University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Igneous Rock Compositions and Plate Tectonics part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In this exercise, students use whole-rock major- and trace-element compositions of igneous rocks from a variety of tectonic settings and locations to explore the importance of plate setting in determining magma compositions. Students are split into groups and assigned different tectonic settings to examine and compare with other groups. Datasets are obtained from the GEOROC database, imported into Excel spreadsheets, and graphed to learn how igneous rock compositions are a function of plate tectonic setting.
Teaching Petrology Participants: Presenter