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Module

CEG2602 : Minerals and their Instabilities

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor David Manning
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

The aim of this course is to give students the opportunity to learn what is needed to describe rocks in terms of the materials from which they are made, and to understand the processes of their formation. As a single course it allows connections to be made between igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic processes, thus expressing a connection within the dynamic Earth system. The course will equip students for independent work, especially in the field description of rocks, and includes development of practical skills in observation (microscope work) and data interpretation that are important in the Earth Sciences at all levels.

Outline Of Syllabus

The course is based on the structure of well-established text books (e.g. Blatt, Tracy and Owens ‘Petrology’), which are aimed at students at this stage. In three parts, the first and largest component introduces the rock forming minerals and the igneous rocks in which these are formed, in the context of the geological setting. This provides an opportunity to introduce simple phase diagrams, as well as quantitative methods of rock analysis and their interpretation.

The second component addresses the weathering of igneous rocks and the formation of sedimentary rocks, giving students the opportunity to classify and describe these in the context of sedimentary basin processes.

The third component addresses metamorphic rocks, and looks at how these are formed from sedimentary rocks (and some igneous rocks) in response to changes in pressure and temperature. Students will have the opportunity to learn basic geobarometry and geothermometry as tools used to determine the conditions of formation of these rocks.

All of this is in the context of the overarching paradigm of Plate Tectonics.

In addition to characterising minerals and rocks in hand specimen, thin section work will support lectures for all three components, supplemented by paper exercises that involve handling data and plotting graphs that are widely used to interpret rock compositions.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable