20239 Laboratory: Microscopy of Metamorphic and Sedimentary Rocks (Metamorphic and Sedimentary Petrography)

Credits: 3 intermediate credits in Geology

Prerequisites: none

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

Recommended: Laboratory: Optical Mineralogy and Magmatic Petrography

Authors: Shlomo Shoval, Nurit Goldman

This laboratory course acquaints students with the secrets of metamorphic and sedimentary rocks using a polarized microscope. The course provides tools for deciphering the “stories” hidden in these rocks.

Metamorphic rocks formed in our geographic area as a result of dramatic events which caused the formation of the Arabo-Nubian shield, events related to ancient continental drift which continued for about half a billion years. During the next half billion years, oceans inundated the area and then receded and the shield rocks in Israel were covered with a thick layer of sedimentary rock which were deposited in various environments. These events left their mark within the rocks.

Four mandatory laboratory sessions conducted at the Open University acquaint students with these metamorphic and sedimentary rocks and reconstruct the conditions of their formation based on evidence within them. The course includes a mandatory two-day field trip to the Eilat-Timna area (jointly with course 20211),1 to become familiar with a variety of the rocks viewed in the laboratory sessions. In this area, a unique combination of metamorphic and sedimentary rocks is exposed and provides the opportunity for close examination.

1Students are expected to cover the cost of accommodations during the field trip.