05-MCM-3-W5M Petrology and Isotope Geochemistry

Representatives: Wolfgang Bach, Simone Kasemann


Principles of isotopes as tracers for the origin and fate of materials with specific emphasis on ore deposit formation. Recognizing mineral assemblages in hand specimen and by reflected light microscopy of polished sections. Conducting thermodynamic calculations in order to assess the origin and state of earth materials.

Learning Outcome

The students will be able to use modern concepts of petrology and geochemistry in assessing the formation of raw materials and phase stability as a function of pressure, temperature, and system composition. Specifically, they will gain skills in:
– understanding the process of isotopic analysis and the principles of using isotope ratios as tracer.
– applying principles of geochemistry and petrology in assessing ore forming processes
– retrieving thermodynamic data from heat capacity measurements by calorimetry
– constructing phase diagrams from equilibrium constants
– using phase equilibria calculations in assessing phase relations in varied materials
– applying computer codes such as EQ3/6 and PerPLeX to problems in earth sciences


Fundamental knowledge of thermodynamics and analytical techniques.


180 hours / 6 CP
Mineral Deposits and Isotope Geochemistry:
• 42 h for lectures and excercises
• 18 h for preparation and post processing
• 30 h for preparation of exams

Phase Equilibria – Principles, Applications and Computations:
• 28 h for lectures and excercises
• 32 h for preparation and post processing
• 30 h for preparation of presentation and talk


module exam (combined marks):

presentation50 %
presentation50 %


• Anderson, G.: Thermodynamics of Natural Systems, Cambridge University Press (2006)
• Potts, P.J.: A Handbook of Silicate Rock Analysis, Blackie&Son, Glasgow (1992) AAS, ICP-OES, XRF, EDX, Microprobe, ICP-MS, u.a.
• Perry, D.L.: Instrumental Surface Analysis of Geological Materials, VCH-Verlag (1990)
• Robb, L.: Introduction to Ore-Forming Processes. - BlackwellScientific Publications, London (2005)
• Evans, A.M.: Ore geology and industrial minerals. - Blackwell Scientific Publications, London (1993)
• Faure, G.: Principles of Isotope Geology, John Wiley (1986)