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School of Environment, Education and Development

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BSc Geography and Geology
Benefit from a wide range of optional topics and practical trips on this combined degree.

BSc Geography and Geology / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Igneous & Metamorphic Rocks

Unit code EART10242
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

An introductory course in igneous and metamorphic petrology designed to serve as a basis for more detailed courses in the second year (especially Igneous Petrology EART20131 and Metamorphic Petrology EART20232) and third year (especially Lithospheric Processes EART30332).

 

Pre/co-requisites

Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Planet Earth: Its Climate, History and Processes EART10111 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Mineralogy EART10501 Pre-Requisite Compulsory

Aims

  • To provide a foundation in igneous and metamorphic petrology to serve as a basis for more detailed courses in the second year (especially Igneous Petrology EART20131 and Metamorphic Petrology EART20232) and third year (especially Lithospheric Processes EART30332).
  • To provide a basic understanding of the role of magma and igneous rocks in the Earth, with particular reference to the conditions under which magma is generated, the main magma types, the movement and emplacement (or eruption) of magma and its eventual solidification.
  • To investigate the mineralogy and textures of igneous rocks.
  • To investigate the ways in which a great variety of igneous rocks may be produced from relatively few magma types.
  • To study active volcanoes and their behaviour, as direct evidence of magmatic processes.
  • To provide an introduction to metamorphic rocks, their classification and nomenclature
  • To investigate the mineralogy and textures of metamorphic rocks and use these to infer the pressures and temperatures of metamorphism, and the role of deformation
  • To investigate the processes and the likely tectonic environment in which metamorphic rocks form.

 

Learning outcomes

understand the basic elements of igneous petrology and metamorphic petrology

apply basic knowledge and practical skills to interpret features of igneous and metamorphic rocks

improved observational and descriptive skills of igneous and metamorphic minerals in hand specimen and thin section;

describe and identify the more important igneous and metamorphic rock-types, both in hand-specimen and thin-section;

use of various graphical methods to help interpret the formation of the rocks.

 

 

Teaching and learning methods

The course consists of 20 1-hour lectures (2 per week for 10 weeks) plus 11 2-hour practicals (1 per week for 11 weeks).  Practicals will involve examination of thin sections and hand specimens. Accompanying electronic resources, including formative assessment tests, will be available on Blackboard.

 

Knowledge and understanding

understand the basic elements of igneous petrology and metamorphic petrology

Intellectual skills

apply basic knowledge and practical skills to interpret features of igneous and metamorphic rocks

Practical skills

improved observational and descriptive skills of igneous and metamorphic minerals in hand specimen and thin section;

describe and identify the more important igneous and metamorphic rock-types, both in hand-specimen and thin-section;

use of various graphical methods to help interpret the formation of the rocks.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 50%
Written exam 50%
  • 2 x 1 hour practical tests: Week 6 - Igneous Rocks, Week 12 - Metamorphic Rocks (45%).   Verbal feedback on individual students’ practical work will be provided by the lecturer and demonstrators during practical classes. Answers to some practicals will be posted on Blackboard immediately after the practical session. General feedback on the practical exam will be made available on Blackboard.
  • Six to eight quizzes, delivered via Blackboard at appropriate stages of the course. (5%).Feedback is provided electronically immediately after the availability period for each test.
  • 2-hour written exam in the examination period.  (50%).  Students will have the opportunity to request feedback on exam performance at the start of the second year

 

Recommended reading

Grotzinger & Jordan, Understanding Earth, Chapters 4, 6 and 12.

Marshak, Portrait of a Planet, Chapters 6, 8, 9,11.

Klein & Philpotts,  Earth Materials: Introduction to Mineralogy and Petrology, Chapters 7, 8, 9, 13, 14

Hefferan & O’Brien,  Earth Materials, Chapter 7

Duff, Holmes' Principles of Physical Geology, Chapters 12 and 13.

Mason, Petrology of the Metamorphic Rocks (2nd edition).

Cox, Price & Harte, The Practical Study of Crystals, Minerals and Rocks (2nd edition), Chapter 10.

MacKenzie & Adams, A Colour Atlas of Rocks and Minerals in Thin Section.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Practical classes & workshops 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 58

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Katharine Brodie Unit coordinator
Alison Pawley Unit coordinator

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