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GEOLM006 Earth & Planetary Materials


To introduce the student to advanced topics in crystallography and mineral physics; i.e., the structures and properties of Earth and planetary materials.


Part 1: Knowledge and understanding of the techniques of X-ray and neutron diffraction; and
Part 2: Either

a) The application of these methods, and the use of crystal physics, to the determination of thermoelastic and structural properties of Earth and planetary forming materials;
b) the structures and properties of minerals in surface environments and their environmental and economic importance;
c) the structures and properties of rock-forming minerals and their applications in geology, e.g. phase equilibria, geobarometry, etc.


The course has a common first-half which provides an introduction to the methods of crystallography and crystal structure determination. This is followed by one of three streams covering either: (a) crystal physics and its applications to Earth and Planetary forming materials, (b) structures and properties of environmental minerals, such as clays and zeolites, or (c) applications of mineralogy to rock-forming minerals.

Title Earth and Planetary Materials
UG Code GEOLM006
Coordinator Dr. Ian Wood
Other Contributors Prof G.D. Price (for Part 2c), Dr K.S. Knight (CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory) and Dr. A.D. Fortes.
Term 1
Credit 0.5 CU
Written Exam 60%


Those taking parts 2b or 2c will be required to write an extended essay (32% of the total mark for the course).

Pre-Requisites GEOL1001 Earth Materials is highly desirable, but not essential.
Maths & Stats Content and Requirement Graphical, as opposed to algebraic, methods will be used wherever possible and all necessary mathematical concepts will be explained during the course. Thus, without loss of fundamental rigour, the material is readily accessible to geology students with limited mathematical background.
Total Number of Hours of Student Work 188 hours
Hours of Lectures/Seminars 16 (for Part 1): 8 (for Part 2a)
Hours of Practicals/Problem Classes 10 (for Part 1): 4 (for Part 2a)
Hours of Tutorials 4 (for either Part 2b or Part 2c)
Days of Fieldwork 0
Other None

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