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Introduction to Petrology

Course Code: EAES 2410
Faculty: Science & Technology
Credits: 4.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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

Methods of Instruction

  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. 

course prerequisites

EAES 2400 or instructor permission

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.