Petrology

The Museum's petrology collections are made up of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks numbering over 100,000 specimens in total.

The Accession Series comprises various suites of rocks collected for research purposes. A 'suite' of rocks is defined as material collected in the same region, at the same time, and often to answer a series of specific research questions.

The Museum hosts the petrology collections of Keith Cox and Lawrence Wager, including Wager’s Greenland (Skaergaard) and South African (Bushveld) material.

 

Augen gneiss, a metamorphic rock with white feldspars ‘eyes’, black biotite mica and colourless quartz.

Augen gneiss, a metamorphic rock with white feldspars ‘eyes’, black biotite mica and colourless quartz.

 

 

Metalliferous ores also make up a relatively small part of the collection. The Stanton Ore collection boasts over 250 samples from some of the best known ore deposits around the world (Canada, USA, UK, Papa New Guinea, and Australia). The Museum’s Historic Rock collection contains the historically significant collections of William Buckland and Mary Morland, John MacCulloch and Charles Daubeny, among others.

The Museum's Miscellaneous Rock collection contains excellent examples of various rock types and ores for display, education and public engagement purposes. It is material from this collection that is typically presented in the Museum's displays, including the rock cycle display, which explains how a varied series of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks are linked and recycled during various Earth processes.

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