University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (EASC09008)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryIgneous Petrology
An outline of modern concepts of upper mantle composition and partial melting, and the evolution of magmas. The course presents a broad review of igneous rocks, emphasising their phase relations, tectonic associations, and petrogenesis. Please bring an optical properties book (e.g. Deer, Howie & Zussman) to all practicals.
Metamorphic Petrology
An introduction to the principles that govern mineralogical and textural change in rocks in response to imposed conditions of pressure, temperature and other variables. Diagrammatic representation of metamorphic mineral assemblages and reactions. The nature of occurrence and variety of mineral assemblages found in common metamorphosed rocks, especially those of basaltic and pelitic composition, and their dependence on bulk rock chemical composition and on the P-T conditions of metamorphism. A review of metamorphic facies and facies series and their distribution, and of thermal and tectonic controls of metamorphism.
Course description LP1 Nomenclature, classification and distribution of igneous rocks.

LP2 Composition of the Earth's mantle; ultrabasic and ultramafic rocks.

LP3 Basalts; genesis and compositional range. Formation of oceanic crust.

LP4 Subduction-related magmatism. Formation of continental crust.

LP5 Origin of granites.

LP6 Parameters of metamorphism. Mineral assemblages, phases and components. The mineralogical phase rule. Composition-paragenesis diagrams.

LP7 AKF, AFM diagrams and Thompson projections for pelites. Metamorphic reactions. Medium pressure regionally metamorphosed pelites - reactions and isograds. Barrow's Zones revisited. Construction of Thompson projections.

LP8 Low pressure regionally metamorphosed pelites - reactions and isograds. Migmatites and partial melting. Pelite facies series. Petrography of pelitic mineral assemblages.

LP9 Petrogenetic grids. Geothermometry and geobarometry. Introduction to common mineral assemblages in metabasic rocks. Petrography of contact metamorphic pelites - the Ballachulish Aureole.

LP10 Mafic mineral assemblages - projections, reactions and facies series. Metamorphic facies and their distribution; introduction to extreme P-T facies, P-T-time paths, and thermal and tectonic settings of metamorphism. Petrography of mafic rocks.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Geomaterials (EASC08021)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements The Course Organiser will consider students who have passed an equivalent course in optical mineralogy to Geomaterials (EASC08021).
Additional Costs None.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. You will know and understand the tectonic associations, interrelationships and petrogenesis of igneous rocks, and understand the processes by which the Earth's oceanic and continental crust are
  2. You will know what the Earth's mantle is made of and understand the various strands of petrology and geochemistry that lead to this knowledge.
  3. You will know and understand the principles that govern mineralogical assemblages and reactions in metamorphic rocks: metamorphic facies, facies series and their distribution, as well as he thermal and tectonic controls on metamorphism.
  4. You will be familiar with the key skills used to aid the interpretation of metamorphic rocks: AKF, AFM diagrams and Thompson projections (for pelites) and petrogenetic grids and you will have
  5. You will be able to identify the major igneous and metamorphic rock groups in thin section and deduce their tectonic associations.
Reading List
Gill, R. (2010). Igneous Rocks and Processes: A Practical Handbook. Wiley-Blackwell. 39.95 (Amazon price). An excellent book for igneous petrology enthusiasts.
Best MG (2003). Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology. Blackwell Science. 46 (Amazon price). Good comprehensive textbook.
Yardley, B.W.D. (1989). An Introduction to Metamorphic Petrology. Longmans 36 (Amazon price). The recommended course textbook for metamorphic petrology.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Lectures on Fridays at 9:00-9:50, Weeks 1-11.
Laboratory sessions on Fridays at 10:00-12:00, Weeks 1-11.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Godfrey Fitton
Tel: (0131 6)50 8529
Course secretaryMs Casey Hollway
Tel: (0131 6)50 8510
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information