Geology 254 Optical Mineralogy and Petrology
Dr. M Mayne
of the petrographic microscope is essential for geologists as
it is the most cost effective way of identifying minerals and
thus classifying rocks. The course in optical mineralogy is
specifically designed to enable the learner to identify minerals
based on their optical properties. This knowledge is immediately
applied to identifying minerals present in igneous and metamorphic
rocks and to classifying these rocks. Basic introductory concepts
in petrographic interpretation of mineral assemblages and textures
are discussed and their use in identifying igneous, metamorphic
and sedimentary rocks explored.
should have the following skills at the end of the course.
ability to use mineral optical properties to identify the
common rock forming minerals in thin sections.
of the petrological classification of igneous and metamorphic
rocks from mineral proportion and mineral textural information.
in practical igneous and metamorphic rock description.
of simple igneous systems, including the use of binary and
ternary phase diagrams in interpreting igneous rock petrogenesis.
of simple metamorphic systems including the use of the phase
rule and the concept of equilibrium
ability to classify rocks using established geochemical
Study Materials and Textbook Recommendations
It is recommended
that students taking the course purchase a copy of the
following reference book.
to the Rock-Forming Minerals by Deer, Howie and
Zussman, Longman Scientific and Technical
book is a reference book and will be suitable for use through
to the end of your degree and further depending on your career
websites have useful compilations on optical mineralogy http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/petrolgy/thinsect.htm.
This whole site is very good! These sites
are also useful and have similar information but just on optical
Students are encouraged
to consult as many text books and journals as possible. The Optical Microscope laboratories are available
at most times, by arrangement with the lecturers.