Student Pages
Undergraduate course

Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeGEOV242
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Main content

Objectives and Content

The course reviews igneous activity in different tectonic environments, including continental rifts, oceanic spreading ridges and subduction zones as well as within tectonic plates.

After a short introduction, the course describes phase diagrams and mineral phase relationships. This theoretical knowledge is put in use in order to explain melting and crystallization of magmatic liquids. The next part of the course portrays these processes in various magmatic environments related to plate tectonic on earth. Finally, the student will have a short introduction of mineralogical and textural changes that take place in ordinary crustal rocks under different metamorphic conditions.

During the semester, students will work on a project based on a set of samples collected on an igneous object (e.g. Bushveld Intrusion, Isle of Rum layered intrusion, Skaergaard Intrusion, Chaines des Puys volcanic series). Students will follow every steps from petrological observations on thin-sections, to CIPW norms, simple geochemical diagrams and finally building a petrological model. The last task during the course will be for each student to give a short seminar presenting a scientific article linked to the lecture.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

The student can

  • explain phase relationships in simple phase diagrams
  • explain the differences between open and closed systems
  • explain the physical process of magma formation by partial melting of the mantle.
  • give an account of magmatic differentiation, mixing and contamination changing magmatic melts on their way to the surface.
  • recognize the petrological and geochemical characteristics of different plate tectonic environments
  • explain changes of the mineral phases associated to different metamorphic environment

The student can

  • identify the connection between the nature of magmatic activity and the platetectonic environment
  • interpret simple geochemical variation diagrams for igneous rock series
  • describe and interpret the textures of igneous and metamorphic rocks.
  • give an account of the different metamorphic environments and products
  • describe the characteristics of the plates forming the outer shell of the Earth

General competence
The student can

  • plot data and make simple calculation on excel.
  • read and find relevant information in a scientific article.
  • present a small project using powerpoint.
  • use a microscope and recognize rock texture and mineral assemblages.
  • describe a magmatic or metamorphic rock samples.

Required Previous Knowledge

GEOV101, GEOV103

Recommended Previous Knowledge


Access to the Course

Access to the course requires admission to a program of study at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

Teaching and learning methods

  • Lectures two times a week, à 2 hours.
  • Practical 1 time a week.
  • 30 min seminar per student.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

The students must complete 3 tasks in order to be allowed get final assessment in the course:

- Rock description, a thin section and a hand-size sample

- Seminar, presenting a scientific article relevant to the lecture

- Excel based practical, calculating a petrogenetic model

Forms of Assessment

Assessment of the three tasks during the semester:

- Assessment of the rock descriptions
- Assessment of the seminar
- Assessment of the excel-practical.

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Assessment Semester

Examination in spring semester. Assessment is only offered in the actual semester in which teaching is given.

Course Evaluation

The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department.

Programme Committee

The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.

Course Coordinator

The course coordinator and administrative contact person is found at Mitt UiB, or you may contact studierettleiar@geo.uib.no

Course Administrator

The Faculty for Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Earth Science has the administrative responsibility for the course and program.


The student coordinator can be contacted here: