Geology 2081- Mineralogy

Spring 2021
Lecture (virtual): 10:30 am - 11:50 am T-Th
Lab (in-person):  1:30 - 2:50 pm T-Th E-208 Howe-Russell East Building

Instructor: Dr. Barb Dutrow, Ph.D.
    Office: Virtual Spring 2021
    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;   Rachel Gneiski, M.S. Candidate
     Office hours: Virtual for Spring 2021, by appointment,             
     E-mail: lcliff4@                               E-mail: rgnies1@

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. Remember, for each hour in class, 2-3 hours of time outside of the classroom is expected.

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

Mineralogy - An Earth System's Approach

Tentative Lecture and Exam Schedule
The schedule will be adjusted depending on the learning outcomes of the class.
 (last update: 01/28/2021)

Date Topic

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

Quizzes each Thursday

Chapter (Ch)  page numbers
Assignments due one week later
unless otherwise noted.
You must maintain a LABORATORY NOTEBOOK,
3-ring binder with all lab materials

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

You must understand electronic structure
of atoms and ions; and the periodic table;

Homework: Bonding in minerals Due 21 Jan

Review Questions
Ch 3

Ch 3
p. 37 - 53
Lab 3: 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 - the making of minerals 
Paulings Rules - all 5)

Homework due: Bonding

Self-assessment questions
Ch 4  67-85

Lab 4: 2D Symmetry (Exercise 8)

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

Crystal Symmetry:
Internal Structure, order and symmetry

Self-assessment Questions

Ch 7

Ch 7

Lab 7: Translational Symmetry; unit cells
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 8: Causes of Mineral Color 

View more Spectra of Color in Minerals

View Gems
Crystal Growth

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

Mardi Gras Holiday - no class
Think purple, green, gold minerals

Ice Storm, classes cancelled

Systematic Mineralogy

Minerals in Context - core to crust

Review of Earth's Structure 
Meteorites as clues

Self-Assessement Questions
Ch 5:

Ch 15



LAB EXAM I: Crystallography:

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

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

Be on time!

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

Lab 11: Miller Indices, forms, parameters

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

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

Upper Mantle Mineralogy and Structures:

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

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

Identify minerals, determine properties in hand specimen

Learn more about planetary exploration, Mercury, Venus, Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto.
Very cool NASA images:Earth and Planet
Upper Mantle Mineralogy and Structures: (cont)

Inosilicates - pyroxene, amphiboles

Phase diagrams (Ch. 11:245-256)

in minerals

Self-Assessement Questions


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

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 14 : Optical mineralogy of olivine, pyroxene, amphibole
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,

Crystalmaker - inosilicates (homework)

Lab 15: Mantle minerals 2 - questions; review hand specimens

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

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 17: 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


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

Look at thin sections for EMP project
Tectosilicates: Feldspars

Self-Assessment Questions:

   feldspathoids, zeolites 

Self-Assessment Questions

Calculation of mineral formulae; Fsp calculations



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

flipping the lecture - read and come prepared to answer questions
(di- tri octahedral; T-O, T-O-T layers)
Ch 13

Ch 18: 456 - 467
Lab 18: Tectosilicates - optical

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

Lab 19: Phyllosilicates in thin section, and review of tectosilicate;
bring optical handout

Clay minerals; non-quad inosilicates

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,

finish optical of phyllosilicates
March 26 - March 29
Research Experience on the Electron Microprobe
Meet at assigned times to analyze your mineral


1 (no joke)
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

Optical Mineralogy of metamorphic minerals  including phyllosilicates

Bring optical handout
 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 Rewards Challenge - finish optical; hand specimen review
Ore Deposits: Sulfides, native elements
Environmental Mineralogy
Chpt 17 EMP  report to class 
Minerals in your life Chpt 14 LAB FINAL - Comprehensive

30  at 3 - 5pm

Grades due

2008 Field Trip - Houston Museum of Natural Science Mineral and Gem Hall

2007 Field Trip - Gold Exhibit - New Orleans

2006 Field Trip to Avery Island Salt Dome -  Cargille Industries

2005 field trip photos

updated 4/05/2021


     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 and 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 project.
  3. The breakdown of weighting of scores are:

            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.

Class Policies:
            Attendance: Mandatory.
If you are going to be absent, you must notify Prof. Dutrow ahead of time for an excused absence.
            Make up exams:
You must notify Dr. Dutrow ahead of time if you are missing a test.
                Lecture exams will be 5 essay questions; Lab exams will be 10 questions. You may only miss one test and take a makeup.
            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.
For each day late, 5 points will be deducted from your score until the labs are returned. After that date, a zero is assigned.
            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, take advantage of 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.

There are two 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 “the unacknowledged inclusion, in work submitted for credit, of someone else’s words, ideas, or data.” (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 test paper or assignment.

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