Geology 2081- Mineralogy

Fall 2022 Syllabus - (Pending Hurricanes, Covid, etc.)
Lecture: 10:30 am - 11:50 am T-Th E207 Howe-Russell East Building
Lab:  1:30 - 2:50 pm T-Th E-208 Howe-Russell East Building

Instructor: Dr. Barb Dutrow, Ph.D.
    Office: 203 Howe-Russell Bldg
    Office hours: By appointment or e-mail
    Home Page:
    E-mail: dutrow@   (e-mail will be answered within 2 business days from 9am - 5pm M-F)
                    all emails end with

TAs:  Larry Tuttle, Ph.D. Candidate             Michael Barnard - M.S. Candidate
          Office 219 Old Howe Russell              Office: 201 Old Howe Russell
          Office hours  M, T 3:30-4:30 PM        Office hours  W, F 9:00-10:00  AM       
          E-mail: lcliff4@                                   E-mail: mbarna5@

Required Materials for class
Required: Manual of Mineral Sciences, 23ed  (2007)  Klein, C. and Dutrow, B.

Hand lens - Critical tool for mineral identification in hand specimen (Purchase a 10x hand lens - needed for future geology courses)

3-ring binder to organize handouts and lab materials for class   

Contract: Attendance in lecture and lab is required: Policies on grading, cell phone usage (not during class), make-up exams, etc. are given at the end of the syllabus.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of the syllabus. To facilitate learning, weekly quizzes will be given; homework will be assigned.

TENTATIVE – These are still very unusual times with the threat of COVID in the LSU community. The schedule will certainly be adjusted depending on the circumstances as the semester unfolds.

Mineralogy - An Earth System's Approach

It is expected that:
(1)  students have read the chapters prior to class for the background necessary to properly learn the content and apply the concepts addressed.

(2) students recall previously learned material in Geology 1001, 1601, including but not limited to, mineral identification, classification, rock types and occurrences, and the Earth's structure.

(3) As a general policy, for each hour you are in class, you (the student) should plan to spend at least two hours on preparing for the next class and completing homework and laboratory work outside of the classroom

Tentative Lecture and Exam Schedule
The schedule will be adjusted depending on the learning outcomes of the class, on-going Covid issues and potential hurricanes. Please be aware of ongoing health issues, social distancing and masks may be needed to keep a healthy environment for learning pending guidance.
 (last update: 08/16/2022)

Date Topic - Lecture 10:30 - 11:50 T - Th

You will need a 3-ring binder for lecture handouts. Bring to every lecture and lab.

Quizzes weekly

Chapter (Ch)  page numbers
Lab : 1:30 - 2:50pm T - Th
Assignments due one week later
unless otherwise noted.
You must maintain a LABORATORY NOTEBOOK,
3-ring binder with all lab materials

Section I: Making of minerals - crystallography

Introduction - Mineralogy
(Review / reread your Introductory Text material for mineralogy)

Minerals - as materials, their relationship to the study of the Earth, to other fields, and some history of mineralogy.

Minerals in our lives - activity

Self-assessment Questions.
Ch 1

Lab 1. What's in a name? or
In the Scheme of Things!
(How would you organize like minerals?)

Check out weekly Earth happenings on Earthweek. Learn more about careers in geology and geology at LSU.

Learn more about; minerals and gems

Physical Properties of Minerals  - Review

Self-assessment Questions
Ch 2
Lab 2: Physical Properties
Review Rock classification;
(Review Intro Geol material)

Bonding in Crystals

Review electronic structure
of atoms and ions; and the periodic table;

Homework: Bonding in minerals
Due Sept. 6

Review Questions
Ch 3

Ch 3
p. 37 - 53
Lab 3: 2D Symmetry
(Exercise 8)


Crystal Coordination - the making of minerals 
Paulings Rules - all 5)

Homework due: Bonding

Self-assessment questions
Ch 4  67-85

 Lab 4: Introduction to CrystalMaker - viewing minerals in 3-D, determining coordination

How to view crystal structures in 3-D

download a period table and print
Learn more about the periodic table,
here is a periodic table from LANL

Crystal Coordination 
(homework: Exercise 3)

