Spring 2022

Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology

Listed in: Geology, as GEOL-321

Formerly listed as: GEOL-32


Victor E. Guevara (Section 01)


The majority of Earth’s volume is composed of igneous and metamorphic rocks, which originate through processes that operate deep beneath earth’s surface, driven by the movement of tectonic plates. Igneous and metamorphic rocks preserve an interpretable record of the creation and modification of continents, mountain building, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. The formation and existence of these rocks, in turn, modulate global volatile cycles, and the evolution of life on earth. In this course, students will explore the processes and environments involved in the genesis of igneous and metamorphic rocks by integrating field and petrographic observations with quantitative applications of experimental data and chemical principles (thermodynamics, major and trace element geochemistry). Through field and laboratory investigations, students will learn how to read the archive of earth processes as preserved in igneous and metamorphic rocks and make inferences about the implications of their formation for the evolution of the Earth system.

Requisite: GEOL 111 and GEOL 271. Spring semester. Professor Guevara.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Lab exercises and field trips will involve hands-on experience in: analyzing mineral textures and microstructures in rocks (at all scales - in the field, in hand sample, and under the microscope) and applying principles of thermodynamics to reconstruct the record of igneous and metamorphic processes in the rock record. In-class, active-learning exercises and problem sets will foster an inclusive learning community. Reflection assignments will ask participants to deeply engage with the course content and become aware of how they are learning. There will be two open-note, asynchronous, learning assessments that assess students' understanding of concepts, and the integration of the concepts. A capstone research project involving reading of peer-reviewed literature and a 12-15 minute oral presentation will allow students to explore cutting-edge topics in igneous and metamorphic petrology. Students with documented disabilities who will require accommodations in this course should be in consultation with Accessibility Services and reach out to the faculty member as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations can be made in a timely manner.


Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022