Introduction to Petrology

Science & Technology
Earth & Environmental Sciences
Course Code
EAES 2410
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered


Course Description
This course will investigate the origin/formation, occurrence, and classification of igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic and economically important rocks. This course will also serve as an introduction to the petrographic microscope and the use of the microscope to identify minerals and rocks. Field trips will be required.
Course Content

Minerals and Rocks Under the Microscope

  • The petrographic microscope
  • Optical properties of minerals

Igneous Rocks

  • Textures and structure of igneous rocks
  • Composition of igneous rocks
  • Identification, classification, origin and occurence/formation of igneous rocks
  • Origin and classification of igneous bodies and landforms

Sedimentary Rocks

  • Textures and structure of sedimentary rocks
  • Composition of sedimentary rocks
  • Identification, classification, origin and occurence/formation of sedimentary rocks

Metamorphic rocks

  • Textures of metamorphic rocks
  • Composition of metamorphic rocks
  • Metamorphic facies and protoliths
  • Identification, classification, origin and occurence/formation of metamorphic rocks

Labs may include:

  • Macroscopic identification of rocks and minerals
  • Introduction to the petrographic microscope
  • Major rock-forming minerals in thin section
  • Intrusive igneous rocks
  • Extrusive igneous rocks
  • Clastic sedimentary rocks
  • Chemical sedimentary rocks
  • Metamorphic rocks
  • Regional metamorphism and index minerals


Learning Activities
  1. The primary mode of instruction will involve lectures and laboratories.
  2. Field trip and field project may be scheduled.
Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester.  Evaluation will be based on the following:

Lecture Homework             5-10%

Lecture Midterm                15-20% 

Lecture Final                     25-30%

Lab/Field  components       40-50%

    Labs                             10%

    Lab.Field Projects           10%

    Lab tests/quizzes           20-30%

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

  1. Employ a petrographic microscope to recognize the optical properties of common minerals and determine the composition of rocks in thin section. 
  2. Identify, classify and interpret the occurence/formation of a variety of igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic and ore deposit rocks. 
  3. Use rock composition, textures and structures to infer petrogenesis.
  4. Relate and distinguish between rocks in hand sample and thin section based on their composition, texture and structures. 
Textbook Materials

Students should consult the bookstore for the latest required course materials, including textbook. The course will use:

Klein, C. & A. Philpotts, Earth Materials, Introduction to Mineralogy and Petrology, Cambridge University Press, current edition or equivalent.

Raith, M.M., P. Raase & J. Reinhardt, Guide to Thin Section Microscopy, Mineralogical Society of America, current edition or equivalent.



EAES 2400 or instructor permission


No corequisite courses.


Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for EAES 2410
Alexander College (ALEX) ALEX SOSC 2XX (3)
Athabasca University (AU) AU GEOL 2XX (3)
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU SCEL 2XX (4)
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR GEOL 2XX (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG EAES 2XXX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU EASC 205 (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU GEOL 2150 (3)
University Canada West (UCW) UCW SCIE 2XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO EESC_O 201 (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV EOSC_V 221 (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC GEOG 2XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV GEOG 2XX (4)
University of Victoria (UVIC) DOUG EAES 2400 (4) & DOUG EAES 2410 (4) = UVIC EOS 205 (1.5) & UVIC EOS 2XX (1.5)
Vancouver Community College (VCC) No credit
Vancouver Community College (VCC) VCC EVSC 2XXX (3)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU GEOL 2nd (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2024