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Unit Overview


This unit focuses on the geochemistry, petrology, mineralogy and textures of igneous and metamorphic rocks. This unit provides an introduction to basic thermodynamic concepts applied to the petrogenesis of igneous and metamorphic rocks from a variety of tectonic environments. The unit also provides an overview of the mineral system framework to understand the genesis of magmatic and hydrothermal mineral deposits, and an introduction to sulfide and oxide mineralogy. Practical unit material includes extensive use of the conventional microscopy, an introduction to reflected-light microscopy, phase diagrams, application of basic thermodynamic concepts, and identification of major rock-forming minerals and rock textures. Conceptual and practical emphasis is placed on the interpretation of sources and processes in the formation of igneous suites and metamorphic facies.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Geology; Integrated Earth and Marine Sciences; Geochemistry major sequences
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) use practical skills in the identification and interpretation of igneous and metamorphic materials, and basic ore minerals.; (2) explain the relationship between geochemical signature and mineralogy of igneous and metamorphic rocks; (3) explain the links between tectonic/geodynamic setting and major igneous and metamorphic rock suites; and (4) demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts related to ore-forming processes associated different tectonic-magmatic environments.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) practical exercises from laboratory work and short report(s) and (2) an end-of-semester theoretical examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Marco Fiorentini
Unit rules
Successful completion of
two Unit(s) EART2231 Earth Materials
and Unit(s) EART2234 Earth Processes
Contact hours
lectures: 3 hours per week
labs: 3 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.