Crystallographic Concepts:
Crystal Symmetry, External form

Self-assessment questions

Gestures for symmetry, 3-D visualization
Ch 6

121-128 optional
Lab 5: 3-D symmetry of blocks

make your block models

Crystal Axes and Systems
(review Intro Geology material also) 

Self-assessment Questions
Ch 6
Lab 6: Determination of 3-D symmetry, non centrosymmetric crystals
Physical Properties of Minerals:  Color

You will need  a mastery of material
on pgs. 38-46; know s,p,d orbitals

Visit CalTech's explanations: Color in Minerals

Self-assessment questions
Chpt 10
Color: 234-240
Lab 7: Causes of Mineral Color 

View more Spectra of Color in Minerals

View Gems

15 Crystal Symmetry:
Internal Structure, order and symmetry

Self-assessment Questions

Ch 7

Ch 7
Lab 8: Translational Symmetry; unit cells
Crystal Growth

Self-assessment Questions
Ch 10
218- 225
Lab 9: Determination of 3-D symmetry, all crystal systems

H-M symbols
(to practice - see previous exam)

in person

Crystallography and Mineral Chemistry
(Review Important Concepts for Test)

Lab 10: 3-D Symmetry

H-M symbols
(all crystal classes)  see pg. 120
(linkage between rotation axes and crystallographic axes)

 Escher patterns - check out this site for patterns  and space group

Systematic Mineralogy

Minerals in Context - core to crust

Review of Earth's Structure 
Meteorites as clues

Self-Assessement Questions
Ch 5:

Ch 15


Lab 11: Miller Indices, forms, parameters

***** Prior to lab: Review Crystal Systems, HM symbols  ******

Lab Reading:
Ch 6: 131-142; forms.  Ch 9

Ch 19 begins mineral descriptions
Chapter 22
Use chapter 22 for remainder of labs for Mineral Identification

Mineralogy of the Earth's Core  

Native Elements: S, Fe, Ni

Mineralogy of the  Earth's Mantle 

Structures of Silicate Minerals
(Refer to handout of minerals)
Note: Ch 18 contains silicate structures
remainder of chpt for details

Learn more about planetary exploration, Mercury, Venus, Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto.
Very cool NASA images:Earth and Planet

LAB EXAM I: Crystallography:

1D, 2D, 3D symmetry; rotational and translational

HM symbols, space groups, color in minerals, physical properties

Be on time!

Upper Mantle Mineralogy and Structures:

Compositional variation in minerals
(Paulings #5), solid solution
Zoning in minerals -
Self-Assessement Questions

review: Compositional variation; Solid solutions - homework on solid solutions
Ch 5

Lab 13: Optical Mineralogy
Introduction to minerals under the microscope

(Ch 13 and handout) -

Homework: Graphical representation of mineral compositions, Plotting on triangular diagrams
graphs 104-108

Diamonds (Polymorphs)
    discussion of polymorphs
   (Hope Diamond)

p 85, 346-350

Lab 16. Calculation of mineral formulae
Read p. 99-104 before Lab

Upper Mantle Mineralogy and Structures: (cont)

Inosilicates - pyroxene, amphiboles

Phase diagrams (Ch. 11:245-256)

in minerals

Self-Assessement Questions


Lab 12:  ID: Native Elements, Mantle Minerals  (inosilicates, oxides, S, garnets)

Identify minerals, determine properties in hand specimen

Mantle minerals 2 - questions; review hand specimens, complete calculations and plotting

Fall Holiday

Enjoy Minerals
Mantle Transition Zone; minerals/ structures:  oxides and spinel structure, other oxides and structures

Lower Mantle minerals/ structures: 
perovksite, garnet structures; post-perovskite

Self-Assessment Questions:

Chtp 13,

Lab 14 : Optical mineralogy of olivine, pyroxene, amphibole

Crystalmaker - inosilicates (homework)

Mineralogy of the Earth's Crust - diversity!

