Optical Mineralogy and Igneous Petrology

Course code GEOS2170Units 10Level 2000Faculty of Science and Information TechnologySchool of Environmental and Life Sciences

Provides an introduction to optical crystallography, rock-forming minerals and igneous petrology. The course provides the fundamentals of mineral identification using the petrological microscope, mineral chemistry, and the petrogenesis of igneous rocks in relation to plate tectonic environment. Lectures encompass the theoretical sections of the course, while the practical aspect is delivered by the use of microscopes and rock thin-sections.

Available in 2015

Callaghan CampusSemester 1
Previously offered in 2014
ObjectivesAt the successful completion of this course, students will:

1. be familiar with the theoretical and practical aspects of the petrological microscope.

2. have an understanding of the origin of igneous rocks from a global plate tectonic perspective.
ContentThis course is divided into two sections. The first seven weeks of semester deal with the optical mineralogy section of the course. This includes lectures on the theory behind polarized light microscopy and practical application of all theoretical aspects of the petrological microscope to the systematic identification of minerals in thin-section. This section also deals with the chemistry, structure and paragenesis of the common rock-forming minerals, their optical properties and how these relates to structure. The practical part associated with this section deals with the systematic identification of the separate mineral groups

The remaining six weeks describes the character of, and explains the mechanisms of melting to form, the major rock groups in different tectonic settings. Included are basaltic rocks from mid-ocean ridges and hot spots, andesites and granites from subduction zones, and undersaturated mafic rocks from continental rifts.
Replacing Course(s)NA
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeGEOS1010/1040 and GEOS1110/GEOS1050
Modes of DeliveryDistance Learning : IT Based
Internal Mode
Teaching MethodsLecture
Integrated Learning
Assessment Items
Examination: Formal
Laboratory Exercises
Other: (please specify)Practical exams
Contact HoursLaboratory: for 4 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Lecture: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Timetables2015 Course Timetables for GEOS2170