GEOL 220  Mineralogy and Petrology

Fall 2008

Instructor: Arthur V. Chadwick

Meeting time: 9:00 - 11:50 Monday and Wednesday, Scales, Rm. 220

Course objective: to enable the student to identify and contextualize the most common rock-forming and economic minerals in hand specimens and to identify these minerals in the context of rocks that contain them.  This ability is crucially important to geologists attempting to retrieve information about the source and genetic history of rocks and minerals. The study of minerals will involve learning about crystal chemistry, phase equilibria, crystal properties and rock characteristics that result. Mineralogy thus becomes a key for the understanding of earth processes and for interpreting earth history.  

We will learn:

to identify 75 common minerals.

            to identify the crystal classes, crystal axes and faces and mineral groups represented.

            to determine the Miller Indices of crystal faces and to use them in crystal descriptions.  

to use Stereographic Projections.

to recognize twinning and the information twinning provides for understanding the  history of a mineral.

to be familiar with the Bohr model of the atom.

to know Pauling’s Rules for ionic crystals.

to know the theory of x-ray crystallography, and know how to identify an unknown mineral from x-ray powder diffraction pattern.

to know with the general structure of the principal silicate minerals.

to read phase diagrams and to apply the Phase Rule to a number of binary and ternary phase diagrams in order to interpret the crystallization processes of various types of igneous systems.


Labs will be integrated with the lecture material and coordinated with it. The class will consist of a lecture followed by a period of observation in lab and with the aid of computers, of on-line examples of the minerals and rocks being covered.



Class Schedule


Date    Lecture                                    Laboratory                  Reading  


Unit I

Sept.  1  Introduction                         none                            Ch.  5:             p.  170-193,    

Sept.  8  Crystallography                    Physical Properties      Ch.  5: p.  213-239, Ch.  1   

Sept. 15 Crystallography                    Tectosilicates I            Ch.  5: p.  194-208

Sept. 22 Crystallography                    Tectosilicates II           Ch 6: p.  240-251, p.  251-276  

Sept 29 Unit I Exam    


Unit II

Oct.    6  Crystal Chem&Struct.         Ino-, Phyllosilicates     Ch.  3: p.  38-69, p.  94-103

Oct.  13  Crystal Chem&Struct.         X-ray Lab                    Ch.  7

Oct   22  Crystal Chem&Struct.         Cyclosilicates              Ch.  3: p.  69-90

Oct   29  Crystal Chem&Struct.         Neso-, Sorosilicates

Nov.   3  Unit II Exam  


Unit III

Nov. 10  Crystal Chem&Struct.         Carbonates, Sulfates   Ch 4: p.  134-169 Ch.  10, 12 Phosphates, Halides

Nov. 17  Crystal Chem&Struct.         Sulfides I                    Ch.  9, 10, p.  590-2  

Nov. 24  Phase Diagrams                    Sulfides II, Hydroxides

Dec.   1  Phase Diagrams, Color         Native elem., Oxides Ch.  8, 10, 11

Unit III and Final Exam As specified 


   General Requirements and Grading System

a) Attendance: Attendance is required. A positive and upbeat attitude toward the subject will help make the class a rewarding experience.

b) Quizzes: Weekly quizzes will be given over the assigned reading material.  - 20%

c) Practicals. Three practical exams will be given. These will cover the lab and lecture work. The third of these will be a component of the comprehensive final - 40%

d) Final Exam. The final exam will be comprehensive and will cover the entire scope of the course, and will include the third sectional exam. The comprehensive portion will be more general than the sectional exams, and will be of the same nature. - 40%

Grade scale

90 - 99 A

80 - 89 B

70 - 79 C

60 - 69 D

59 or below F