Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

You are here Courses > Undergraduate > Modules Outline

Module GLU33936: Microscopy and Crystalline Rocks

  Module GLU3336
Co-ordinator: Dr Emma Tomlinson
Course Type:  
Assessment: Theory Examination (40%), Continuous Assessment (40%) and Practical Examination (20%).
ECTS: 10 Credits

GLU22905, GLU22906

Contact hours & timing:

Michaelmas Term
Lectures/Practicals Weeks 3-14, seven hours per week

Module Learning Aims

This module aims to:
(1) Provide an understanding of the mechanisms of formation of minerals
(2) Provide an understanding of the mineral energetics and stability
(3) Broaden and deepen skills for identification and description of metamorphic and igneous rocks in hand specimen and thin section.
(4) Provide an understanding of how metamorphic and igneous are classified.
(5) Demonstrate how composition dictates the mineralogy of crystalline rocks.
(6) Develop an appreciation of how textural relationships amongst minerals can be used to infer the history of crystalline rocks.

Module Content

This module will to consolidate and expand upon knowledge of the chemistry and appearance of minerals developed in the Senior Freshman year. The module starts with an introduction to the crystallographic and optical properties of minerals and discusses the formation and stability of minerals. The module next investigates the most important metamorphic and igneous rocks at a range of scales (tectonic setting, outcrop, hand specimen and thin section).

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Identify the most important mechanisms of mineral crystallisation and transformation.
  • Describe the optical properties of major minerals and how they relate to crystal structure.
  • Describe how the chemistry of a rock dictates its mineralogy.
  • Correctly identify and classify major igneous and metamorphic minerals and rocks.
  • Interpret mineral textures.
  • Outline the various tectonic regimes in which crystalline rocks form.