Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Science
Organisational UnitSchool of Geosciences
OfferedClayton First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Ray Cas


Physical volcanology: will address volcanic eruption styles and processes, and the variety and characteristics of eruption products. Igneous petrology: will include material on the petrology and geochemistry of the Earth's mantle and crust, their melting to generate silicate magmas and the emplacement of these magmas in and on the crust; also the basics of trace element and isotope geochemistry applied to the understanding of these processes.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Recognise the physical processes which underlie volcanic activity, involving a range of magma types;

  1. Identify the various types of volcanic and igneous rocks in hand specimen and their occurrence, context with other rock units, and distinctive features in natural field outcrops;

  1. Analyse the distinctive geochemical and petrographic features of volcanic and intrusive igneous rocks in the various global tectonic environments;

  1. Further their knowledge of melting and magmatic crystallisation processes within the Earth's interior and the way magmas move toward the Earth's surface;

  1. Evaluate and constrain the geochemical sources and evolution of magmas within the silicate earth and identify their dominant controlling processes;

  1. Understand how isotopes are used in geochronology (dating of Earth materials) and their application in identifying magmatic processes and their petrogenesis.


Practical work: 30%
Fieldwork: 20%
Examination (3 Hours): 50%

Students must pass the theory examination to achieve an overall pass grade. Students who do not pass the theory examination will receive a mark of 45% unless their aggregate mark is lower, in which case that mark will be recorded.

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 2-hour lecture and one 3-hour practical class per week and one 3-day field excursion


ESC2111 and ESC2122, or by permission from the Head of School


ESC3211, EC3212