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Curricular information is subject to change
On completion of this module students should be able to:
1) Explain how igneous rocks can be classified.
2) Describe the range of processes that lead to the formation of igneous rocks.
3) Explain how geochemical and radiogenic isotope data are acquired and their uses in constraining the sources, evolution and crystallization of magmas.
4) Interpret igneous rock textures and mineral assemblages in thin sections and relate thin section observations to inferences drawn from phase diagrams.
5) Critically evaluate the evidence for the petrogenesis of igneous rocks in a variety of plate tectonic settings.
Indicative module content.
Lecture 1: The composition of Earth’s mantle and crust
Lecture 2: Classification and nomenclature of igneous rocks
Practical 1: Classification of phaneritic rocks using the IUGS scheme
Lecture 3: Partial melting, solidus and liquidus curves, basic phase diagram revision
Lecture 4: Fractional crystallisation – minerals, chemical effects, cumulates; immiscibility
Practical 2: Partial melting and fractional crystallisation calculation exercises
Lecture 5: Igneous textures and their interpretation. Links to phase diagrams
Lecture 6: Geochemical analysis of rocks and data interpretation
Practical 3: Intrusive rock textures
Lecture 7: Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, Ar-Ar isotope systems and their use as tracers
Lecture 8: Magma chamber processes and layered intrusions
Practical 4: Skaergaard petrography
Lecture 9: Assimilation, AFC, MASH, magma mixing and mingling
Lecture 10: Mantle melting processes in plate tectonic context
Practical 5: Volcanic rock textures
Mid-term Exam (45 minute practical + 75 minute theory)
Lecture 11: Mid-ocean ridge magmatism - 1
Online (Brightspace) exercise: Mid-ocean ridge magmatism - 2
Practical 6: Radiogenic isotope ratios in oceanic basalts: probing the mantle
Lecture 13: Island arc magmatism - 1
Online (Brightspace) exercise: Island arc magmatism - 2
Practical 7: Calc-alkaline volcanics of Mexico: petrography and petrology
Lecture 15: Continental destructive margin magmatism - 1; origin and classification of granites
Online (Brightspace) exercise: Continental destructive margin magmatism - 2
Practical 8: Pan-African granites of Dur al Gussa, Libya: petrography and petrology
Lecture 17: Oceanic intraplate and LIP magmatism - 1
Online (Brightspace) exercise: Oceanic intraplate and LIP magmatism - 2
Practical 9. Tahiti ocean island basalt (OIB) igneous activity
Lecture 19: Continental rift alkaline magmatism
Online (Brightspace) exercise: Movement of granitic magma and eruption of rhyolites
Practical 10: Petrography of Si-undersaturated continental alkaline rocks
End of Semester 45 minute practical + 75 minute theory exam
|Student Effort Type||Hours|
|Specified Learning Activities||
|Autonomous Student Learning||
Not applicable to this module.
|Description||Timing||Component Scale||% of Final Grade|
|Continuous Assessment: Assessment of practical notebook (normally weekly)||Throughout the Trimester||n/a||Standard conversion grade scale 40%||No||
|Examination: 2 hour exam on theory & practical work of first half of course||Week 6||No||Standard conversion grade scale 40%||No||
|Examination: 2-hour exam on theory & practical work of second half of course||Unspecified||No||Standard conversion grade scale 40%||No||
|Resit In||Terminal Exam|
|Summer||Yes - 2 Hour|
• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
Feedback to students, both individually and as a group weekly via comments on work submitted in lab books. Feedback to group and individually if requested following mid-term exam.
|Professor Stephen Daly||Lecturer / Co-Lecturer|