GEOS 304
Mineralogy and Petrology Spring 2025
Division III

Class Details

Minerals are Earth’s basic building blocks. They form, deform, and transform in response to environment conditions, and in doing so, they record a wide range of processes in the Earth system. In this course, we will use minerals to understand the geologic record at multiple timescales, from the slow process of continental assembly and break-up to rapid processes such as volcanic eruptions and biogeochemical cycles. Central to this analysis is rock and mineral characterization. Therefore, laboratory and field studies will hone fundamental observational skills of minerals at multiple scales, from atomic scale crystalline structures to macroscopic physical properties in hand sample. Discussion of experimental and natural data (phase relationships, thermodynamics, and major and trace element geochemistry) in conjunction with these petrographic approaches, will create a framework for interpreting the dynamic processes and geologic settings where igneous and metamorphic rocks form. The semester will culminate in a final project that applies both the observation and interpretive skills developed, giving students the chance to collect data and “read the geologic record” left behind in rocks from around the world.
The Class: Format: lecture/laboratory; three lectures per week with two lab sections.
Limit: 24
Expected: 24
Class#: 3183
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: This class may include field trips, problem sets, 2-3 exams and an final project
Prerequisites: 1 100-level GEOS course
Enrollment Preferences: GEOS majors who have taken at least one 100-level GEOS course.
Distributions: Division III
Attributes: GEOS Group C Electives - Solid Earth

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