GEOL336-19S2 (C) Semester Two 2019

Magmatic Systems and Volcanology

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 July 2019
End Date: Sunday, 10 November 2019
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 26 July 2019
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 27 September 2019


Study of magmatic systems including the nature and origin of igneous materials and links with the physical processes of volcanology.

This course is designed to examine the nature, origin, and interpretation of igneous rocks and mineral assemblages, as well as the magmatic processes that have produced these materials. Additionally, it aims to develop an understanding of the petrological evolution of the crustal lithosphere within a modern plate dynamic framework. Students taking this course will receive a broad grounding in the experimental, petrographical and geochemical aspects of igneous petrogenesis and magmatic processes. Emphasis will also be given to the petrological aspects of volcanology, which will benefit those students wishing to do volcanological research. This course consists of two lectures and one laboratory class in each week of the second semester.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learning Outcomes
    Students successfully completing this course will:
  • Realize the importance of igneous rocks in geology and to society.
  • Identify and classify igneous rocks and their geological environments.
  • Use geochemistry to explain why magma is generated, diversifies and erupts.
  • Use geochemical data, thin sections, and maps to reconstruct the magmatic and volcanological histories.
  • Discuss physical volcanological processes with relevance to magma properties.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


GEOL232 or GEOL242 plus one additional course from GEOL243-GEOL246.

Timetable Note

Week #  -  Lectures (2)  -  Labs (2.5 hrs)  -  Lecture 1 (1 hr)  -  Lecture 2 (1 hr)

1  -  Introduction  -  Major elements in magmas  -  M&M magma chamber
2  -  Trace elements in magmas  -  Isotopes in magmas  -  M&M magma chamber and geochemistry
3  -  Mantle melting  -  Two-component phase diagrams  -  Lyttelton petrology and geochemistry
4  -  Three-component phase diagrams  -  Magma diversification  -  Phase diagrams
5  -  Oceanic arc systems and granitoids  -  Continental arc systems  -  Granites
6  -  Oceanic intraplate volcanism & flood basalts  -  Summary  -  Iceland petrology and geochemistry (in lab exam format)
7  -  Volc introduction  -  Lava  -  Fudge lab (lava exercise)
8  -  Volatile content and its influence on eruption style  -  Explosive volcanism  -  Airfall (in lab exam format)
9  -  Pyroclastic flows  -  Mass flows  -  Ignimbrites
10  -  Calderas  -  Ballistics  -  Explosion
11  -  Iceland (Reykjanes)  -  Iceland (Heimaey)  -  Final Lab Exam (testing Alex’s and Ben’s parts of the course)
12  -  Iceland (Eiyja)  -  Iceland (Krafla)  -  Magma drillers

Course Coordinator

Ben Kennedy


Alex Nichols and Jonathan Davidson


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Participation (Lab 5% Class 5%) 10% Participation (Lab 5% Class 5%)
Laboratory Examination 30% Final Laboratory Examination from both terms (Week 11)
Virtual Field Trip 20% Virtual Field Trip
Final examination 40% Final examination

Relationship of GEOL336 to other courses
You cannot take GEOL336 without first completing GEOL242. GEOL336 is a prerequisite for GEOL474 (Igneous Petrology and Geochemistry), and students wishing to take GEOL476 (Volcanology) are strongly recommended to take this course.

Laboratory weeks 1-10 (5%) Class weeks 1-10 (5%) participation  -  10%
Final Laboratory Examination from both terms (Week 11)  -  30%
Virtual Fieldtrip week 11 and 12 participation (10%) and reflection (10%)  -  20%
Final Examination from both terms (Closed Book; 3 hours; UC Exam Period)  -  40%

Lab classes will comprise a mix of microscope work, geochemical data analysis and computer-assisted learning:
• Introductory labs on igneous petrographic nomenclature and thin section descriptions
• Introduction to the use of geochemical data on igneous rocks to describe and identify magmatic processes
• Edible and explosive igneous experiments.

Participation in lab will be assessed by the full completion of the lab.
Participation in lecture will be assessed by the completion and handing in of in class assignments.

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Winter, John D; Principles of igneous and metamorphic petrology ; 2nd ed; Prentice Hall, 2010.

Recommended Reading

Deer, W. A. , Howie, R. A., Zussman, J; An introduction to the rock-forming minerals ; 2nd ed.; Longman Scientific & Technical ; Wiley, 1992.

Shelley, David; Igneous and metamorphic rocks under the microscope : classfication, textures, microstructures, and mineral preferred-orientations ; 1st ed.; Chapman & Hall, 1993.

