SPRING  2012


Lecture:            Tuesday-Thursday, 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM, RM 222 Deloach Hall.


Laboratory:       Wednesday, 2:00 PM – 4:50 PM, Rm 222 Deloach Hall.


Instructors:      Dr. Michael S. Smith ( - Igneous Petrology, Dr. Todd A. LaMaskin ( - Sedimentary Petrology, and Dr. David E. Blake ( - Metamorphic Petrology


TA:                     Robby Morrow; Rm 224A Deloach Hall; Main Office: (910) 962-3490; Email:


Office Hours:   Smith: Wednesday  - 10:00 AM – 12:00 (noon); Friday, 10:00 AM – 12:00 (noon).  Additional hours available by appointment.

                            LaMaskin: Tuesday-Thursday, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM; Additional hours always open by appointment.

                            Blake:  Tuesday, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM; Wednesday, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM; Thursday, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM; Additional hours always open by appointment.


Text:                   Required lecture and laboratory readings, lecture and lab materials, and notes will be posted on Blackboard Learn.  The Geoscience Handbook:  AGI Data Sheets, 4th Ed., by J. Douglas Walker and H. A Cohen, (2006) is a useful, all encompassing manual to aid your petrologic and geologic studies.  For the Igneous Petrology component, lecture readings will be assigned from Thorpe and Brown, The Field Description of Igneous Rocks, 2001, Blatt and Tracy, Petrology, 1996, 2nd ed., and Wilson, 1993, Igneous Petrogenesis, as well as material (PDF, journal articles, etc.) available on BLACKBOARD (under Igneous laboratory material). For the Sedimentary Petrology component, lecture readings will be derived from Boggs, Petrology of Sedimentary Rocks, 2009, 2nd Ed.  For the Metamorphic Petrology component, we will use Blatt and Tracy, Petrology, 1996, 2nd Ed., Marshak, Earth:  Portrait of a Planet, 2008, 3rd Ed., Fry, The Field Description of Metamorphic Rocks, 1997, Mason, Petrology of the Metamorphic Rocks, 1978, and Fettes and Desmons, Metamorphic Rocks:  A Classification and Glossary of Terms, 2007.   You will be expected to read textbook assignments prior to the tentative dates on the syllabus. Additional readings may be assigned during the semester on pertinent topics in current periodicals, the newspaper, or the worldwide web.


Course Goals:  The course goal is to provide the B.S. geology major with an overview of Earth minerals and rocks and their relationship to physical geology and Earth evolution.  The lecture is intended to provide a survey of fundamental mineral and rock properties, classification schemes, and environments of formation for the three great classes of rocks.  Earth will be discussed as a dynamic machine that has experienced continual change throughout 4.6 Ga of geologic time.  Much of this change is due to the interaction between Earth's interior heat energy, which creates the Plate Tectonic Cycle, and the Sun's exterior heat energy, which drives the Hydrologic Cycle. Results of this interaction include Earth’s physical processes, its Rock Cycle, and the tectonic and geomorphologic features and key events in the formation of the planet, which are highlighted in this course.  Topics to be discussed are described in the tentative syllabus below.  The laboratory is intended to provide hands-on, practical experience in understanding rocks and minerals created by the interaction of these major energy sources. We will specifically focus upon (1) studying material nomenclature, definitions, and physical features and properties observed within and on planet Earth and its Moon, and (2) attempting to master the following departmental Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) as they relate to individual UNCW Learning Goals (LG).


SLO 1:        Students should understand and be able to apply the scientific method to geologic problems; UNCW LG: Critical Thinking and Creative Inquiry

SLO 2:        Students should demonstrate the ability to a) critically read, b) logically evaluate, and c) effectively communicate data, problems, and issues in the geosciences; UNCW LG: Creative Inquiry, Critical Thinking, and Thoughtful Expression

SLO 3:        Students should be able to identify and describe a) common Earth materials, b) processes that form and later modify basic Earth materials, and c) key events in the evolution of Earth; UNCW LG: Critical Thinking and Thoughtful Expression


                            By the end of the semester, you will be armed with an arsenal of concepts and techniques with which to further investigate the geosciences.  For geological terms that are new and strange, try the Glossary of Geology by Bates and Jackson (Reference: QE5 .B38 1987).  You may find it helpful to use a Google and GoogleEarth search for key geologic and geographic words during initial inquiries about fundamental geologic principles and concepts.  Earth’s regional geography has geological origins and they are closely linked as the Geosciences.  Geology/Geoscience books in the Randall Library are found primarily in the QE section of the stacks.  The TN section and those related to geography in the GB section provide references to the technical and applied nature of geology.


