Earth Sciences
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​​Geology 224 Introduction to Mineralogy

Prof. JD Clemens


This module is an introduction to mineralogy, crystallography and mi​neral chemistry. The objectives are to present the geochemical basis for mineralogy, crystal structure and crystal chemistry, to introduce the subjects of crystallography, systematic mineralogy and phase diagrams as applied to mineral stabilities, and to train learners in how to identify minerals in hand specimen. Both rock-forming and ore minerals are covered and the geological contexts of their occurrences are explained. In addition, some practical skills in library research and presentation are covered.


The module will enable students to recognise the common minerals that they will encounter in rocks and ores, and their weathering and alteration products. It will also provide students with an appreciation of the chemical and structural bases for the classification of minerals and an understanding of mineral paragenesis (the occurrences of mineral associations). This understanding will equip the students for the microscope-based mineralogical and petrological approaches that are used in Geology 254, 314 and 354. In addition, the students will have become familiar with aspects of researching a topic, and constructing and presenting the information to a group of peers.

Study Materials and Text Book Recommendations

Through SUN-Learn, the students have access to comprehensive class notes, guides to lecture content, practical exercises and a variety of handout materials to assist in learning, particularly in practical exercises. Additionally, although no textbook is required, the students are directed toward the following references.

  • Deer, W.A., Howie, R.A. and Zussman, J. (1996) An Introduction to the Rock-forming Minerals. 2nd edition, Longman Scientific and Technical. London, 696 pp
  • Gribble, C.D. and Hall, A.J. (1992) Optical Mineralogy: Principles and Practice. UCL Press, London, 303 pp
  • Nesse, W.D. (2000) Introduction to Mineralogy. Oxford University Press, New York, 442 pp

In addition, students are directed toward the following web pages for further excellent learning materials.      

Learning Opportunities

Students are encouraged to consult as many text books, journals and on-line data sources as possible. Detailed hints and instructions are provided on how to make a good presentation. An extensive set of supplementary course notes is available on WebCT, reflecting and enlarging upon the concepts presented in the lectures. The practicals too are designed as learning exercises as well as a form of assessment, and are overseen by the lecturer and, normally,  two demonstrators.

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