FREE
Lyubov Krasnoshchekova and Lyudmila Ananieva

Myths and Facts About Rocks

  • MOOC
  • English
  • Interdisciplinary

About this course

The course embraces the following aspects:

  • understanding the key geological concepts, including crystal, mineral and rock;
  • applying basic methods to determine the properties of minerals and structure and texture of rocks;
  • identifying the composition, formation conditions, characteristic features of naturally-occurring and urban environment stone material and to determine its practical significance;
  • identifying rocks and minerals so as to understand their specific application in such areas as building construction, civil engineering, as well as distinguishing ornamental stones or gemstones in the collections;
  • obtaining theoretical background to further one's ability to observe and determine the practical value of rocks.

In general, this course provides an overview of some aspects of our world from a geological point of view.

Who should participate in this course?

Everyone is welcome to join us and discover the rock and mineral environment the surrounds us. Particular groups that would be interested in the course topic include:

  • Students interested in the world environment - minerals and rocks
  • Future applicants in geological specialty
  • Undergraduates studying the Earth's crust, including geology, mineralogy and petrology
  • Technical specialists and engineers in the field of geological engineering survey
  • Naturalists interested in the surrounding world and its rock components

What do I need to know?

No specific skills or prior knowledge, only self-interest, motivation and desire for self-development.

What will I learn?

The aim of the course is to understand and appreciate the surrounding inanimate nature (the Earth surface), consisting of minerals and rocks. This course will also teach you how to identify the practical importance and value of the rocks surrounding you.
By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • distinguish crystals, minerals and rocks;
  • identify the most common minerals and rocks;
  • know their practical value and their influence on the environment.

Course Structure

Chapter 1: Crystallography and symmetry around us. Morphology of natural geological formations.

Instructor: Associate Prof. Lyudmila Ananieva

  1. Historical development of geoscience
  2. Mineralization and mineral chemical composition
  3. Crystal structure and habit
  4. Crystal morphology
  5. Aggregate morphology

Apply basic and specialised knowledge related to the structure and evolution of matter in nature; dependency of shape to internal structure and composition of natural objects (minerals, crystals, rocks)

Chapter 2: Physical properties of minerals

Instructor: Associate Prof. Lyudmila Ananieva

  1. Optical properties of minerals: color and streak
  2. Optical properties of minerals: transparency and lustre
  3. Mechanical properties of minerals: cleavage, jointing, fracture, hardness
  4. Specific properties of minerals
  5. Useful physical properties for identifying a mineral

Apply simple methods in identifying the properties of minerals

Chapter 3: Mineral Classification

Instructor: Director of the TPU Mineralogical Museum Tatyana Martynova

  1. Rock-forming minerals - salic (light in color) - very broad category
  2. Rock-forming minerals - femic (dark in color) - very broad category
  3. Mineral salts
  4. Rare minerals

Know and identify the most common minerals

Chapter 4: Ores. Gems and ornamental stones

Instructor: Director of the TPU Mineralogical Museum Tatyana Martynova

  1. Noble metals
  2. Ferrous metals
  3. Non-Ferrous metals
  4. Other metals
  5. Gemstones
  6. Ornamental stones

Know and identify ore minerals and distinguish ornamental stones and gems

Chapter 5: Igneous rocks

Instructor: Associate Prof. Lyubov Krasnoshchekova

  1. Formation conditions of igneous rocks ( magma and lava-definitions, igneous crystallisation)
  2. Morphology and settings of igneous rocks
  3. Composition, structure and texture of igneous rocks
  4. Common volcanic (extrusive) rocks
  5. Common plutonic (intrusive) rocks

Identify and determine the most common igneous (extrusive and intrusive) rocks among other rocks

Chapter 6: Sedimentary rocks

Instructor: Associate Prof. Lyubov Krasnoshchekova

  1. Composition, structure and texture of sedimentary rocks
  2. Formation conditions of sedimentary rocks
  3. Clastic rocks (pebbles, gravel, sand)
  4. Chemical and biochemical rocks (chalk, coquina, gypsum, salt)

Identify and recognise the most common sedimentary rocks among other rocks.

Chapter 7: Metamorphic rocks

Instructor: Associate Prof. Lyubov Krasnoshchekova

  1. Formation conditions (genesis) of metamorphic rocks: Types of metamorphism
  2. Composition, structure and texture of metamorphic rocks
  3. Common metamorphic rocks (slate, gneiss, marble) and their application
  4. Cyclic processes of naturally occurring substances

Identify and recognise metamorphic rocks; determine their transformation conditions