                            If you seek something specific to the geologic literature, the computer database, the library Search engine and its GEOREF/GEOBASE counterparts are extremely useful.  Search the Randall Library under Inside UNCW on its web page.  Then search electronic resources by subject and choose GEOREF or GEOBASE.  The reference librarian in the Randall Library will help you get started with this when you wish to use it.  U.S. government publications on geology are located in the Government Documents section of the Randall Library and provide the local repository for such items.  In that collection, you will find a complete set of the topographic maps for North Carolina and South Carolina plus collections for the surrounding states.  The library also maintains a collection of the U.S. Geological Survey publications including Circulars, Bulletins, Professional Papers, and Geologic Maps. Of course, for general information, various search engines can assist in your discovery process.


Attendance:       Attendance is essential for scheduled lecture, laboratory, and field trip activities in order for the student to gain experience in a variety of minerals and rock types.  Please plan ahead as some of the activities such as the field trip will occur outside of the regular lecture period.  Please make arrangements with other faculty members and employers ahead of time, and let us know if an email confirmation is needed.  For an excused absence such as a course conflict, the instructors will work with the student on an acceptable replacement project.


Field Trip:         There will be a two-day, overnight field trip during the semester to observe igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks in the field setting:  Friday and Saturday, March 9-10, 2012; Start of Spring Break; Raleigh-Oxford region, North Carolina, and the Deep River Triassic basin in the northeastern Piedmont physiographic province.


                            There will be a nominal cost for camping fees and meals that will need to be determined.  Payment will be by check to the Department of Geography and Geology, February 15, 2012.  In addition, you will provide the following:

                                1)  information concerning any health challenges because the field trips will require some moderate exercise;

                                2)  contact information in the event of an emergency;

                                3)  filled-in copy of the GLY 310 General Release Form.


Supplies:           You need to purchase a 10X hand lens to begin your studies of minerals and rocks.  You also need to purchase a 3-ring binder and a hardback field book.  The binder is required in order to organize your lab handouts and notes.  Your field book will be used to maintain field notes for this course and future classes.  A transparent ruler-protractor combination, mechanical pencil, eraser, tracing paper, set of colored pencils, and drafting pen will be needed.  A quality pair of sturdy shoes or hiking boots would be wise for the field trip.  A rock hammer and a camera are not required, but you will find them useful in this and future courses.

Grading:            Course letter grades are assigned on an A-F scale.  The +/- system will be used in reporting final grades.  There are two lecture exams that will be given during the semester during the lecture hour.  The third will be given during the final exam period.  NO make-up exams will be offered during the semester.  The final exam is scheduled for May 3, 2012, from 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM.   For each exam, you are responsible for material discussed in lecture supplemented by reading material in the textbook.  Don't forget to review your textbook and lab handouts for important terms and review information.  Pop quizzes may be given to assess your review capabilities.  Scores on the three exams will determine 45% of the final course grade.  Your quizzes, activities on the field trip, and classroom participation are worth 10% of that grade.  A lab final will be worth 15% of the final grade.  The remaining 30% of your final course grade will come from your laboratory results.


UNCW is committed to the proposition that the pursuit of truth requires the presence of honesty among all faculty, staff, and students involved.  It is therefore this institution's stated policy that no form of dishonesty among its faculty or students will be tolerated. Although all members of the University community are encouraged to report occurrences of dishonesty, each individual is principally responsible for their own honesty.  UNCW practices a zero-tolerance policy for violence and harassment of any kind.  For emergencies contact UNCW CARE at 962-2273, Campus Police at 962-3184, or Wilmington Police at 911.  For University or community resources visit:



A tentative course schedule is provided below.  Due to the scope of material required for the course, we reserve the right to modify the schedule when and where needed.


01/11:                                    Lab 1: Course Overview- The Rock Cycle

01/12:                                    The Rock Cycle:  Relationship of the three rock types,

                                                common Earth processes and the hypothesis of plate tectonics

01/16:                                    MLK Holiday!

01/17:                                    Introduction to igneous rock-forming minerals, igneous classification and terminology

                                                Blatt and Tracy, Chapters 1-4; Thorpe and Brown, pp. 26-49

01/18:                                    Lab 2:  Igneous Rock-Forming Minerals and Igneous Rock Textures

01/19:                                    Igneous processes (melting and crystallization) and Bowen’s reaction series

                                                Wilson, Magmatic differentiation, pp. 611-624 (on BLACKBOARD)

01/24:                                    Melting of the upper mantle: ultramafic and mafic magma generation and emplacement

                                                Blatt and Tracy, Chapter 5; Thorpe and Brown, pp. 57-65; 126-136

01/25:                                    Lab 3:  Ultramafic to Mafic Igneous Rocks

