cod. 00799

Academic year 2022/23
3° year of course - Second semester
- Alessandra MONTANINI
Academic discipline
Petrologia e petrografia (GEO/07)
Discipline di scienze della terra
Type of training activity
60 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The aim of the course is twofold:
1- acquisition of knowledge concerning the main petrogenetic processes
(magmatic and metamorphic) in the different geodynamic
2- to provide the basis for rock identification on the basis of their
structural and textural features and mineral associations (examination of
hand samples and rock thin sections under polarized light microscope).


Basic knowledge of mineralogy

Course unit content

The course aims to provide the main knowledge related to rock formation
processes. Methods and procedures for the study of rocks and their
mineralogical constituents will also be illustrated both on the basis of hand samples and in thin section under petrographic microscope.

Full programme

1. Definition and introduction to the main rock formation processes. The
rock cycle. Geothermal and pressure gradient. Causes and mechanisms
of melting (mantle and crust).
2. Magmatic rocks: chemical and physical characteristics of magmas,
crystallization and evolution of magmas, binary phase diagrams
representative of simplified magmatic systems; magmatic series and
geodynamic environments. Classification and nomenclature of igneous
rocks based on structural and textural characteristics, constituent
minerals and chemical composition. Volcanic processes, types of
eruptions and volcanic products.
3. Metamorphic rocks: definition and environmental conditions of
metamorphism, metamorphic grade, metamorphic facies, fluids and
metamorphism. Minerals and metamorphic structures, nomenclature and
classification of metamorphic rocks.
4. Sedimentary rocks: degradation of pre-existing rocks, transport,
sorting and deposition of sediments. Compaction and lithification of
sediments. Composition, structures and textures of sedimentary rocks
and their classification.
5. Principles of crystallographic optics and optical mineralogy:
petrographic microscope, orthoscopic and conoscopic observations.
Identification of the main rock-forming minerals (hand sample and thin
section under the microscope). Microstructures of igneous, metamorphic
and sedimentary rocks in thin section. Identification and classification of
the main igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks (hand sample and
thin section under the microscope)


Slides, exercises and links to web sites will be available to download by
the students on the web platform “Elly”. Materials could be updated
during the Course.
KLEIN C., PHILPOTTS A.R. Mineralogia e petrografia (edizione italiana
condotta sulla seconda edizione inglese, a cura di GASPAROTTO G. e
BRAGA R.)- Ed. Zanichelli, Bologna
D'ARGENIO B., INNOCENTI F., SASSI F.P. - Introduzione allo studio delle
rocce. Ed. UTET, Torino
DEER W.A., HOWIE R.A., ZUSSMAN J. - Introduzione ai minerali che
costituiscono le rocce. Ed. Zanichelli, Bologna
MACKENZIE W.S., GUILFORD C. - Atlante dei minerali costituenti le rocce
in sezione sottile. Ed. Zanichelli, Bologna
MACKENZIE W.S., DONALDSON C.H., GUILFORD C. - Atlante delle rocce
magmatiche e delle loro tessiture. Ed. Zanichelli, Bologna
YARDLEY B.W.D., MACKENZIE W.S., GUILFORD C. - Atlante delle rocce
metamorfiche e delle loro microstrutture. Ed. Zanichelli, Bologna

Teaching methods

Lectures made using multimedia tools and laboratory
Slide provided during classes will be weekly available to download on Elly
platform. To download the slides, students need to be registered on-line
to the Course. Please note that the slides are not a substitute for lessons
or of the Textbooks but are considered part of the accompanying
instructional materials. Students should frequently control instructional
materials and other information provided by the Teacher on the Elly web

Assessment methods and criteria

Written and oral examination. The written examination includes description and classification of two rock samples in thin section using petrographic microscope. The oral examination aims to verify the comprehension of magmatic and metamorphic petrogenetic processes.

Other information

Information on the aim and content of the course (see above and below)
are associated with the relative "Dublin Indicators" (DI) that characterize
their purposes. Dublin Indicators:
- Knowledge and understanding; - Applying knowledge and
- Making judgements;
- Communication skills;
- Learning skills