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    Discover how magmatism has shaped Earth, how magma forms and evolves physically andchemically to make igneous rocks, and what controls its subterranean emplacement or volcanic eruption.

    Magmas and Volcanoes' covers the systematic description and quantitative interpretation of volcanic and plutonic rocks within a plate tectonic framework. 

    About this paper

    Paper title Magmas and Volcanoes of Zealandia
    Subject Geology
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    90 points including EAOS 111 and/or GEOL 112
    GEOL 364
    Schedule C

    Background requirements: Knowledge of mineralogy, petrology (including use of the petrographic microscope), basic thermal and sedimentation processes, equivalent to high-school physics, basic understanding of chemistry, thermal and fluid dynamics, and computer spreadsheets (e.g. Microsoft Excel).

    GEOL264 is for students in their second year of a geology or equivalent degree.

    GEOL364 is for students in their third year of a geology or equivalent degree.

    Teaching staff

    Coordinator: Prof James White
    Dr Marco Brenna
    Dr Michael Palin

    Paper Structure

    Topics covered:

    • Upper mantle structure, composition and partial melting; origin and differentiation of magmas at oceanic spreading ridge, rift and intraplate settings; trace element and isotope constraints on magma sources
    • Magma's physical characteristics, crustal magma transport, lava emplacement, effusive and explosive eruptions
    • One-day field trip to examine volcanic rocks of East Otago
    • Origin and differentiation of magmas in subduction zone settings; crustal partial melting; magma-related hydrothermal systems
    • Two-day field excursion to examine igneous rocks of the South Coast

    Assessment is approximately an even split between internal (ongoing during the semester) and external (final exam).

    Assessments for GEOL 364 are set and graded differently to GEOL 264 to reflect greater background knowledge and higher expectations of students taking the paper at 300-level.

    Teaching Arrangements

    Two lectures and one 3-hour laboratory per week.

    Fieldwork: One-day field trip to examine volcanic rocks of East Otago. Two-day field excursion to examine igneous rocks of the South Coast.

    Highly recommended: Robin Gill - Igneous Rocks and Processes, Wiley-Blackwell (2010).
    For an advanced treatment see Philpotts and Ague (2009) Principles Of Igneous And Metamorphic Petrology 2nd Edition: ISBN-13: 9780521880060
    Course outline (latest syllabus indicative of content next time the paper is taught)

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes
    • Familiarity with advanced igneous petrographic mineral and texture identification
    • Understanding of how rocks melt to form magma
    • Understanding of magma characteristics and their chemical and physical controls
    • Ability to determine the chemical evolution of a magma
    • Understanding of how magma leaves its sources, and controls on whether it reaches the surface or is emplaced at depth
    • Understanding of how magma is effused or explosively erupted, and insight into the processes of lava flows and explosive fragmentation
    • Ability to interpret the deposits and/or observations of a volcanic eruption


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Wednesday 09:00-09:50 29-35, 37-42
    Wednesday 13:00-13:50 29-35, 37-42


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Wednesday 14:00-16:50 29-35, 37-42
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