01/26:                                    Basaltic volcanism, ocean floor production, and remnant magnetism

                                                Blatt and Tracy, Chapters 6-7; Thorpe and Brown, pp. 66-75; 89-99

01/31:                                    Intermediate to felsic magmatism: crustal contamination and fluid interactions

                                                Blatt and Tracy, Chapter 8

02/01:                                    Lab 4:  Intermediate to Felsic Igneous rocks

02/02:                                    Igneous processes and economic mineral formation and emplacement

                                                Blatt and Tracy, Chapter 9

02/07:                                    Silicic volcanism, subduction, and explosive eruptive behavior

                                                Blatt and Tracy, Chapter 10; Thorpe and Brown, pp. 54-57; 76-88.

02/08:                                    Lab 5:  Eruptive volcanic rocks (lava, tephra and other pyroclastic deposits)

02/09:                                    Syn- and post-eruptive volcanic processes – an introduction to volcanic hazards

02/14:                                    EXAM I:  Igneous Petrology

02/15:                                    Lab 6: Introduction to Sedimentary Petrology and Sedimentary Rocks

                                                Boggs, p. 3-18, In-class Handouts

02/16:                                    Fundamentals of Sedimentology, Grain Size, and Sedimentary Structures

                                                Boggs, p. 21-110                                                                                                            

02/21:                                    Siliciclastic Rocks and Environments (Pt. 1)

                                                Boggs, p. 111-194

02/22:                                    Lab 7:  Siliciclastic Rocks

                                                In-class Handouts

02/23:                                    Siliciclastic Rocks and Environments (Pt. 2)

                                                Boggs, p. 194-268

02/28:                                    Carbonate Rocks and Environments (Pt. 1)

                                                Boggs, p. 313-381

02/29:                                    Lab 8: Carbonate Rocks

                                                In-class Handouts

03/01:                                    Carbonate Rocks and Environments (Pt. 2)

                                                Boggs, p. 381-457

03/06:                                    Chemical Sedimentary Rocks

                                                Boggs, p. 461-526

03/07:                                    Lab 9:  Chemical and Miscellaneous Rocks

                                                In-class Handouts

03/08:                                    Carbonaceous and Iron-Rich Sedimentary Rocks

                                                Boggs, p. 527-555

03/09-10                               Raleigh-Oxford Field Trip with GLY 311-592

03/10-18:                              Spring Break!!

03/20:                                    Applications of Sedimentary Petrology; Petrophysics; Stratigraphy

03/21:                                    Lab 10:  Introduction to Metamorphism and Metamorphic Rocks

                                                In-class Handouts; Blatt and Tracy, Ch. 18, p. 353-374

03/22:                                    EXAM II:  Sedimentary Petrology

03/27:                                    Metamorphism and Metamorphic Rocks

                                                Marshak, Ch. 8, p. 228-256

03/28:                                    Lab 11:  Metamorphic Classification Schemes

                                                Fettes and Desmons, Ch. 1 and Ch. 2, p. 3-15

03/29:                                    Mapping in Metamorphic Terranes

                                                Fry, Ch. 2 and 3, p. 7-28; Mason, Ch. 2, p. 8-28.

04/03:                                    Metamorphic Types, Grades, and Facies

                                                Fettes and Desmons, Ch. 2, p. 16-23

04/04:                                    Lab 12:  Regional Metamorphic Rocks

                                                In-class Handouts

04/05-06:                              State Holiday!!!

04/10:                                    Metamorphic and Structural Terms

                                                Fettes and Desmons, Ch. 2, p. 24-31

04/11-15:                              West Virginia Field Trip - GLY 390 students

04/11:                                    Lab 13:  Regional Metamorphic Rocks – non-GLY 390 students

                                                In-class Handouts

04/12:                                    Low Grade Metamorphic Rocks

                                                Fettes and Desmons, Ch. 2, p. 36-42

04/17:                                    High Grade Metamorphic Rocks and Migmatites

                                                Fettes and Desmons, Ch. 2, p. 32-35, p. 43-45

04/18:                                    Lab 14:  Contact Metamorphic and Metasomatic Rocks

                                                In-class Handouts

04/19:                                    Metacarbonate, Amphibolite, and Granulite

                                                Fettes and Desmons, Ch. 2, p. 46-57

04/24:                                    Contact Metamorphic Rocks

                                                Fettes and Desmons, Ch. 2, p. 69-81

04/25:                                    Lab 15:  Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic Lab Final                                                                                

04/26:                                    Contact Metasomatic Rocks

                                                Fettes and Desmons, Ch. 2, p. 58-68

04/30:                                    Reading Day!!!!

05/03                                     EXAM III:  Metamorphic Petrology, 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM