Minerals and Rocks

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Minerals and Rocks

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Geology, Natural Sciences

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    GEOL 112 or GEOX 112

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Mineralogy, element distribution in rocks, x-ray techniques, silicate crystal structures, mineral and rock compositions. Crystal optics and mineral identification using the petrographic microscope. Introductory petrography, petrology and classification of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks.

    This paper introduces the physical and chemical principles that control the crystallisation of minerals. A practical and theoretical background to mineral optics, essential to identifying minerals, is provided using petrographic microscopes. Mineralogical knowledge is then applied to the classification of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. This is a compulsory course for all students intending to major in Geology at Otago, and is also a prerequisite to several of the optional 200-300 level papers.

    Course Structure
    Lectures cover five themes:
    -Three weeks on crystallography
    -Two weeks on optical microscopy
    -Two weeks on sedimentary rocks
    -Two weeks on igneous rocks
    -Two weeks on metamorphic rocks

    Learning Outcomes
    -Ability to identify a variety of common minerals and rocks in hand specimen
    -Basic understanding of crystallography and its relationship to optical mineralogy
    -Use of transmitted polarised light microscope to identify minerals and rocks in hand specimen
    -Basic understanding of mineral- and rock-forming processes


Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.