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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Igneous Petrogenesis (EASC10095)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course covers several aspects of igneous petrogenesis in more depth than was possible in Igneous, Metamorphic and Ore Processes and takes these areas to our current level of understanding. The first four weeks of the course are taken up with a rigorous treatment of phase diagrams and their application to problems in igneous petrogenesis. These are followed by sessions on trace elements and radiogenic isotopes in the mantle and igneous rocks. The last four sessions cover the following topics but these might change:

1) layered intrusions and igneous cumulates (two sessions);

2) felsic rocks and the residua system; and

3) carbonatites and potassic and ultrapotassic igneous rocks.

Course description Note: Sessions 5, 6 and 9 will be revised in 2021

Lecture 1
Phase diagrams and the phase rule. 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-component systems with varying temperature and pressure. Congruent and incongruent melting; systems with reacting phases (e.g. forsterite-silica).

Practical 1
Interpretation of binary eutectic diagram for the Di-An system. Construct a phase diagram for MgO-SiO2. Exercise on course of crystallisation in Ab-An.

Lecture 2
Equilibrium and fractional crystallisation in a binary system with complete solid solution. Development and preservation of zoning. Crystallisation in ternary systems. Alkemade's theorem. Equilibrium and fractional crystallisation in systems with reaction relationships.

Practical 2
Complete Practical 1.

Lecture 3
Ternary and quaternary systems relevant to basalts. Concept of silica saturation. Three-phase triangles, equilibrium and fractional crystallisation. The granite system. Subsolvus and hypersolvus crystallisation. Isobaric and polybaric fractionation. Normative mineralogy of salic rocks.

Practical 3
Phase diagram exercise.

Lecture 4
Application of phase diagrams to mantle melting and silica saturation.

Practical 4
Relating petrography to phase diagrams.

Lecture 5
Distribution coefficients. Trace element behaviour during partial melting and fractional crystallisation.

Practical 5
Numerical exercise (EXCEL) on trace element behaviour (Computing Lab.).

Lecture 6
Radiogenic isotopes and mantle evolution.

Practical 6
Numerical exercise (EXCEL) on radiogenic isotopes and mantle evolution (Computing Lab).

Lecture 7
Magma chamber processes: crystallisation and differentiation of magmas.

Practical 7
Petrographic exercise: Skaergaard intrusion, E Greenland.

Lecture 8
Layered igneous intrusions.

Practical 8
Petrographic exercise: Ilimaussaq intrusion, SW Greenland.

Lecture 9
Salic igneous rocks: the residua system.

Practical 9
Petrographic exercise: relating salic igneous rocks to the residua system.

Lecture 10
K-rich igneous rocks and carbonatites.

Practical 10
Petrographic exercise: carbonatites, kimberlites and lamproites.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Igneous, Metamorphic and Ore Processes (EASC10107)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements The Course Organiser will consider students who have passed an equivalent course to Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (EASC09008).
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 have an in-depth understanding of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of magmas.
  2. You will be able to interpret phase diagrams and use them to construct hypothetical liquid lines of descent, and use simple equations to predict the behaviour of trace elements during partial melting and fractional crystallisation.
  3. You will have a general understanding of the role of radiogenic isotope systems in our understanding of the evolution of the earth.
  4. You will have enlarged your experience of igneous rock types and will be able to identify them in thin section and deduce their tectonic association and mode of origin
Reading List
R. Gill, Igneous Rocks and Processes: A Practical Handbook, 2010. Wiley-Blackwell. 39.95 (Amazon price).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements None
KeywordsIgneous Petrogenesis
Course organiserProf Godfrey Fitton
Tel: (0131 6)50 8529
Course secretaryMs Katerina Sykioti
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
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