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University of South Alabama Course Syllabus

Course Information
Term: Spring 2017
GY303, section 101, Igneous & Metamorphic Petrology (4 semester credits)
Course Format: Web-enhanced
Class days and time: Lecture: MWF, 10:10-11:00; Lab: Tues 2:00-4:30
Building/Room number: LSCB316 Lecture & LSCB337 Lab

Instructor Information
 David T. Allison, Ph.D.
 460-6381 (Earth Sciences main office)
 Office hours:
(updated each term)
 Life Sciences Bld. #344

Course Description GY303

(4 credits) Introduction to phase diagrams and processes controlling magma crystallization, and
the formation of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Relationship of plate tectonics to the genesis
and distribution of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Classification of common igneous and
metamorphic rocks. Prerequisite: GY111, GY302. (GY303 is usually taught once each year,
spring semester).

Course Topical Outline

The following chapters will be covered during the semester:
Plate Tectonics and Petrology
Chapter 1- Introduction to Igneous Environments
(Jan 9-13)
Chapter 1- Introduction to Igneous Environments
Chapter 2- Igneous Minerals and Textures
(Jan 17-20; Jan 16 MLK Holiday)
WEEK 3: Chapter 2- continued
Chapter 3- Chemistry, Physics and Classification of Igneous
(Jan 23 – Jan 27)
WEEK 4: Chapter 3- continued; EXAM #1: Feb 3
(Jan 30-Feb 3)
WEEK 5: Chapter 4- Volcanism
(Feb 6-10)
Chapter 5- Origin of Magmas through Melting Mantle &
(Feb 13-17);
WEEK 7: Chapter 6- Crystallization of Magmas
(Feb 20-Feb 24)
WEEK 8: Chapter 6- continued;
(March Feb 27- March 2); Mardi Gras Holiday Feb 28
WEEK 9: Chapter 7- Petrology of the Mantle; EXAM #2: March 10
(March 6-10)
WEEK 10: Spring Break
(March 13-17)
WEEK 11: Chapter 8- Igneous Rocks of the Ocean Lithosphere
(March 20 – 25)
WEEK 12: Chapter 9- Igneous Rocks of Convergent Margins
(March 27- 31)
WEEK 13 Chapter 10- Igneous Rocks of the Continental Lithosphere
(April 3-7)
Chapter 17- Isograds, Metamorphic Facies, and Pressure-
WEEK 14:
Temperature Evolution
(April 10-14)
WEEK 15 Chapter 19- Metamorphic Assemblages, Reactions, and
(April 17-21)
WEEK 16 Ore Deposits
(April 24- April 28)
FINAL EXAM- Mon May 1, 10:30-12:30

Laboratory Topics

WEEK 1: Felsic Igneous Rock Classification

(Jan 10)
WEEK 2: Intermediate and Mafic Igneous Rock Classification
(Jan 17)
WEEK 3: Mafic and Ultramafic Rock Classification
(Jan 24)
WEEK 4: LAB EXAM #1: Hand Specimen ID
(Jan 31)
WEEK 5: Introduction to Volcanic hand specimen identification
(Feb 7)
Volcanic hand sample I.D. test
(Feb 14)
WEEK 7: Introduction to petrographic microscope and mineral I.D. in
thin sections
(Feb 21)
Mardi Gras Holiday
(Feb 28)
Identification of common igneous rock minerals in thin
(March 7)
WEEK 10: Spring Break
(March 14)
Igneous rock thin section point counting and IUGS
WEEK 11:
(March 21)
WEEK 12 LAB EXAM #2: Igneous Thin Section ID
(March 28)
WEEK 13 Regional Metamorphic Rock Classification
(April 4)
WEEK 14 Metamorphic hand sample I.D. quiz
(April 11)
WEEK 15 Metamorphic minerals and textures in thin sections
(April 18)
WEEK 16 Final Lab Exam: Tuesday April 25

Course Goals and Objectives

The objective of this course will be to instruct the student in the processes that control the
genesis of igneous and metamorphic rocks, with emphasis on igneous processes. The laboratory
portion of the course will be devoted to applying various classification systems to laboratory
specimens. The lecture portion of petrology will include the following topics: 1) plate tectonic
controls on petrologic processes, 2) introduction to basic thermodynamics with emphasis on the
phase rule 3) binary and ternary phase diagrams, 4) geochemical and
mineralogical classification of igneous and metamorphic rocks 5) fractionation of trace and rare
earth elements in magmas, 6) igneous and metamorphic rock associations with emphasis on plate
tectonic controls, and 7) metamorphic facies with emphasis on geothermometry and
Computer Skills: students will be required to solve the various lecture problems sets with the
aid of a computer workstation. All assignments will be downloaded from the instructor’s web
site. Trace element and REE fractionation modeling will be completed using Excel spreadsheet
templates downloaded to student workstations. Normative mineralogy calculations will be
verified with spreadsheets and the public domain application NORM. IUGS classification
diagrams will be printed using Adobe PDF reader.

