Geology: Metamorphic Petrology & Thermodynamics

By Prof. (Dr.) Harel Thomas   |   Dr. Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya, Sagar (A Central University)
Learners enrolled: 1115

This course is a basic to advance introduction for the post graduate students in petrology. Geology is plagued by the problem of in accessibility; they see only the tiny fraction of the rocks that composes the Earth. During the processes of uplift and the erosion on the surface, but their exact place of origin is vague. As a result, a large proportion of our information about earth is indirectly coming from analysis of subsurface materials, geophysical studies, or experiments conducted at variable temperature and pressure. Metamorphic rocks are the most common rock type on Earth, and their study allows us to put constraints on the pressure, stress and temperature conditions in the crust and mantle, and on the bulk composition in these environments. Metamorphism affects rocks in three ways; it changes their mineralogy, it changes their shape, and it can change their composition.
In this course we will look at the processes behind metamorphism, the description, and classification of metamorphic rocks, and how to extract information from metamorphic rocks and minerals to determine the conditions under which they formed. Metamorphism means change in form. In geology the term is used to refer to a solid-state recrystallization of earlier igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic rocks. Such study includes description and classification of rocks as well as interpretation of their origin. Petrology is subdivided into three major rock types: Igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. Igneous and metamorphic petrology are combined, due to the similarity of approach and principle involved during their formation. As per the syllabus of UGC based on CBCS, I henceforth use the term metamorphic petrology and thermodynamics is to study metamorphic rocks and their processes of formation within one single paper as basic to advance for the post graduate students.
This course deals with the naturally occurring rocks in field as well as laboratory analysis data that provide sufficient information how they occur in the nature. It gives idea of modern petrological theories which are widely accepted for their origin. The course emphasis the petrology which cover the Geology & its Perspective, Career in geology,  Structure and classification of the silicate minerals along with Definition of metamorphism, Factors controlling metamorphism, variables / agents and types / kinds of metamorphism – contact, regional, fault zone metamorphism, impact metamorphism. Types and classification based on metamorphic agent. Regional metamorphism and paired metamorphic belts with reference to the theory of plate tectonics. Mineralogical phase rule for closed and open systems, nature of metamorphic reactions, concept and classification of metamorphic facies and facies series, Introduction to ultrahigh temperature and ultrahigh pressure metamorphism. Metamorphic zones, isograde and reaction isograde, Concept of classification of metamorphic facies, facies-series and grade, structure and textures of metamorphic rocks; chemographic projection, graphical representation of metamorphic minerals assemblages; ACF, AKF, AFM and others diagram. 
Description of each facies of low, medium to high pressure and very high pressure with special reference to characteristic minerals, subdivision into zones / subfacies, mineral assemblages; Metamorphic reactions and pressure – temperature conditions of metamorphism. Regional metamorphism of pelitic, calcareous, basic, and ultra basic rocks and thermal metamorphism of calcareous and pelitic  rocks. Schreinemakers rule and construction of petrogenetic grids, metamorphic differentiation, anatexis and origin of migmatites in the light of experimental studies. Laws of thermodynamics; Gibb’s free energy, entropy,  ∆G of metamorphic reactions (solid-solid and dehydration reactions); Geothermobarometry and PT paths. Petrographic details of some important metamorphic rocks such as - slate, phyllite, schists, gneiss, quartzite, marble, charnockite, leptynite, khnodalite etc.
The course definitely provides better understanding to students for the processes and principles involved during the origin and evolution of the metamorphic rocks. The course contains video, text, assignment; quiz, case studies, references etc and I hope it will be useful for the geology students within and outside India. Last but not least, I highly accept any comments, questions, or suggestion for the improvement of this course.

Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Core
Duration : 16 weeks
Category :
  • Earth Sciences
Credit Points : 4
Level : Postgraduate
Start Date : 12 Jul 2021
End Date : 07 Nov 2021
Exam Date :

