[MSA-talk] Plate tectonic Ig/Met Pet syllabus

David Dolejs david.dolejs at minpet.uni-freiburg.de
Thu Dec 28 05:08:57 EST 2017

Dear Matt and all,

this is an interesting idea -- I have been dealing with similar isuue 
for some time, primarily driven by question how to design petrology 
courses at three subsequent levels from junior bachelor to senior master 
level.  I like to place emphasis on geodynamic context at the advanced 
bachelor level and on physico-chemical aspects (structure and properties 
of silicate melts, phase diagrams, metamorphic thermodynamics, 
deformation mechanisms) in the master.  I realize that this may also 
offer additional advantage if your bachelor curriculum does not have a 
senior bachelor class on plate tectonics (or geodynamics).

I am not sure if you want to couple igneous and metamorphic processes 
together or just place igneous or metamorphic aspects into geodynamic 
structure of your course.

For the igneous part, I start with mid-ocean ridges (vertical structure 
of the Earth's mantle, adiabatic melting), then subduction zones 
(fluid-present melting or "silicothermal" plumes, differences imposed by 
water and oxidation state leading to contrasts between tholeiitic and 
calc-alkaline series), mechanisms of magma differentiation (MASH) in the 
arcs, continental collision (dehydration melting, types of partial 
melts, differentiation towards granites, granite types), 
post-collisional extension, anorogenic settings (anorthosites, aluminous 
A-types), plumes and continental breakup (systematics of basaltic melts 
with pressure and degree of partial melting, origin of carbonatites, 
continuum of basaltic-kimberlitic-carbonatitic melts, differentiation 
and diversity of alkaline rocks).  It may not be bad to start with 
plumes (+ LIP), breakup (layered intrusions), rift, ridges etc. until 
post/anorogenic settings.

For the metamorphic processes, a comparable scheme is more difficult to 
build.  Perhaps one way is to introduce metamorphic gradients in 
geodynamic and temporal context (see reviews by Mike Brown), then follow 
similar framework as above: low-pressure metamorphism near mid-ocean 
ridges (sea floor), high- und ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism in the 
subduction zones (+ discussion of mechanics, de/relamination, exhumation 
etc.), metamorphic pairs in arcs (adding low/medium-P metamorphism of 
the arc crust), collisional metamorphism (Barrovian type), extension of 
the continental crust, exhumation of metamorphic domes, migmatite 
complexes (possibly melting in the crust), concluded with metamorphic 
styles in the Archean.  It will, however, be difficult to find resources 
for this type of class (perhaps: Johnson & Harley; Nicollet - 
Metamorphisme et Geodynamique).

If you truly want to mingle metamorphic and magmatic processes, then I 
would look at geodynamic resources (Frisch et al.; Condie) and condense 
it from those.

I would be happy to hear anyone else's opinion as well.

Best wishes, also for the new year, to all,

David Dolejs  (Professor of Mineralogy & Petrology)
Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Freiburg
Albertstr. 23b, 79104 Freiburg i.Br., Germany
Tel direct: +49 (0)761 203 6395 / secretary: +49 (0)761 203 6396
Fax: +49 (0)761 203 6407
Web: http://www.minpetro.uni-freiburg.de/team/dolejs

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