Search results - Mineralogy and Petrology: The Scientific Study of Minerals and Rocks
|Address||Dept. of Earth Sciences|
South Parks Road
|Dates||Wed 16 Jan to Wed 20 Mar 2013|
Time of meeting: 7.00-9.00pm
Number of meetings: 10
|Application status||Course ended|
|Course contact||If you have any questions about this course, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.|
OverviewThe fundamental building blocks of Planet Earth: understood through studying rocks & minerals as hand specimens, through the petrological microscope, and by their behaviour in different geological conditions. Learn the techniques, theory, interpretation.
DescriptionRocks are made up of minerals, and to understand fully how rocks are formed, we need to begin with the minerals of which they are composed.
The science of mineralogy examines not only the physical appearances and properties of minerals, but also the evidence for the processes and conditions in which they are formed. Rock salt forms by evaporation of saline water, sulphur crystallises from volcanic gases, but diamond forms deep in the Earth’s mantle. A rock or a mineral vein generally consists of a mineral assemblage: several minerals that formed in the same conditions, or a succession of conditions. The study of mineral assemblages is an important aspect of the course.
Petrology is the study of rocks, including petrography, which involves viewing thin sections of rocks with a polarising, petrological microscope. Within each rock, we identify the individual minerals, where possible determining their chemistry by optical tests, and we study the texture of the rock: for example, which mineral crystallised first, and does one mineral replace another? Part of the course will involve learning how to use the microscope, because a thin section provides far more information than a hand specimen. Petrology also includes interpretation of rocks in terms of their mode of origin, and this calls upon microscopy, chemical analyses, experimental data and field evidence. This leads to an understanding of mineral-forming and rock-forming processes. Examples will be drawn from well-known geological localities in Britain and worldwide.
Students who have previously attended Introducing Geological Science or another elementary geology course will find this an advantage.
Programme detailsWeek 1: Course introduction. Minerals: their compositions and properties observed in hand specimen. Diagnostic techniques.
Week 2: Introduction to the polarising microscope, and the techniques of optical mineralogy. Relationships between physical properties of minerals and their optical properties.
Week 3: Petrography: the mineralogy and textures of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, seen through the microscope. Rock-forming minerals. Rock and mineral chemistry.
Week 4: Petrology of sedimentary rocks. Evidence for conditions of deposition and diagenesis.
Week 5: Petrology of igneous rocks. Evidence for magmatic processes, primary and secondary minerals.
Week 6: Petrology of metamorphic rocks. Evidence for protolith, metamorphic conditions (facies), PTT paths.
Week 7: Ore deposits. Evidence for magmatic, hydrothermal and sedimentary origins of metalliferous mineral assemblages.
Week 8: Review of course practical work. Summary of topics covered. Presentations by members of the class if sufficent students are interested in doing this.
Week 9: Fieldwork or demonstration on a Saturday or other day agreed with the class, a.m.
Week 10: Fieldwork or demonstration on a Saturday or other day agreed with the class, p.m.
Bishop AC, Woolley AR, Hamilton WR Guide to minerals, rocks and fossils. Philips, 2001 or latest edition.
Gill R Igneous rocks and processes. Wiley, 2011.
MacKenzie WS, Adams AE A colour atlas of rocks and minerals in thin section. Manson Publishing, 1994.
Pellant C Rocks, minerals and fossils of the world. Pan Books, 1990.
Dr Carol Lister
Carol Lister has been involved with adults studying Geological Science at University level for many years.
Course aimsCourse Aim:
To learn how to study and understand minerals and rocks.
1. To explain and demonstrate the main techniques and methods for studying minerals and rocks.
2. To give students the basic tools for identification and interpretation of minerals and rocks, using hand specimens, microscope slides, chemical analyses and experimental data.
3. To give an overview of geological processes by which minerals and rocks are formed.
Assessment methodsStudents may submit class practical work, short essays or reports on specific activities, or notes for a presentation to the class: a minimum of two items is required for credit. There is also the option to write a longer essay of approx. 1000 words.
Teaching methodsEach session will include some lecturing, but also some structured practical work. The course will provide training in the use of the polarising microscope for geological study, and instruction in the interpretation of minerals and rocks. There will be some in depth studies of minerals and rocks from specific localities.
Teaching outcomesBy the end of the course students can expect:
1. Improved skills in recognition and identification of minerals and rocks.
2. An understanding of elementary mineral optics, and the information obtained by optical mineralogy and petrography.
3. An appreciation of the global occurrence of different mineral and rocks types, and the evidence for their modes of formation.
- Programme Fee
- EU Fee: £165.00
- Non-EU Fee: £165.00