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: 
W1- Weekly Introduction, W1D1-Geology and it’s perspective, W1D2-Career in geology, W1D3-Silicate mineral classification, W1D4- Metamorphic petrology an Overview, W1D5-Assignments, W1D6-Weekly tests. 
W2-Weekly Introduction, W2D1-Definition of metamorphism, W2D2-Limits of metamorphism, W2D3-Factor controlling metamorphism, W2D4-Assignment, W2D5-Assignment, W2D6-Weekly test. 
W3-Introduction, W3D1-Types of metamorphism, W3D2–Zone of Metamorphism, W3D3–Grade of metamorphism, W3D4-Assignment, discussion and forum activities, W3D5-Assignment, discussion and forum activities and finally W3D6-Week test.
W4-Introduction, W4D1–Concept of metamorphic facies, W4D2–Type of metamorphic facies, W4D3–Metamorphic facies series, W4D4-Plate tectonic and metamorphic facies series, W4D5-Assignment, discussion and forum activities, and finally W4D6-Weekly test.
W5-Weekly Introduction, W5D1-Phase Rules, W5D2-Gibbs phase Rule, W5D3-Goldschmidt’s Mineralogical Phase Rule, W5D4-Phase diagram for metamorphic mineral assemblages, ACF diagrams. W5D5-Assignment, discussion and forum activities W5D6-Weekly test. 
W6-weekly Introduction, W6D1–AKF diagram, W6D2–AFM Projection, W6D3–A’F’M’ diagram, W6D4–CaO-MgO-SiO2 & Al2O3-MgO-SiO2 diagrams, W6D5-Assignment, discussion and forum activities W6D6-Weekly test. 
W7-Weekly Introduction, W7D1–Parent composition of metamorphic rocks, W7D2–Metamorphic Rocks & Their nomenclature, W7D3–Metamorphic reactions, W7D4–Schreinemakers Rules, W7D5-Assignment, discussion and forum activities W7D6-Weekly test.
W8-Weekly Introduction, W8D1-Facies of low pressure: Albite Epidote Hornfels Facies; W8D2-Hornblende - Hornfels Facies; W8D3-Pyroxene – Hornfels Facies, W8D4-Assignment and Interaction/Forum activity; W8D5-Assignment and Interaction/Forum activity, along with every day quiz, assignment, and finally W8D6-Weekly test. 
W9-Weekly Introduction, W9D1-Sanidinite Facies; W9D2-Zeolite Facies; W9D3-Green Schist Facies, W9D4-Assignment and Interaction/Forum activity; W9D5-Assignment and Interaction/Forum activity, along with every day quiz, assignment, and finally W9D6-Weekly test.
W10-Weekly Introduction, W10D1-Amphibolite Facies; W10D2-Granulite Facies; W10D3-de Waard classification for granulite, W10D4-Assignment and Interaction/Forum activity; W10D5-Assignment and Interaction/Forum activity, along with every day quiz, assignment, and finally W10D6-Weekly test.
W11-Weekly Introduction, W11D1- Origin of Granulite/Charnockite; W11D2-Blue Schist Facies; W11D3-Eclogite Facies, W11D4-Assignment and Interaction/Forum activity; W11D5-Assignment and Interaction/Forum activity, along with every day quiz, assignment, and finally - W11D6-Weekly test.
W12-Weekly Introduction, W12D1-Regional Metamorphism of Pelitic Rocks; W12D2- Regional Metamorphism of mafic or Basic Rocks; W12D3- Regional Metamorphism of Calcareous Rocks, W12D4- Regional Metamorphism of Ultramafic Rocks; W12D5-Assignment and Interaction/Forum activity, along with every day quiz, assignment, and finally W12D6-Weekly test.
W13-Weekly Introduction, W13D1-Thermal Metamorphism of calcareous Rocks; W13D2- Thermal Metamorphism of Pelitic hornfels; W13D3- Thermal  Metamorphism of basic/mafic Rocks, W13D4-Thermal Metamorphism of Ultramafic Rocks; W13D5-Assignment and Interaction/Forum activity, along with every day quiz, assignment, and finally W13D6-Weekly test.
W14-Weekly Introduction, W14D1-Migmatite; W14D2-Crustal melting; W14D3-Metasomatism, W14D4-metamorphic Differentiation; W14D5-Assignment and Interaction/Forum activity, along with every day quiz, assignment, and finally W14D6-Weekly test.
W15-Weekly Introduction, W15D1-Structure of Metamorphic Rocks; W15D2-Texture of Metamorphic Rocks; W15D3-Time relation between Deformation and Metamorphism, W15D4-Assignment; W15D5-Assignment and Interaction/Forum activity, along with every day quiz, assignment, and finally W15D6-Weekly test.
W16-Weekly Introduction, W16D1-Paired Metamorphic Belt; W16D2-P-T Path; W16D3-Case Study of P-T Path, W16D4-UHP & UHT Metamorphism; W16D5-Assignment and Interaction/Forum activity, along with every day quiz, assignment, and finally W16D6-Weekly test. 
W17-Weekly Introduction, W17D1-Thermodynamics Application to Metamorphic Petrology; W17D2- Enthalpy of Pure Substances in Standard State; W17D3- Application of Gibbs-Helmholts Equcation, W17D4- Activity-Composition Relations;W17D5-Assignment and Interaction/Forum activity, along with every day quiz, assignment, and finally W17D6-Weekly test.

