Module code: GL4110
When and how did the continental crust form? Many models have been proposed, but this fundamental question remains unresolved. In this module, we'll explore the nature and composition of the Earth's mantle, including magma processes and the formation of igneous rock. Topics will include mid-ocean ridge basalt, large igneous provinces (continental and oceanic), and island arcs.
You'll be introduced to the fundamental principles of magma formation, including the structure of silicate liquids, the role of partition coefficients in partial melting, and crystal fractionation processes using phase diagrams and melt fields. You'll also learn about the processes that modify the composition of primary magmas, including assimilation.
The module will concentrate on conventional whole rock and mineral chemical data, including stable and radiogenic isotopes, but will also cover specialised isotope systems such as noble gases.