Short course description

Over the last decade, petrochronology has emerged as a burgeoning new field in Solid Earth Geosciences. It greatly enhances the impact of isotopic studies by combining geochronology with petrology and geochemistry. The Mineralogical Society of America (MSA) decided to dedicate a volume of its RiMG (Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochronology) Series to Petrochronology. Editors are M.J. Kohn (Boise State, USA), M. Engi and P. Lanari (both University of Bern, Switzerland).

Petrochronology basically uses geochemistry, textures, and thermodynamics or other modeling to integrate ages in a petrogenetic context of individual crystals or crystal domains. Examples in metamorphic systems include the use of crystal domain-specific trace element patterns or thermometers in minerals like zircon, monazite, etc. to link an age to an overall Pressure-Temperature-time evolution. Although primarily founded in metamorphic studies, petrochronology has numerous other applications to igneous and detrital mineral studies. Our goal in the short course is to review petrochronologic methods, both conceptual and analytical, to illustrate how (mostly accessory) minerals may be used to understand igneous and metamorphic processes and the provenance of detrital grains. This workshop will provide an important foundation accessible to high-level undergraduate students, graduate students, and junior professional researchers who are interested in the theory and applications of this blossoming new field.

This 1 1/2 – day short course on Friday, Oct. 20 and the morning of Saturday, Oct. 21 will involve a series of lectures from leaders in the scientific fields of magmatic and metamorphic petrology and geochronology. The current schedule of the short course is (presenter’s name in italics):

Friday, October 20, morning

  • 7:30 Registration
  • 8:20 Petrochronology: A brief introduction (Matthew Kohn, Martin Engi, Pierre Lanari)
  • 8:30 Phase relations and reaction sequences (Chris Yakymchuk, Chris Clark, and Richard White)
  • 9:25 Bulk composition effects on mineral parageneses (Pierre Lanari and Martin Engi)
  • 10:20 Coffee/tea break
  • 10:40 Diffusion (Matt Kohn and Sarah Penniston-Dorland)
  • 11:35 LA-ICP-MS and LA-SS (Andrew Kylander-Clark)

Friday, October 20, afternoon

  • 12:30 Lunch + Possible demonstration of LA-SS-ICP-MS
  • 1:30 Electron microprobe (Mike Williams and Mike Jercinovic)
  • 2:25 TIMS (Blair Schoene and Ethan Baxter)
  • 3:20 Coffee/tea break
  • 3:40 Igneous zircon and baddeleyite (Blair Schoene on behalf of Urs Schaltegger and Josh Davies)
  • 4:35 Detrital zircon – the Hadean (Mark Harrison, Beth Ann Bell, and Patrick Boehnke)

Saturday, October 21, morning

  • 8:00 REE minerals: monazite, allanite, xenotime and apatite (Martin Engi)
  • 8:55 Rutile (Matthijs Smit on behalf of Thomas Zack and Ellen Kooijman)
  • 9:50 Coffee/tea break
  • 10:10 Garnet (Ethan Baxter, Mark Caddick, and Besim Dragovic)
  • 11:05 Titanite (Matt Kohn)
  • 12:00 End of Shortcourse


  • Registration rate

  • Student registration –  $25 *

    Professional registration –  $135 *

    * A printed version of the RiMG volume 83 will be provided to each participant during the short course. The costs for the book are included in the registration fees. 


    Start of registration – 15-Jun-2017 *

    Student grant applications – 1-Aug-2017

    * Please register through the GSA website (Friday-Saturday courses, #508):

    Registration is limited, so participants are encouraged to register at the earliest opportunity.

    Travel grants for students

    Through support from NSF and the Geochemical Society, we will provide for students:

    • Up to $250 to cover hotel costs (maximum of 25 students). No application is necessary: first come, first served.
    • 4 travel grants of $500. Interested students should submit a 1-page (or less) proposal to Matt Kohn at Boise State University (see email link below) explaining financial need, other sources of travel funds, and importance to your research. Please have your advisor attest to your status and funding sources. Please also include a current CV.
    • Travel grant application deadline = August 1.