Shelley, David; Optical mineralogy ; 2nd ed; Elsevier, 1985.

Volcanology texts are posted on the learn website- Practical volcanology, and Encyclopedia of volcanoes

Other useful books for the laboratory work are:
Shelley, D. "Optical Mineralogy"
Shelley, D. "Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks under the Microscope"
Deer, W.A., Howie, R.A. and Zussman, J. "An Introduction to the Rock-Forming Minerals"

Course links

Library portal


Topics to be covered include:
• Mineralogical and chemical classification of igneous rocks; igneous associations and relationships with global tectonic settings.
• Basalt crystallization and the origin of basalt magmas.
• Classification and nomenclature of granites; origin, emplacement and tectonic significance of granitoids using especially NZ examples.
• Petrological structure of intra-oceanic and continental arcs and petrogenesis of subduction-related magmas.
• Mafic-felsic magma interactions in high level magma chambers.
• Volcanic processes with emphasis on lava, ballistics, pyroclastic flows, lahars and debris avalanches.
• Geochemical, volatile, and crystallisation influences on eruption style and experimental volcanology.
• Controls on magma viscosity.
• Iceland case study.
Participation in lecture will be assessed by the completion and handing in of in class assignments.
Schedule of Laboratory Classes
Laboratory classes will be assigned by timetabling and will take place in the 300 level lab, Room 220, Geological Sciences Department. Each student will be allocated a polarising microscope.

Additional Course Outline Information

Academic integrity


Marks and Grades
The Department of Geological Sciences uses the following scale to convert marks into grades:
100 – 90 A+ 75 – 79 B+ 60 – 64 C+
89 – 85 A 70 – 74 B 55 – 59 C
84 – 80 A- 65 – 69 B- 50 – 54 C-
Below 50 D/E

The Department of Geological Sciences reserves the right to adjust this mark/grade conversion, when deemed necessary.

Late Work
It is the policy for this course that late work is not accepted. Or, late work should be accompanied with a detailed explanation of why the work is late.  The work will be marked and marks will be subtracted for each day the work is late.  Days late include week-end and holidays.  

Academic Liaison
Alex Nichols (room 321,, phone (03) 364 2987 ext 94410) is in charge of liaison with students in geology courses.  Each year level will appoint a student representative(s) to the liaison committee at the start of the semester.  Please feel free to talk to the Academic Liaison or the student rep about any problems or concerns that you might have.

Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities should speak with someone at Disability Resource Service. Their office is on Level 2 of the Puaka-James Hight Building (Central Library). Phone: +64 3 369 3334 or ext 93334, email:

Policy on Dishonest Practice
Plagiarism, collusion, copying and ghost writing are unacceptable and dishonest practices.
• Plagiarism is the presentation of any material (text, data, figures or drawings, on any medium including computer files) from any other source without clear and adequate acknowledgement of the source.
• Collusion is the presentation of work performed in conjunction with another person or persons, but submitted as if it has been completed only by the names author(s).  
• Copying is the use of material (in any medium, including computer files) produced by another person(s) with or without their knowledge and approval.
• Ghost writing is the use of another person(s) (with or without payment) to prepare all or part of an item submitted for assessment.  

In cases where dishonest practice is involved in tests or other work submitted for credit, the student will be referred to the University Proctor.  The instructor may choose to not mark the work.  

Reconsideration of Grades
Students should, in the first instance, speak to the course co-ordinator about their marks.  If they cannot reach an agreeable solution, students should then speak to the Head of the Geological Sciences Department. Students can appeal any decision made on their final grade.  You can apply at the Registry to appeal the final grade within 4 weeks of the end of the semester.  Be aware that there are time limits for each step of the appeals process.  

Special Considerations Applications
If you feel that illness, injury, bereavement or other critical circumstances has prevented you from completing an item of assessment or affected your performance, you should complete a Special Considerations application form, available from the Registry or the Student Health and Counselling Service.  This should be within five days of the due date for the required work or the date of the examination.  In the case of illness or injury, medical consultation should normally have taken place shortly before or within 24 hours after the due date for the required work, or the date of the test or examination.  For further details on Special Consideration applications, please refer to the Enrolment Handbook or visit  You have the right to appeal any decision made, including Special Considerations decisions.  

Missing of Tests
In rare cases a student will not be able to sit a test.  In such cases, the student should consult with the course co-ordinator to the Head of the Department of Geological Sciences to arrange alternative procedures.   This must be done well in advance of the set date for the test.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $883.00

International fee $4,000.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Earth and Environment .

All GEOL336 Occurrences

  • GEOL336-19S2 (C) Semester Two 2019