Magmatic and Metamorphic Processes

Module code: GL2103

This module provides a broad and in-depth understanding of the processes and environments in which magmatic and metamorphic rocks form and builds on core knowledge acquired in GL1101 The Rock Cycle. Specifically, you'll investigate the conditions required to form magmas, their passage through the crust and ultimately why some magmas stall to form plutonic rocks while others erupt at the surface.

Basic chemical modelling will be used to understand the processes by which mantle and crustal rocks melt to form magmas. These results will be used to develop an in-depth understanding of how the chemical and physical processes involved in cooling of magmas results in the wide range of igneous rocks seen on Earth. 

The module concludes by investigating the process of burial and heating of rocks and the development of metamorphic rocks. You'll learn how to construct pressure, temperature and time paths for these rocks.

Lectures and associated practical work are organised as workshops and follow a multidisciplinary approach using a variety of data sets including the petrological microscope to investigate macroscopic and microscopic evidence to illuminate on the processes involved. Some workshops will hel to develop your skills in computer-based modelling of chemical datasets. 

Topics covered

  • A range of processes that are responsible for generating igneous and metamorphic rocks and their textures from a variety of tectonic settings
  • A range of igneous and metamorphic minerals in hand specimen and thin section, and interpret the textural relationship of igneous and metamorphic rocks
  • The manipulation of mineralogical and chemical data pertaining to igneous and metamorphic systems and draw appropriate conclusions from these through numerical exercises and phase diagrams
  • Recording information and data in a laboratory notebook; manage their time and work to a deadline
  • How to make observations and interpret those observations within a scientific framework (e.g. independent coursework)
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