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Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)


Basic knowledge to correctly place minerals, rocks, and chemical processes of the geosphere (including interactions with biosphere) in the natural and environmental context.
Knowledge: basic knowledge of minerals and rocks as chemical constituents of solid Earth, and as the substrate for the biosphere; classification, basic symmetry properties, principles of crystal chemistry, main macroscopic properties and practical diagnostic tests; basic principles of the magmatic and metamorphic processes, and rock classification criteria; basic knowledge of element abundance and distribution in the geochemical spheres; knowledge of factors controlling the geochemical behaviour of elements.
Abilities. To correctly place minerals and rocks in the context of natural environments. Identification of symmetry operators in crystal. Use of simple diagnostic tests for minerals and rocks. Classification of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Understanding interaction processes among geochemical spheres.
Behaviours. Attitude for environmental sustainable development themes (with sepcial reference to environmental compatibility of mineral resource exploitation). Attitude to qualitative and quantitative description of natural systems. Multidisciplinary approach to the study of natural systems, and awareness of limitations on the use of various methods.


Knowledge of the basic principles of chemistry (periodic table, acid-base and redox reactions, chemical equilibrium, nature of the chemical bond) is mandatory. The final test of this course can be undertaken only after that of General and inorganic chemistry


1. Mineralogy with elements of geochemistry - 7 CFU (48 hrs lecture, 12 hrs lab) - Instructor: G. B. De Giudici
Geochemical classification and crustal abundance of elements
Symmetry operators; classes and systems; translation symmetry, elementary cells
Principles of crystal chemistry: chemical bond in crystals; ionic crystals: Pauling’s rules; structure of silicates; isomorphic substitution; polymorphism.
Systematic mineralogy: general introduction; main properties of the main mineral species
Chemical alteration of rocks: congruent and incongruent dissolution, solvation, silicate hydrolysis, hydration/dehydration processes, redox reactions, carbonation
Chemical composition of atmopshere. Atmosphere pollutants.
Water chemistry: geochemical classification of natural waters
Soils –mineralogical and chemical composition
Laboratory: mineral diagnostic (macroscopic tests); identification of symmetry operators in crystal models; field excursion.

2. Petrography - 6 CFU (40 hrs lecture, 12 hrs lab) - Instructor: G. Cruciani
Minerals, rocks and petrogenetic processes. Genesis, properties, and mineralogical composition of rocks. The rock cycle.
General properties of magmas. Igneous rock settings. Chemical composition of igneous rocks. Nomenclature and classification of igneous rocks. Magmatic crystallization. Bowen’s series. Magma evolution and volcanic rock series.
The metamorphic process. Types of metamorphism. Metamorphic rock settings. Nomenclature and classification of metamorphic rocks. Index minerals, metamorphic zones and metamorphic facies. Introduction to geochronology.
Laboratory: macroscopic diagnosis of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Rocks under the microscope. Field excursion.

Teaching Methods

Lectures and practical exercises supervised by the teacher or by tutors. Field excursions.
Teaching media: Powerpoint presentations, blackboard and chalk, photocopies; mineral and rock samples, crystal models, polarizing microscopes. In the case of pandemic emergency COVID-19, lectures could be given also via web streaming. For the same reason, indoor and outdoor practicals could be set on online/streaming platforms.

Verification of learning

Written test (six open questions; may include: 1. description/discussion of a mineral sample or a crystal model; 2. rock classification based on modal/chemical composition; 3. discussion of crystallization/melting processes in simple binary systems).
Elements that concur to the final grade: method quality and extent of the answer; presence of wrong or incorrect statements; quality of writing (organization and adequate language, with special reference to the use of technical terms). The final score also takes into account the motivate participation of students to lectures and other teaching activities. The minimum score (18/30) is given to students with basic knowledge of Mineralogy and Petrography principles. The maximum score (30/30 cum laude) is attributed to students with top-level knowledge and excellent exposure capabilities.


Modulo Mineralogia (con elementi di Geochimica).
Dispense Prof. Corsini;
G. Tanelli – Conoscere i minerali;
C. Klein – Mineralogia (trad. italiana, Ed. Zanichelli)
Dongarrà G., Varrica D. Geochimica e ambiente, EdiSES, Napoli, 2004.
Longinelli A., Deganello S. Introduzione alla Geochimica, Utet, Torino, 1999

Modulo Petrografia.
Le rocce ed i loro costituenti. L.Morbidelli, Bardi Editore, Roma (main book)
Mineralogia e Petrografia. Klein C., Philpotts A.R., Zanichelli.
Elementi di Petrologia. A.P. Santo e A. Peccerillo. Pàtron Editore, Bologna.

Slides from the teachers

More Information

Textbooks, photocopies, Powerpoint presentations, and a small collection of mineral samples and crystal models are available in Classroom 16 or from the teacher. The teachers meet the students at any working time, by appointment.
The University of Cagliari provides support for students with specific learning disability (SLD). More information can be found at:

Questionnaire and social

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