• Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Earth and Marine Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Gregory Yaxley
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

This course focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to understand the processes and environments in which magmatic and metamorphic rocks form, including the following topics: the relations between crystallisation and deformation in metamorphic rocks and their link to evolution of orogens; reconstruction of plate tectonic processes from detailed investigation at a grain scale; construction and detailed interpretation of phase diagrams; the role of fluid phases and the use of trace elements, radiogenic and stable isotopes to constrain magmatic and metamorphic processes. In addition, the rates of processes are explored: are these fast and furious, or slow and steady.

Laboratory: Characterisation and interpretation of microstructures in magmatic and metamorphic rocks using the optical microscope, construction and interpretation of phase diagrams, selected excursions to Canberra and surroundings.


Honours pathway option (HPO)

Additional readings of greater conceptual difficulty requiring an advanced scientific understanding will be made available for students enrolled in the Honours pathway option (HPO). 20 per cent of the marks available on the exam will be answers to alternate questions for HPO students. Integration of this material in the essay will be expected.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Recognize key metamorphic and magmatic minerals in hand specimens and thin sections. Classification of magmatic and metamorphic rocks based on their mineralogy.
2. Reconstruct conditions of rock formation from the texture and composition of minerals
3. Explain the relation of rock forming processes to tectonic environments
4. Construct phase diagrams and use them to interpret rock textures and rock forming processes
5. Explain the recycling of key elements and volatiles in deep Earth cycles.

Other Information

There will be a cost for the fieldtrips - to be advised.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:

  • Laboratory work (30%; LO 1, 2, 4 , 5)
  • Field excursion reports (20%; LO 1-4)
  • Research project and presentation (25%; LO 3, 4, 5)
  • Theory examination (25%; LO 1, 2, 4)

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Three hours of lectures and two hours of practicals weekly, plus an overnight field trip to Gulaga and a one day field trip Cooma (dates to be confirmed).

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed EMSC2017. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed GEOL3024 or EMSC6024.

Preliminary Reading

J. D. Winter (2001) An Introduction to Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology, Prentice Hall.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $5160
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2765 19 Feb 2018 27 Feb 2018 31 Mar 2018 25 May 2018 In Person N/A

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