    Quartz (and its polymorphs)

Have a firm foundation of rock types and general classification - handout from class
Chpt 14

Chpt 5

Ch 21. 574-603
Intro material
Lab 16: Tectosilicates - hand specimens
feldspars, quartz, zeolites

(review metamorphic and sedimentary rocks)

Visit Color in Quartz:

Lab: Determining Or, An, Ab contents, review triangular diagrams

EMP tour and overview of analytical techniques
Tectosilicates: Feldspars

Self-Assessment Questions:

Calculation of mineral formulae; Fsp calculations


Lab 18: Tectosilicates - optical

feldspars, quartz in thin section
(review metamorphic and sedimentary rocks)

Look at thin sections for EMP project - Lab 17
feldspathoids, zeolites 

Self-Assessment Questions

- clays

Non-quad inosilicates

Self-Assessment Questions:


Lab 20: Identify Phyllosilicates, non-quad inosilicates  - in hand specimen

mica group, brittle micas, clays,
spodumene, jadeite, aegirine, 
wollastonite, glaucophane,

Oct 26, 28
Research Experience on the Electron Microprobe
Meet at assigned times to analyze your mineral; E147A
Friday, Oct 28
3pm pizza
Please attend Departmental Seminar by Dr. Harold Stowell, "petrochronology"


- clays

flipping the lecture - read and come prepared to answer questions
(di- tri octahedral; T-O, T-O-T layers)

Clay minerals; non-quad inosilicates

Ch 13

Ch 18: 456 - 467


hrough tectosilicates (up to what has been covered in class), including Miller Indices, plotting, etc.



Test covers from Earth's Structure (last Test) through Mantle Minerals  with an overview of the crust and tectosilicates, phyllo sils that we cover.


Lab 19: Phyllosilicates in thin section, and review of tectosilicate;
bring optical handout
finish optical of phyllosilicates
Nesosilicates (other than garnet and olivine)
Al-silicates, topaz, zircon, titanite, staurolite (my favorite), chloritoid

Self-Assessment Questions:
491-501 Lab 21: Neso- Soro- Cyclo- silicates
hand specimen ID; worksheet for learning properties.
Sorosilicates,  Cyclo- silicates
epidote, lawsonite, cordierite, beryl, tourmaline

pseudomorphs, metamict minerals

Self-Assessment Questions:


Lab 22: Calculating mineral formula from your research rock

 Carbonates (sedimentary env) - flipping the lecture
(Things that microbes eat!!!)

Self-Assessment Questions:

Sulfates, Phosphates,
Self-Assessment Questions:
Chpt 17
Lab 23: Carbonates, sulfates,   phosphates
(sedimentary environments)  hand specimens

Lab 24: Oxides, hydroxides, halides hand specimens
(sedimentary environments)  -

Sulfides, native elements (ore minerals)
Halides, Oxides, Hydroxides Chpt 16
(Silicates, carbonates, PO4, OH)
(Silicates thru Halides)
(link to previous exam)
Chpt 14 Optical Mineralogy of metamorphic minerals  including phyllosilicates, nesosilicates, carbonates

Bring optical handout

Give thanks for minerals!
Ore Deposits: Sulfides, native elements
Environmental Mineralogy
Chpt 17 Complete analyses of EMP data!
Rewards Challenge  review

Minerals in your life
LAB FINAL - Comprehensive

7 = Wednesday
5:30 - 7:30 pm
Final EXAM Lecture

Final Grades Due

updated 8/30/2022


     The Earth is a geological system, and mineralogy serves as a foundation for its study. Minerals are the fundamental building blocks of the Earth. This class provides the basis for  your geologic careers. Mineralogy is not only essential to geologists, but to everyone because minerals are also an integral portion of our everyday natural environment. 

    Minerals compose the Earth and form the Earth's substrate in which our food grows; they soften our water, they cleanse hazardous wastes and they provide us with materials that bring our life above subsistence living such as aluminum, steel, and plaster board. Consequently, it is imperative that they be understood and appreciated. Mineralogy is even more important now as we confront the many worldwide environmental crises e.g. where to store high-level hazardous wastes - in geologic repositories, how wastes interact with rocks and minerals, -  where to locate aquifers for vanishing groundwater resources and the 'asbestos' problem.

    Each of us can make a difference when asked to vote on these issues and when discussing these topic with neighbors. In addition, minerals are simply beautiful to observe!

This class has been prepared to provide a foundation for your future geologic endeavor. Mineralogy is amazing and fun!



