cod. 00799

Academic year 2017/18
2° year of course - Annual
Academic discipline
Petrologia e petrografia (GEO/07)
Ambito mineralogico-petrografico-geochimico
Type of training activity
119 hours
of face-to-face activities
12 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The goal of the course is to provide the fundamental concepts concerning how rocks (magmatic, metamorphic and sedimentary) form and evolve within the Earth plate tectonic environments. In the first part of the course (“Laboratory activity”), students will learn the principles under which the polarising microscope operates and become proficient in its use to study and classify the thin sections of the different rock types outcropping on the Earth surface.
In the second part of the course (“Frontal lessons”), students will learn how petrographic information can be used to locate the different types of rock (magmatic, metamorphic and sedimentary) to specific Earth plate tectonic environments.



Course unit content

Laboratory activity
Basic methods used to describe rocks of the Earth’s crust and mantle (i.e., magmatic, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks) in hand specimen.
Optical mineralogy methods used to identify the common rock-forming minerals in thin section, by use of polarizing optical microscope.
Classification of the magmatic, metamorphic and silicoclastic sedimentary rocks according to their mineral content as well as by their texture, using the schemes proposed by the International Union of Geological Sciences.

Frontal lessons
Physical state and composition of the Earth.
Plate tectonics: an outline.
The rock cycle.

Igneous rocks:
origin and evolution of magmas ;
petrographic and geochemical features of igneous rock;
classification of igneous rocks;
magmatic series and geodynamic contest.

Metamorphic rocks:
physical and chemical factors controlling metamorphism;
kinds of metamorphism;
metamorphic textures;
classification of metamorphic rocks;
metamorphism and geodynamics.

Structure, composition and classification of sedimentary rocks: an outline.

Full programme

see "Course contents".


W. S. MacKenzie, C. Guilford, Atlante dei minerali costituenti le rocce in sezione sottile, Zanichelli
W. S. MacKenzie, C. H. Donaldson, C. Guilford, Atlante delle rocce magmatiche e delle loro tessiture, Zanichelli
B. W. D. Yardley, W. S. MacKenzie, C. Guilford, Atlante delle rocce metamorfiche e delle loro microstrutture, Zanichelli
Klein C., Philpotts A. (2013), EARTH MATERIALS: introduction to mineralogy and petrology. Cambridge University Press.
L. Morbidelli (2005). Le rocce e i loro costituenti. Seconda edizione. Bardi Ed., Roma
A. Peccerillo & D. Perugini (2003). Introduzione alla Petrografia ottica. Morlacchi Ed.,Perugia

Teaching methods

The course consists of frontal lessons and laboratory activity.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam consists of a practical work (written report that summarizes the observation and classification of 3 rock thin sections) and an oral evaluation with questions on the petrogenetic concepts presented during the lessons.

Other information

Teaching tools: Power Point presentations; hand samples and thin sections of magmatic, metamorphic and silicoclastic-sedimentary rocks; use of the polarizing optical microscope.