EARTH311-19A (HAM)


15 Points

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Division of Health Engineering Computing & Science
School of Science


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Lab Technician(s)



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Paper Description

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(a)This paper involves a study of pyroclastic rocks, physical volcanology, volcanic hazards, the origin of magmas, crystallisation of rock-forming minerals and phase equilibria, petrology and trace element geochemistry of volcanic rocks, and geothermal and mineral resources.

(b)This paper will involve: formal lectures; laboratories where there will be opportunities for individual tuition and group discussion, and where analytical interpretative skills will be developed; and a weekend field trip to active NZ volcanoes.

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Paper Structure

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Students should attend two formal one-hour lectures, and one two-hour laboratory class per week.

Students will be required to attend one weekend field trip, and to complete related exercises and field and lab-based reports.

The programme of lectures and laboratories are provided in a timetable available on Moodle.

Students will be required to use basic functions of Microsoft Excel® during the course, including organizing data, making graphs and basic mathematical calculations. Training courses in Microsoft Excel are available via the University of Waikato library, with more information on the following website:

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Discuss the range of physical volcanological properties, processes and hazards including magma properties, eruption mechanisms and styles, lava flows, eruption plumes, pyroclastic density currents, and volcano-sedimentary processes
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Discuss the range of magmatic processes associated with magmas of different compositions and the geochemical techniques used to understand such processes
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  • Describe, quantify and interpret the physical characteristics of lava flows and pyroclastic deposits associated with selected volcanoes
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Characterise the petrography and geochemistry of a range of volcanic rocks and interpret their petrogenesis
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  • Discuss the different types and origins of magma and associated eruptive products in active volcanic regions in New Zealand
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Students must purchase the laboratory guide which contains practical worksheets from Waikato Print Shop. Assessed field and laboratory-based exercises will incorporate (I) a laboratory exercise on lava flows of the Tongariro Volcanic Centre; (II) a report on the pyroclastic deposits observed around Taupo on the field trip and analysed in laboratory classes; and (III) a microscope petrography and geochemistry report on TVZ rocks. Instructions on the structure and presentation of each exercise will be included in the laboratory guide and on Moodle. Additional field and lab-based resources will be posted on Moodle. Theoretical aspects of the paper will be assessed through weekly online Moodle quizzes and the final exam.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 50:50. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 50% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 50:50 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 50% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Weekly online quizzes x 10
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Tongariro lavas exercise
6 Mar 2019
1:00 PM
  • Hand-in: In Lab
3. Taupo field-lab report
12 Apr 2019
4:30 PM
  • Hand-in: Faculty Information (FG Link)
4. Petrography-geochemistry report
31 May 2019
No set time
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Exam
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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EARTH311-19A Laboratory Guide, available from Waikato Print Shop. Additional notes covering lectures, laboratories, and the field trip will be available to all enrolled students on the MOODLE University Web site
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Recommended Readings

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P. Francis, Oppenheimer, C., 2004. Volcanoes. Oxford.

E.A. Parfitt, L. Wilson 2008: Fundamentals of Physical Volcanology. Blackwell Publishing.

J.D. Winter 2009: Principles of Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology. Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

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Online Support

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Online support will be provided via Moodle, which is accessible to all students who are enrolled in the paper. PLEASE NOTE: Moodle will be used for class notices etc. and it is your responsibility to check the site regularly. Instructions provided on Moodle and in lectures are considered to be given to the class as a whole

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There are two lectures, and one two-hour practical session each week; and a two-day field trip. Most students should be able to complete data collection and analyses for the laboratory exercise during class time, however some of the assessed pieces associated with these exercises will need to be written up in the students’ own time. Students will need to complete the online Moodle quizzes in their own time. A 300-level 15 point paper in any of the science subjects offered by the University of Waikato typically involves less than 60 hours of supervised study and it is assumed that up to 90 hours will be spent in private study by an ‘average’ student.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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This paper may be used as a prerequisite for EARTH501

Linkages to other papers: EARTH211, EARTH504, EARTH505, EARTH506

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Prerequisite papers: ERTH221 or EARTH211. EARTH251 is recommended.




Restricted papers: ERTH321

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