20238 Laboratory: Microscopy of Minerals and Magmatic Rocks (Optical Mineralogy and Magmatic Petrography)

Credits: 3 intermediate credits in Geology

Prerequisites: One of the following: Introduction to Earth Sciences, Secrets of the Earth

Author: Shlomo Shoval

This laboratory course acquaints students with the microscopic world hidden in rocks and revealed in spectacular colors through a polarizing microscope. Using the microscope we will reconstruct the “story of the rock”.

Magmatic rocks were formed in our area in magmatic events which accompanied the geological history of Israel, from the ancient magmatic intrusions of the Arabo-Nubian Shield familiar from the Eilat area formed in dramatic events related to the ancient continental drift, to the volcanic rocks of the Galilee and the Golan formed in recent geological times when volcanoes erupted and covered the surface with burning lava, leaving their mark within the rocks.

Four mandatory laboratory sessions conducted at the Open University acquaint students with these rocks and reconstruct their formation based on evidence within them. The course includes a mandatory one-day field trip to volcanic sites on the Carmel and in the Galilee to acquaint students with a variety of rocks presented in the laboratory sessions. Varied volcanic landscapes are found in these areas.