problem set students are given Rb/Sr and 87Sr/86Sr data for whole rock and mineral samples from three granitic intrusions in the Sierra Nevada. They use these data (in EXCEL) to calculate isochron ages and ...

Geothermal Gradients part of Teaching Examples
Cameron Davidson, Carleton College
In this problem set the students use two different equations to calculate a conductive geothermal gradient using a spreadsheet program like Excel. Once they have the geothermal gradient plotted, they are asked to ...

Magma Modification in the central Sierra Nevada Batholith part of Teaching Examples
Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
This exercise is centered around a suite of rocks from the Sierra Nevada batholith. The activities are designed to give petrology students a capstone experience for the igneous portion of the upper-level Petrology ...

Exploring lithological assemblages and structural styles of granite-greenstone belts part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Early Earth:Activities
Dyanna Czeck, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
In this 1 week module, students use primary literature to study structural and tectonic styles within Archean granite-greenstone belts.

Homework on Volcanic Rock Chemistry and Binary Phase Diagrams part of Teaching Examples
Jane Selverstone, University of New Mexico-Main Campus
This homework has 2 main parts: In the first part, students are given bulk compositions for 6 volcanic rocks and asked to classify them, think about their normative compositions, and given likely tectonic settings ...

Metastability during metamorphism (reading a metamorphic petrology paper from the literature) part of Teaching Examples
William Peck, Colgate University
I use this problem set as a way to introduce students (mostly sophomores) to reading a technical article from the literature. The paper is Austrheim, H, 1987, Eclogitization of lower crustal granulites by fluid ...

Plotting Compositions in 2-D and 3-D Space part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a fairly short exercise that can be used for an in-class cooperative learning project or as homework. It includes LOTS of explanation and so is sort of a tutorial. I use it in my petrology class because it ...

Naming Igneous Rocks part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This project is intended to introduce students to the IUGS rock classification scheme. Samples come from the Wards Collections (which many schools have). Students are provided with both hand specimens and thin ...

Plagioclase Phase Diagram part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a short exercise aimed at evaluating whether students understand how to interpret the Ab-An phase diagram.

Simple Eutectic Exercise: Diopside-Anorthite part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This exercise can be done in-class (I use it as a group activity) or as homework. It is a quick way to get students to figure out how to use and interpret simple eutectic diagrams.

Interpretation and Petrogenesis of Zoned Plagioclase part of Teaching Examples
R. K. Smith
The purpose of this exercise is to give students the experience of utilizing the two component solid solution phase diagram of albite-anorthite and applying this diagram to the interpretation and petrogenesis of ...

Major Element Control Presentation part of Teaching Examples
Kurt Hollocher, Union College (Lincoln, NE)
The presentation is an introduction to the control of magma chemical compositions by the fractionation of crystallizing phases. It is followed by a lab exercise where students interpret volcanic rock petrology and ...

Major Element Fractionation During Differentiation part of Teaching Examples
Elizabeth King
This problem set introduces some of the more advanced uses of Excel to not only calculate how the chemistry of a magma changes with crystallization but also to see how the liquidus assemblage can drastically change ...

Field Guide to the Dutchess County, NY, Barrovian Sequence part of Teaching Examples
Donna Whitney, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
This is a field guide used for a field trip to explore the Barrovian sequence in Dutchess County, NY.

Phase Diagrams and Chemographic Projections part of Teaching Examples
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This exercise is a good way to get students thinking about the phase rule, metastable and stable reactions and phase diagrams. It can be done in class or as homework.