Course level

Undergraduate

Faculty

Science

School

Earth and Environment Sc Schl

Units

2

Duration

One Semester

Class contact

2 Lecture hours, 3 Practical or Laboratory hours

Incompatible

ERTH2001

Prerequisite

ERTH1000 or ERTH1501

Assessment methods

Theory and practical examination; and assignments

Course coordinator

Dr Andrew Christy (a.christy@uq.edu.au)

Study Abroad

This course is pre-approved for Study Abroad and Exchange students.

Current course offerings

Course offerings Location Mode Course Profile
Semester 1, 2018 St Lucia Internal Course Profile

Please Note: Course profiles marked as not available may still be in development.

Course description

Minerals are the naturally occurring elements and chemical compounds that make up rocks on Earth and elsewhere in the Solar System. They are also produced by living organisms to make hard components such as shells and skeletons. Identification of minerals is thus a vital first step in understanding geological materials, their conditions of formation and subsequent history, and interpreting them in terms of tectonic and biological processes and economic importance. This course explores how to identify minerals by measuring their basic physical properties on hand specimens, and how to obtain much more detailed and precise information, mainly using polarised light in the petrological light microscope, but also the more advanced techniques of X-ray Diffraction and analytical Scanning Electron Microscopy. The physical and optical properties of minerals are largely determined by what chemical elements are present and how their atoms are arranged to form a crystal structure with a particular symmetry, so the earlier lectures and practicals cover the basics of how abundance of elements determines the compounds that occur as minerals, chemical bonding, crystal chemistry and crystallography. We then go on to survey the major rock-forming minerals, in the context of whether they are found mainly in igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary rocks, or in ores.

Archived offerings

Course offerings Location Mode Course Profile
Semester 1, 2017 St Lucia Internal Course Profile
Semester 1, 2016 St Lucia Internal Course Profile
Semester 1, 2015 St Lucia Internal Course Profile
Semester 1, 2014 St Lucia Internal Course Profile
Semester 1, 2013 St Lucia Internal Course Profile
Semester 1, 2012 St Lucia Internal Course Profile
Semester 1, 2011 St Lucia Internal Course Profile
Semester 1, 2010 St Lucia Internal Course Profile
Semester 1, 2009 St Lucia Internal Course Profile