Grading procedures:

  1. The grades will be based on performance on a combination of lab and homework exercises, three lecture exams, three lab exams, final exams, homework, labs, in class quizzes and attendance.
  2. For group labs, a score will be given to the group; i.e. all members of that group will receive the same score for that exercise.
  3. Lab is an integral part of the class. Students will attend the entire lab period and in 2022 there may not be an opportunity to return to the lab outside of the lab period. Use it wisely and effectively. The TAs are there to assist in learning.
  4. The breakdown of weighting of scores are: (subject to change if warranted).

            Letter grades will be assigned from the final numerical score based on the performance relative to the rest of the class.
            The top 25% of the 10 pt letter grade (A, B, C, D) will get a + grade; the bottom 25% gets a - grade.

    5. Students with disabilities must inform Dr. Dutrow and, if accommodations are necessary, the proper forms must be filed with Disability Service (DS) prior to the exams (see Students with Disabilities statement below). You are responsible for making arrangements for test taking with DS.

    6. Make up exams: You must notify Dr. Dutrow ahead of time if you are missing a test. Any make-up exams need to be taken within a week of the original         exam date. All makeup exams are essay-type questions. Lecture exams will be 5 essay questions; Lab exams will be 10 questions. You may only miss one test and take a makeup.

    7. Any grade appeals of exams 1, 2, 3 must be made to Dr. Dutrow within a week of the exam return date. Any final grade appeals must be done within two weeks of the day that grades are due at the end of the semester.

    8. For each weekday (exclusive of vacation days) in which an assignment is late, 10% will be subtracted from the total score possible on the assignment. For example, if an assignment is two days late and the student received an 80% on the assignment, the score adjusted for late penalty will be 64% (i.e. 80% possible * 0.8) until the exercises are returned. After that date, a zero is assigned.

    9. If there are issues of concern involving other students, the teaching assistants or the instructor, the concerned student should first contact the appropriate authority within the Department (TA, instructor or Chair of the Department, respectively). If the issue is not resolved at the local level the LSU Office of the Dean of Students has a web page on Complaints & Appeals: and LSU Cares page:

Class Policies:
            Attendance: Mandatory.
If you are going to be absent, you must notify Prof. Dutrow ahead of time for an excused absence.

            Makeup quizzes: None will be given.

            Cell Phones: No cell phone use is permitted during class. If you use your cell phone, you will be asked to leave class.
                Class is a concentrated study time, if you are on your phone, you are distracted.
                During lab, you must ask permission to use the cell phone for photography of minerals through the microscope
             Example lecture tests are posted on the web; self-assessment questions are posted for EACH lecture.
These tests and questions provide a study guide.
               You are responsible for all material covered in class and assigned as reading material

            Labs are due at the due date as given in class. If you are going to miss lab, you must notify Prof. Dutrow prior to class time.

This class requires that you learn to speak the language of the discipline, therefore you must memorize a certain amount of fundamental material, comprehend this material to understand conceptual information,  learn to visualize information in 3D, and combine this information to understand how minerals, and the Earth, work.

Here are some helpful hints to make Mineralogy easier and more fun!

  1. Review and Know Introductory Material in Physical Geology and Chemistry
    Class requires that you have a full knowledge of the rocks and minerals section of your Introductory Geology text. Reread that material. You must also have a working knowledge of introductory Chemistry, especially  elements and the periodic table. 
  2. Attend class
    You are required to attend class. Lecture material is derived from sources in addition to the book. To get an excused absence, you need to inform Dr. Dutrow prior to class if you are going to be absent from class and get the notes from a friend.

  3. Lab
    You are required to attend lab and to remain in lab the entire 1.5 hrs each session. During this time, there is always someone available to help and answer questions! Lab assignments reinforce lecture material and aid in comprehension. They should be thoroughly understood.

  4. Syllabus - Read what is listed.
    The syllabus is available on the web. Refer to it for any updates to material and follow the reading assignments.

  5. Tests and Self-assessment Questions
    Old tests are posted on the website so that all of you have access to previous tests. Working through these tests is a terrific study guide and will help you tremendously in the course. They help you know how I test. Self-assessment questions are posted to reinforce important concepts for each lecture.

  6. TAs and Professor
    If you have questions, ask the T.A.s and the Professor. Feel free to make an appointment to see the professor, the TA or come during office hours.

