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Module GL3320: Microscopy and Crystalline Rocks - JS Earth Science Students Only

Module GL3320
Co-ordinator: Prof. Balz Kamber
Course Type:  

Theory examination (50%), practical examination (30%), in-course assessments (20%)

ECTS: 5 credits
Prerequisites: Earth Science Students only

Contact hours & timing:

Hilary Term

Weeks 30-32, fifteen hours a week

Module Learning Aims:

(1) To prepare Earth Sciences students for SS Geology module options. (2) To train students in the use of the petrographic microscope. (3) To develop the skills for description and classification of the most important igneous rocks. (4) To develop an appreciation of the various tectonic regimes in which crystalline rocks form.

Module Content:

The module starts out with a thorough introduction to the use of the petrographic microscope and the optical properties of the main rock-forming minerals. The module next introduces the most important igneous rocks from a variety of scales: their tectonic environment, their local occurrence, in the hand specimen as well as under the microscope. Finally, the module covers the two most important metamorphic rock series: metapelites and metabasites. They are covered from the point of view of petrography, classification and metamorphic environment.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • describe the basic aspects of cross-polarised light microscopy
  • identify, describe and classify all major crystalline rocks and explain the petrogenetic importance of the various rocks


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Last updated 30 September 2014