EARTHSCI 304 : Petrology and Geochemistry of Igneous Systems


2020 Semester One (1203) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An introduction to geochemistry and its broad applications including Solar System formation, Earth evolution, geochronology, mountain-building, paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, archeology, tracing the life histories of animals, forensic science and medical geology. Includes how the generation, modification and eruption of magmas can be constrained from mineralogical, chemical and isotopic studies.

Course Overview

This course covers the principles and applications of geochemistry and petrology to igneous systems. Basic principles of geochemistry and geochronology will precede discussions of planetary accretion, the mantle, magma genesis and evolution, magmatic ore systems, and volcanic systems/volcanology. This course uses a process-based approach, examining magmatic systems in the context of the global (or planetary) environment in which they form, with particular emphasis given to subduction zone, mid-ocean ridge and ocean-island magmatism. This course then focuses on the evolution and modification of primary magmas as they transit the crust and the effect of magmas on volcanic processes and products.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 15 points from EARTHSCI 203, 220 GEOLOGY 203, and 30 points from EARTHSCI 201-263, GEOG 260-263, GEOLOGY 201-205 Restriction: GEOLOGY 304

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Develop and demonstrate an understanding of the chemical and isotopic tools used to study the solid Earth (Capability 1)
  2. Understand and explain the processes of magma formation, evolution, and eruption and how magmatic processes impact volcanology and volcanic products. (Capability 1 and 2)
  3. Analyse and evaluate large datasets (computer based) to model geologic systems. (Capability 2 and 3)
  4. Independently analyse and interpret complex geologic processes through laboratory applications in both petrography and geochemistry. (Capability 2, 3 and 5)
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of volcanic processes and the mechanisms that generate observable volcanic deposits. (Capability 1 and 2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Laboratories 50% Group & Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Final Exam


As part of the University-wide Tuākana community, The School of Environment Tuākana Programme aims to provide a welcoming learning environment for, and enhance the success of, all of our Māori and Pacific students. We are led by the principles of tautoko (support) and whanaungatanga (connection), and hope you find a home here at the School. Students who have identified as Māori and/or Pacific will receive an invitation to our online portal introducing the Programme, the resources we have available, and how you can get involved.

This course is supported by our Programme Coordinator, Kaiāwhina/Māori student adviser, and Pacific student adviser. They are able to organise group study and facilitate direct assistance regarding material taught in this course. For more information regarding the Programme feel free to email our Programme Coordinator:

Learning Resources

There is no required text. These are standard geochemical and petrological textbooks that provide an additional source of information. Teaching staff will also suggest and provide reading material to complement the course during lectures and laboratories, some of which are linked to CANVAS reading lists.
Recommended reading:
Gill, R. Igneous Rocks and Processes (1st Edition) (ISBN: 9781777362435)
Albarede, F. Geochemistry: An Introduction (2nd Edition) (ISBN: 9780521891486)

Special Requirements

Must complete both the partical work and the Final Exam to obtain a passing score.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 3 hours of lectures, a 3 hour tutorial, 30 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 48 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 11/01/2020 02:59 p.m.