75563 - Magmatism, Metamorphism and Microstructures (M3)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Roberto Braga

  • Credits 6

  • SSD GEO/07

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Climate Action

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The student will learn how to obtain quantitative insights into petrogenetic processes using thermodynamic modelling. Specific topics are:

  • Forward vs inverse modelling of petrogenetic processes
  • Subsolidus evolution of metapelites and peridotites
  • Crust anatexis
  • Basalt generation by mantle upwelling
  • How to relate microstructures to modeling results and viceversa

Course contents

  1. Igneous and metamorphic processes - a refresher
  2. Thermodynamics in a nutshell
  3. Defining the system of interest
  4. Learning how to use the software Perple_X
  5. The KFMASH system, analogue for continental crust evolution
  6. The role of fluids during subsolidus processes
  7. The CFMASH system for upper mantle rock
  8. Basalts generation and their composition variation as a function of Pressure and Temperature of source melting.
  • Field trip (two-days) on a crystalline basement


  • Perple_X tutorial and documentation
  • Selected papers from Elements; students can download the papers when connected to the almawifi domain. Elements subscription is possible thanks to BiGeA's funding.

Teaching methods

The class is mostly based on active and cooperative learning. Frontal lectures will mostly support the learning curve for Perple_X

Emphasis will be on thinking, inquiry, creativity on problem-solving. Team work is encouraged, including peer reviewing and critiquing.

Students will need to use their personal laptop.

Assessment methods

A practical written examination consisting of

  1. the calculation of equilibrium isochemical phase diagrams, from which the student will extract quantitative petrogenetic information, and
  2. open questions related to the calculated equilibrium isochemical phase diagrams.

The evaluation of the practical exam is the 100% of the final grade.

Teaching tools

  • Projector for Power Point presentations
  • Rock and thin section collections
  • Polarizing Optical Microscope
  • Open Software for petrogenetic modelling

Office hours

See the website of Roberto Braga