Books and references

Essential Reading: 

1.Best, M. G. (2002): Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology, Wiley-Blackwell Science. 
2.Blatt, H. and Tracy, R. J. (1996): Petrology (Igneous, Sedimentary &, Metamorphic), W.H. Freeman and Co., New York. 
3.Winter, J. D. (2012): Principles of Igneous & Metamorphic Petrology (2nd Ed.)’ PHI Learn. 
4.Winkler, H. G. F. (1967): Petrogenesis of Metamorphic Rocks, Springer–Verlag./Narosa. 
5.Thomas, H. (2005):  Metamorphism and Crustal Evolution (Edited)
6.Thomas, H. (2019): MOOC on Metamorphic Petrology & Thermodynamics, SWAYAM.GOV.IN 
7. Thomas, H. (2020): MOOC on Metamorphic Petrology & Thermodynamics, SWAYAM.GOV.IN 

Suggested Reading: 
8.Kretz, R. (1994): Metamorphic Petrology
9.E-content available at CEC-UGC-MHRD New Delhi website
10.Mason, R. (1978): Petrology of Metamorphic Rocks, CBS Pub. & Dist., New Delh

Instructor bio

Prof. (Dr.) Harel Thomas

Dr. Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya, Sagar (A Central University)

Dr. Harel Thomas is Professor in the Department of Applied Geology, Doctor Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya, Sagar Madhya Pradesh. He obtained his B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Geology and Ph.D. from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, U. P. India. He had to his credit the Research Associateship and the Young Scientist Project Awards of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research [CSIR] and Department of Science and Technology [DST] New Delhi. He has developed several softwares in diverse field of Earth Science including calculation of Pressure - Temperature and activity of metamorphic minerals. The software’s are using in different universities and research labs. He has published more than fifty research papers in National and International journals. He joined the Department of Applied Geology, Sagar Vishwavidyalaya in year 1998 as an Assistant Professor and he also served as a Reader in the Department of Geology, Mizoram Central University, Aizawl in year 2004. He has been instrumental in the publication of one volume on Metamorphism and Crustal Evolution in year 2005, which contain a wealth of scientific data. He has developed nearly 30 E-content on Petrology (Metamorphic & Igneous) and Mineralogy through EMMRC, Sagar which are already available on CEC-UGC-MHRD, New Delhi web site. He also recorded more than 40 footages on metamorphic and igneous petrology which are continuously telecast on SWAYAMPRABHA National Channels. He has supervised many students for Doctorate Degrees. All are well established in different organization such as NIT, Central University, and Officers in GSI. He is a regular visiting Professor in the Central Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University; Kathmandu Nepal Since 2012 to till date. He is also engaged in Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on petrology. The course had successfully completed 4th cycles (Nov. 2016, July, 2017, July, 2018 and Nov. 10th, 2019) with rating of 4.9 out of 5. He had also successfully completed first cycle (July, 2018) MOOC on Metamorphic Petrology for undergraduate students. He is also engaged in Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Metamorphic Petrology & Thermodynamics. The course had successfully completed second cycle in month of Nov.10, 2019. 

He had also successfully completed second cycle of MOOC on Crystallography & Mineralogy during month of May 2020 and Geochemistry duing the month of Nov. 2019. He will be engage in running the one massive open online course during month of July, 2020 on metamorphic petrology & thermodynamics for post graduate students.

He has received Life Time Achievement Award-2018 for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Applied Geology on the Occasion of International Conference on Emerging Issue in Agriculture, Environmental & Applied Sciences for Sustainable Development at SHUATS, Allahabad. Received Honour from the Education, Science & Technology Minister, Government of Nepal at Central Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal on 11th, Feb.2019 
in recognition to his distinct contribution to Scholarship as a Visiting Professor in the Department. He is currently teaching metamorphic petrology, igneous petrology and mineralogy in the postgraduate and undergraduate students of the Department of Applied Geology Doctor Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya, Sagar. The thrust area of his research interest is the metamorphic and tectonic evolution of the high-grade gneisses and granulite.

Course certificate


40 Marks will be allocated for Internal Assessment (2 Mid term of 20 marks each) and 60 Marks will be allocated for external proctored examination.

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