Rock Evolution and Change

Initial Publication Date: October 23, 2012


Students will be exposed to the processes of metamorphism and diagenesis on Earth and determine which processes are dominant on Mars. Are diagenetic processes on Earth mirrored on Mars?

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:
  • Observe and understand the diagenetic alteration of hematite to goethite,
  • Test different variables through experimentation to understand diagenetic environment thresholds of alteration.

Context for Use

This module is meant for adaptation in an earth science course where sedimentary rock lithology and sedimentary rock processes of formation are already familiar to students. An understanding of sedimentary depositional environments would also be helpful.

Background materials for rock types and classification include: (this is a classification using a cooking kitchen analogy)

Description and Teaching Materials

Compiled In-Class Activities and Homework

In-Class Activity


  • Homework 1: Cooking Rocks- Diagenesis

Teaching Notes and Tips

  • In Homework 1: students will need samples of southern Utah picturestone.


Methods of assessment are within each individual In-Class Activity and Homework.

References and Resources

  1. Image File: Rock Evolution and Change (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 804kB May21 13)
  2. Rainbow Bridge Image:
  3. Gold stone Image: