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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Igneous, Metamorphic and Ore Processes (EASC10107)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will provide an outline of modern concepts of the formation and evolution of the solid Earth through the study of igneous and metamorphic petrology and geochemistry, and ore-forming processes.

The course consists of three inter-related strands. (1) The genesis of basic magmas from the mantle and their subsequent evolution from a geochemical perspective. (2) The relationships between mineral assemblages, rock composition and pressure-temperature conditions of metamorphism linked to the facies concept and P¿T paths, and their importance for reconstructing tectonic settings and evaluating orogen evolution. (3) The formation of ore deposits, tied in where appropriate to igneous and metamorphic processes.
Course description This course will be taught as a mixture of lectures and practicals over ten weeks. Students will gain hands-on experience of petrology and numerical modelling of analytical data to investigate the evolution of the solid Earth and the processes responsible for the formation of economic ore deposits.

Week 1: The Earth's mantle; phase diagrams and fractional crystallisation

Week 2: The use of trace elements in modelling partial melting and fractional crystallisation processes; radiogenic isotopes (1) and mantle-crust evolution

Week 3: Radiogenic isotopes (2); basalt and tectonic fingerprinting; mantle melting and silica saturation

Week 4: Felsic igneous rocks; Introduction to ores

Week 5: Ore formation and Earth history; igneous ore-forming processes

Week 6: Hydrothermal ore-forming processes

Week 7: Surficial ore-forming processes; metamorphic mineral assemblages in pelites, phase-relations and AFM diagrams

Week 8: Metamorphism of pelites; medium-P facies series

Week 9: Metamorphism of pelites: Buchan zones facies series; migmatites and partial melting

Week 10: Granulites and UHT metamorphism
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Earth Dynamics (EASC08001) AND Geomaterials (EASC08021) AND Global Tectonics and the Rock Cycle (EASC08020)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Prohibited Combination:
Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology EASC09008. Students who take this new course will be able to take revamped Volcanology EASC10091 and Ore Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry EASC10094 as options in the 4th year. Students who have taken Volcanology and Ore Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry prior to this new course commencing cannot take this course as an option in 4th or 5th year.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesCourse Organiser approval is required and student should have covered the same material as in the UK pre-requisites.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 30, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 30, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 116 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 60 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment Details

40% Exam and 60% classwork assessments (20% for each)

Assessment Deadlines

Assessment 1 (20%) Semester 2, Friday week 4, 12:00 noon
Assessment 2 (20%) Semester 2, Friday week 7, 12:00 noon
Assessment 3 (20%) Semester 2, Friday week 10, 12:00 noon
Written Exam (40%) Semester 2, May Exam Diet
Feedback Students have the opportunity to submit problem sheet questions and computer-based exercises solutions for feedback. The answers are also discussed in tutorials.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)1:30
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the petrology and geochemistry of igneous, metamorphic and ore-forming rocks.
  2. Review metamorphic facies, facies series and their distribution as well as thermal and tectonics controls on metamorphism.
  3. Use, manipulate and evaluate a range of specialist data using a range of modelling approaches.
Reading List
Scientific articles will be cited throughout for students to refer to.

Recommended reading (selectively):

- Igneous Rocks and Processes: A practical handbook, Second Edition. By R. Gill & G. Fitton (2022). Wiley-Blackwell.

- Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology by MG Best (2003). Blackwell Science.

- An Introduction to Metamorphic Petrology by BWD Yardley. Longmans.

- Ore Forming Processes by L. Robb 2004. Blackwell Science.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsIgneous,metamorphic,petrology,volcanology,geochemistry,ore geology
Course organiserProf Godfrey Fitton
Tel: (0131 6)50 8529
Course secretaryMr Johan De Klerk
Tel: (0131 6)50 7010
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