SubjectsSubjects(version: 901)
Course, academic year 2022/2023
Experimental Petrology - MG440P78
Title: Experimental Petrology
Czech title: Experimentální petrologie
Guaranteed by: Institute of Petrology and Structural Geology (31-440)
Faculty: Faculty of Science
Actual: from 2022
Semester: winter
E-Credits: 3
Examination process: winter s.:oral
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:2/0 Ex [hours/week]
Capacity: unlimited
Min. number of students: 3
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Note: enabled for web enrollment
Guarantor: doc. Alessandro Fabbrizio, Ph.D.
Teacher(s): doc. Alessandro Fabbrizio, Ph.D.
Class: QUICKpress Piston Cylinder Apparatus
Původní předmět
Opinion survey results   Examination dates   Schedule   
Last update: doc. Alessandro Fabbrizio, Ph.D. (07.04.2022)
Target students: master and doctoral level

This course offers a general overview on the most common experimental methods used in petrology to study physical and thermodynamic properties and phase equilibria of solid, liquid and gaseous phases at magmatic and metamorphic conditions. Several pressure/temperature devices are presented and discussed together with the basic principles for making starting materials and the evaluation of run products.

The course will provide the fundaments of experimental petrology. The main goals are the acquisition of basic knowledge about experimental facilities and the design and setup of an experimental study targeted to obtain quantitative data on phase relations, thermodynamic, kinetic and rheological properties of geological samples as well as the examination, analysis and evaluation of run products. At the end of the course, students should be able to design appropriate experimental plans and to evaluate experimental data independently.

The course material can be found at the following link:
Last update: doc. Alessandro Fabbrizio, Ph.D. (04.04.2022)

Currently, there is no comprehensive book available that summarizes the most important aspects of experimental petrology; publications relating to individual subjects are referred during the lectures. The material related to all lectures can be found at the following link:

Requirements to the exam
Last update: doc. Alessandro Fabbrizio, Ph.D. (04.04.2022)

The examination consists in an oral discussion about an experimental plan elaborated by the student, of the related subjects covered during the course, and in the interpretation and evaluation of experimental data and run products.

Instructions for the developmnet of the experimental plan. The themes are assigned to the students during the first lecture. Your experimental plan will be discussed at the exam. The experimental plan should include and discuss the following points: a) choice of the system (natural or synthetic) and of its chemistry; b) procedure for the preparation of the starting material; c) choice of the more appropriate sample container; d) determine the chemical and physical parameters at which the experiments will be performed (e.g. pressure, temperature, oxygen fugacity, water content, time, cooling rate, etc.); e) determine the number of runs you need to reach the target(s) of your study; f) choice of the experimental facility(ies) suitable for the investigation; g) expected results (e.g. texture and chemistry of the synthetic run products, proof(s) for equilibrium); h) discuss the potential problems and pitfalls you could encounter during the investigation; i) preparation of the experimental samples for analytical investigation; l) choice of the analytical tool(s) for studying the run products; m) application of the experimental results to a real geologic situation/environment (e.g. pressure/temperature conditions of magma storage; cooling rate of a lava flow; comparison with natural rock textures; chemical/textural evolution of crystals in a magma body). 

The various points of the experimental plans and all your choices should be supported by the relevant scientific literature.

Last update: doc. Alessandro Fabbrizio, Ph.D. (09.06.2021)

The course 'Experimental petrology' covers the following subjects:


- Introduction and historical summary of experimental petrology

- Kinetics of phase change and its experimental research

- Methods of preparation of natural and synthetic starting materials

- Choice of the appropriate sample container

- Experimental buffering techniques (phase rule, buffering of partial pressures of gases and supercritical fluids, buffering of mixed volatile phases at elevated pressures, buffering of activities and solid-solid solutions in solid phases)

- Experimental methods at ambient pressure (1 bar)

- Experimental methods at moderate pressures: cold seal pressure vessel (CSPV)

- High-pressure solid-media experimental techniques (piston cylinders)

- Evaluation of petrologic experiments (preparation of run products, analytical and spectroscopic methods of examination and quantification)

- Cases study: discussion of selected experimental studies

Entry requirements
Last update: doc. Alessandro Fabbrizio, Ph.D. (24.05.2021)
This course addresses to a public (2 nd year master and PhD students as well as Erasmus students) that is interested in an introduction to experimental research in petrology, but does not require basic knowledge in experimental methods. However, basic knowledge in petrology and physical chemistry (thermodynamics) is necessary to follow the course. It is strongly recommended that before enrolling in this course the student has successfully followed the Geological Thermodynamics course.
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