Course Pre-requisites / Co-requisites

Prerequisite: GY111, GY302. (GY303 is usually taught once each year, spring semester).
Recommended Course Materials:
Blatt, Harvey, Tracy, Robert J. and Owens, Brent E., 2006, Petrology: Igneous, Sedimentary, and
Metamorphic, 3rd Edition, W.H. Freeman and Company, New York, 530p.

Class Attendance Policy

 Students who complete less than 50% of assignments/exams will be assigned an F*
 Students are expected to have access to an internet-connected computer and be familiar
with office productivity applications (spreadsheets, web browser, PDF browser, etc.).
All projects will require ArcGIS that is available to GY461/GEO461/GEO561 students
in the LSCB 137/ LSCB 146 GIS labs. See the instructor for door code and computer
logon password.
 Late arrivals (> 10 minutes after class begins) will be counted as absent. Attendance is
10% of final grade.
 You may wish to review the ‘Attendance and Absences Policy’, in the Undergraduate
Academic Policies and Procedures section of the Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletin
for attendance and absences policy

Important Dates
 Last day to add/change to audit: Jan 15
 Last day to drop a course: April 1
 Holidays: See above weekly schedule

 Make-up exams will be given only in the case of a valid, documented emergency
 There is a weekly lab assignment
 Late work is not accepted and will be assigned 0 credit
 No extra credit will be offered

The final grade for this course will be based on two components, laboratory and lecture, which
both count as 50% of the final grade. In lecture, your average will be determined from a two
exams and final exam, in addition to problem assignments that are periodically given in lecture.
You will have approximately seven lecture problem assignments during the semester. These
assignments are designed to take 2-4 hours to complete, and are due 3-7 days after they
are assigned. The final score will be calculated using the below percentages:

Laboratory average: 50%

Lecture Exam 1: 10%
Lecture Exam 2: 10%
Lecture Final: 15%
Lecture Assignments: 5%
Attendance: 10%

Grades are assigned as usual: 90% or greater = A; 80-89%=B;

70-79%=C; 60-69%=D, and lower percentages = F.
Changes in Course Requirements
 Not all classes progress at the same rate thus course requirements might have to be
modified as circumstances dictate. You will be given written notice if the course
requirements need to be changed.

Academic Disruption Policy

 The University of South Alabama’s policy regarding Academic Disruption is found in
The Lowdown, the student handbook. Disruptive academic
behavior is defined as individual or group conduct that interrupts or interferes with any
educational activity or environment, infringes upon the rights and privileges of others,
results in or threatens the destruction of property and/or is otherwise prejudicial to the
maintenance of order in an academic environment.
 At all times students to be cordial, courteous and respectful of faculty members and
fellow students.
 Cell phones, laptops, videotaping and other electronic devices are not allowed in lecture
or lab

Student Academic Conduct Policy

 The University of South Alabama’s policy regarding Student Academic Conduct Policy
is found in The Lowdown The University of
South Alabama is a community of scholars in which the ideals of freedom of inquiry,
freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and freedom of the individual are sustained.
The University is committed to supporting the exercise of any right guaranteed to
individuals by the Constitution and the Code of Alabama and to educating students
relative to their responsibilities.
 Violation of academic conduct policy may result in receiving 0 credit for the affected
 Students enrolled in online courses are expected to adhere to the Academic Conduct
Policy. In particular, students are expected to complete their own coursework and not
provide unauthorized information or materials to another student.
 Policy on plagiarism software.
Students may learn about the meaning of plagiarism and how to avoid it at the following

Students With Disabilities

 In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, students with bona fide
disabilities will be afforded reasonable accommodations. The Office of Special Student
Services (OSSS) will certify a disability and advise faculty members of reasonable
accommodations. If you have a specific disability that qualifies you for academic
accommodations, please notify the instructor/professor and provide certification from the
Office of Special Student Services. OSSS is located at 5828 Old Shell Road at Jaguar
Drive, (251-460-7212).
 Office of Student Disability Services will be located at 320 Alumni Circle, Faculty Court
West. The entrance, Suite 19, is on the west side of the building, near the parking area.
We are building 40 on USA's campus map.

Course and Teacher Evaluation

 Student input for course improvement and instructor evaluations are taken seriously and
do effect change.

Course Supplements
 GIT461 maintains GIS and other computer application manuals in the LSCB 137 & 146
GIS labs. Students enrolled in GIS courses may use these materials but must keep them
in the lab room.

Additional Requirements and Recommendations

Online Writing Support

 The University of South Alabama provides online writing tutoring services through
SMARTHINKING, an online tutoring service. SMARTHINKING is available at Students may enter the site by logging on with their Jag
number and using the last four digits of the social security number as the password. For
log-on problems, technical questions and/or on-campus writing assistance, contact
the USA Writing Center at 251-460-6480 or e-mail

 Information about the University Writing Center and Online Writing Lab can be found
online at
Last Update: 1/5/2017