Course Meeting Times

Lectures: Two sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Labs: Two sessions / week, 3 hours / session


12.109 is a broad survey of igneous and metamorphic petrology. The course follows the history and development of the field as well as the scientific methods and findings. Students learn the relationships between rock-forming processes, tectonic environments, and the chemical composition and texture of rocks.

Topics Include

  • Dynamics of Crust and Mantle Melting as Preserved in the Chemical Composition of Igneous Rocks and Minerals
  • The Long-term Record of Global Climate Change as Preserved in the Minerals of Sedimentary Rocks
  • Time-temperature-depth Record Preserved in Minerals of Metamorphosed Crustal Rocks


Structure of Earth Materials (12.108), Thermodynamics of Materials (3.00) recommended


Labs are due one week after they are assigned. The microscope and hand sample lab room is reserved for six hours per week; however, anytime the room is open, feel free to go in and look at thin sections/rocks. See your TA with questions, and work together if needed. All students must turn in their own work.


Lab: Exercises, Midterm, and Final Exam 50%
Lecture: 3 Problem Sets, Midterm, and Final Exam 50%

All exams on lecture material will be closed book. The lab final is open book.

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

notes Lecture Notes
assignment Problem Sets