Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

651-4045-00L  Microscopy of Metamorphic Rocks

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersP. Nievergelt
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractRepetition of methods using optic properties of crystals and the polarising microscope.
Identification of minerals and metamorphic parageneses.
Description and interpretation of microstructures.
Age relationship of crystallisation and deformation.
Estimation of metamorphic grade.
Objective- Advanced knowledge in optical mineralogy
- Application of methods to determine minerals in thin sections
- Identification and characterisation of metamorphic minerals
- Description of rocks. Derive correct petrographic rock name, based on modal abundance and microstructure/texture
- Interpretation of rock fabric/microstructure, parageneses and mineral reactions
Content- Repetition of principal optical properties and of microscopic methods to identify minerals. Emphasis on interpretation of interference figures.
- Study typical metamorphic rocks in thin sections
- Description and interpretation of parageneses and texture/microstructures. Study the age relationship of crystallisation and deformation.
- Estimation of metamorphic grade
- Quantification: To determine volume percentage of rock components
- Scientific documentation: Descriptions, drawings, photomicrography using different kinds of illumination and using plane- or circular-polarised light.
Lecture noteshandouts with additional information on theory and for exercises, in English.
To brush up knowledge in optical mineralogy read the relevant chapters in the book of W.D. Nesse (2004).
Literature- Nesse, W.D.: Introduction to optical mineralogy. 3. Ed. (2004). Figures from this book will be used in lectures. Besides the theory, this book describes all optical properties of important minerals. Petrographers working on varying types of silicate rocks should have a look at this book.
-Yardley, B.W.D., Mackenzie, W.S. und Guilford, C. (1990): Atlas of metamorphic rocks and their textures. Longman Scientific. With nice pictures.
Also available in the D-ERDW library, NO building, on D-floor.
- Vernon, R.H. (2004): A practical guide to rock microstructures. Cambridge Univ. Press. 594 pages. Includes color photos and a glossary.
Prerequisites / NoticeNumber of participants 24.
Participants should have basic knowledge in crystallography, mineralogy and petrology, and have taken practical courses in microscopy of thin sections, as well as lectures in metamorphic petrology and structural geology!

Other microscopy courses at department D-ERDW are on:
- magmatic rocks, following this course in second half of semester (P. Ulmer, IGP; Inst. for Geochemistry and Petrology)
- sedimentary rocks (Geol. Institute)
- ore minerals (reflected light microscopy, Th. Driesner, IGP)
- microstructures, deformed rocks (Geol. Institute)