Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
Geology 322, Fall 2004
Department of Earth and Environment

Mount Holyoke College (home page)


Catalog Description:

Studies mineralogical and chemical compositions, classification, genesis, and mode of occurrence of volcanic, plutonic, and metamorphic rocks. Special attention paid to the relationships between rock-forming processes and global plate tectonics. Laboratory study of representative rock suites in hand specimen and thin section, introduction to analytical techniques, and several field trips.

Prereq. Geology 220 or permission of instructor; 4 credits; MWF 10:00-10:50; M 1:00-3:50

Steve Dunn                                                                                        
309 Clapp
Mount Holyoke College
Office hours: TTh 10:00-10:50 or by appointment

OVERVIEW:  Igneous and metamorphic petrology is a huge field of study and body of knowledge.  A one-semester course could never do more than cover selected topics in petrology.  The text by Winter does an extraordinary job of broadly covering the field in good detail, and an undergraduate course could not realistically cover everything in that text.  My approach this semester will be to work with you as a class and as individuals on selected projects in petrology, rather than sequentially covering topics in textbook fashion.  This may, at times, feel very different from most of the classes you’ve had.  This approach requires flexibility on my part, and on yours.  A sense of humor and patience also helps.  J   My rationale is influenced by research in education showing that a lecture format promotes student passivity and, too often, poor long-term learning retention.  Student active teaching methods may be more effective in achieving learning retention, although such methods cover less content.  What better way to learn petrology than by “doing” petrology? (Let’s answer that together in December!)


OUR GOALS:  To learn about rock-forming processes, igneous and metamorphic rock associations and their tectonic significance, and selected methods used in petrologic study.  Specific methods/skills will include using the petrographic microscope (mineral optics), X-ray fluorescence (major, minor, and trace element geochemistry), stable isotope geochemistry, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectrometer, and X-ray diffraction powder methods.


MY EXPECTATIONS:  I need you  to keep up on the class work.  Reading assignments need to be done before class meetings.  Assignments need to be completed on time.  Our plans will be formulated and modified as we go along, thus we all must stay engaged.  To encourage and facilitate your engagement, all students are required to keep a journal.  You will enter the dates of all your class activities into your journal.  You can also use it to pose questions, either for yourself or for me, and log other thoughts, ideas, whatever you want.  I will review your journals a few times during the semester.  Also, your attendance in class is required.  More than three unexcused absences will be penalized by a full letter grade reduction for each additional absence.  Furthermore, tardiness can be a serious problem because we have 50-minute class meetings.  Three unexcused tardinesses (>5 minutes) will be counted as one unexcused absence.









Rocks and Minerals Review & Overview



Alta Contact Aureole: Stable Isotope Data



Projects list (category)
Cape Ann granite, Beverly syenite, Salem gabbro-diorite, Cape Ann, MA (igneous)
Lynn Volcanics, Lynn, MA (igneous)
Stillwater Complex, Montana (igneous)
Umfraville gabbro and syenite complex, Bancroft, Ontario (igneous)
Snake River Plain volcanic rocks, Idaho (igneous)
Holyoke basalt, Hadley, MA (igneous)
Monson gneiss/Partridge fm protoliths, Quabbin, MA (igneous)
Monson gneiss/Partridge fm P-T conditions, Quabbin, MA (metamorphic)
Graphite in Paxton fm pegmatite, Southbridge MA (both/either)
Ultra-high-pressure eclogite, Western Gneiss Region, Norway (metamorphic)
Blueschists on Syros, Greece (metamorphic)
Blueschists in Franciscan fm, California (metamorphic)
Scapolite-rich marble, Coe Hill, Ontario (metamorphic)
Dolomite-hosted talc formation, Madoc, Ontario (metamorphic)
Graphite marble, Mt Holly fm, Star Hill, VT (metamorphic)
Sillimanite-staurolite schist, Orange, MA (metamorphic)



http://epswww.unm.edu/facstaff/selver/EPS 303/optics.html Jane Selverstone’s (UNM) Optical Mineralogy Page: 

Mineralogy Database This one's choice!

Mineralogical Society of America (MSA)

MSA Links

Mineralogical Association of Canada (MAC)

CalTech Mineral Spectroscopy Server

The Mineralogical Record (Magazine)

Keck Museum, Univ. of Nevada-Reno

Fersman Museum Collections

Amethyst Galleries’ Mineral Gallery

AGI Image Bank