  7. Enjoy the material!
  8. Occasionally there will be a lecture during lab time and lab during lecture. Reading assignments should be completed prior to the class period as they serve as supplemental material. Bring your questions to class.

 Students with disabilities: Louisiana State University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for all persons with disabilities. The syllabus is available in alternate formats upon request. If you are seeking classroom accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you are required to register with the Disability Services (DS). DS is located in 115 Johnston Hall. Phone is 225/ 578-5919. To receive academic accommodations for this class, please obtain the proper DS forms and meet with me at the beginning of the semester.

Code of Student Conduct: Louisiana State University is an interactive community in which students, faculty, and staff together strive to pursue truth, advance learning, and uphold the highest standards of performance in an academic and social environment. It is a community that fosters individual development and the creation of bonds that transcend the time spent within its gates.  To demonstrate my pride in LSU, as a member of its community, I will:

  1. accept responsibility for my actions;
  2. hold myself and others to the highest standards of academic, personal, and social integrity;
  3. practice justice, equality, and compassion in human relations;
  4. respect the dignity of all persons and accept individual differences;
  5. respect the environment and the rights and property of others and the University;
  6. contribute positively to the life of the campus and surrounding community;
  7.  and use my LSU experience to be an active citizen in an international and interdependent world.

The continued success of LSU depends on the faithful commitment by each community member to these, our basic principles.

In accordance with the LSU Faculty Handbook, an instructor may not assign a disciplinary grade, such as an "F" or zero on an assignment, test examination, or course as a sanction for admitted or suspected Academic Misconduct in lieu of referring the Student to SAA under the provisions of this Code. Grades assigned as a result of Academic Misconduct must be in accordance with this Code.

A Student found Responsible for Academic Misconduct may NOT drop the course in which the violation occurred or retake the course pursuant to the University’s grade exclusion policy without written permission of the SAA office. Any Student who drops the course without written permission from SAA will be re-enrolled in the class and then given the appropriate grade post Outcome.” see:

There are three areas that we will be particularly alert for in this class:


(1) Plagiarism is an extremely serious violation of academic integrity. The Code of Student Conduct defines plagiarism as “Lack of appropriate citation, or the unacknowledged inclusion of someone else's words, structure, ideas, or data; failure to identify a source, or the submission of essentially the same work for two assignments without permission of the instructor(s)’; (8.1-C.6)  


Plagiarism can occur in a myriad of forms and media.


Although most commonly associated with writing, all types of scholarly work, including computer code, music, scientific data and analysis, and electronic publications can be plagiarized. The aim of this section is to help students and faculty deal with the complex and important issue of plagiarism on campus.

 (2) Copying - "Copying from another Student's academic work; assisting with Copying by making answers or other completed assignments available, in whole or part, to another Student, whether or not the recipient’s intentions to copy were known to the Student prior to the sharing”;

(3) Misrepresentation – “Misleading an instructor as to the condition under which the work was prepared including, but not limited to, substituting for another Student or permitting another person to substitute for oneself on any academic work”

Alcohol Policy (PS-67 Illegal Use of Drugs and Alcohol Misuse): Louisiana State University is committed to maintaining an environment which supports the research, teaching, and service mission of the University. Although the University respects an employee's right to privacy, the illegal use of drugs or alcohol within the University community interferes with the accomplishment of the University's mission.  Louisiana State Law prohibits the consumption, possession, distribution, possession with intent to distribute, or manufacture of drugs described as controlled dangerous substances in the Louisiana Revised Statutes 40:964; and other statutes define the illegal possession and/or use of alcohol.  As such, the Department has reaffirmed the University policy of alcohol-free and drug-free environment on University property at all times and in areas and at times and locations where an assembly of students and faculty would be viewed as representative of LSU (field trips and field camp property as both represent LSU).

Interesting and Useful Mineralogy Links:

Mineralogical Society of America (MSA)
MSA Links
Mineralogical Association of Canada (MAC)
Mineralogy Database
Geometry games click on "Kali" and load appropriate version
CalTech Mineral Spectroscopy Server
The Mineralogical Record (Magazine)
International Mineralogical Association
AGI Image Bank
Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
Diamonds Website