Geology BSc

Igneous Geology: Geochemistry, Geochronology and Volcanology EARTH4072

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Exploration of processes involved in the generation and evolution of igneous rocks and the techniques used to study them and their associated volcanic hazards. The course is taught through a combination of lectures, laboratories, and both residential and day field classes.


Three classes per week for 4 weeks (1.5 hr lecture and 1.5 hr lab per class - held as workshops). Four days content of a 1-week residential UK-based field class. Local one day field class.

Excluded Courses

EARTH4013 - Igneous Petrology and Geochemistry

EARTH4014 - Isotope Geology


Written examination (50%), portfolio of field-based activities and report (25%), integrated practical exercise (25%).

Main Assessment In: December

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses


Course Aims

The aim of this course is to develop students' understanding of fundamental processes in igneous geology. This will include: determining mantle sources; magma genesis and evolution; the geochronology of rocks and the rates of igneous processes; and volcanic hazards and their monitoring techniques. Aspects of magmatic emplacement, physical volcanology and hazards will be evaluated in the field.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Outline and discuss the petrogenesis of mantle- and crustally-derived magmas using a variety of petrographic and geochemical datasets, including radiogenic and stable isotopes.

■ Apply equations to model simple petrogenetic processes.

■ Critically evaluate and apply dating methodologies for igneous rocks.

■ Describe and interpret volcanic rocks in the field and propose eruption histories and modes of deposition or emplacement.

■ Distinguish a variety of volcanic and volcano-associated hazards in the field, and explain how hazards may be monitored at active volcanoes using remote sensing techniques.

■ Use geological maps/geo-spatial data to evaluate volcanic hazards and the emplacement and distribution of igneous bodies.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.