Homework on Volcanic Rock Chemistry and Binary Phase Diagrams

Jane Selverstone
,
University of New Mexico
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Summary

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 for three of them. In the second part, they work with a complex binary phase diagram. In this part, they must think about components vs. phases, the lever rule, behavior at a peritectic point, and fractional removal of a phase.

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Context

Audience

This activity would be used in an undergraduate (sophomore or junior level) required course in petrology.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should have an understanding of general igneous petrology and binary phase diagrams.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is a stand-alone exercise.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

This activity is used to make students comfortable with binary diagrams.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

This activity involves data analysis.

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

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 for three of them. In the second part, they work with a complex binary phase diagram. In this part, they must think about components vs. phases, the lever rule, behavior at a peritectic point, and fractional removal of a phase. After completing this homework, I find that students are comfortable working with any binary diagram I give them.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students have met the goals of this activity if they successfully complete the assignment.

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