Courses in Geological Sciences (Division 377)

A. Introductory Courses and Courses for Non-concentrators

G.S. 100-115 are short (half-term) courses. They consist of detailed examinations of restricted geologic topics. The department lists the specific courses from this series in the Time Schedule for the terms they are offered (fall and winter terms only). Each course, when offered, meets twice weekly for half of the term (first half or second half), and the specific dates for each course are printed in the Time Schedule. These courses are designed primarily for students with no prior geologic training and they are open to all interested persons. G.S. 100-115 are offered on the graded pattern (optional pass/fail).

101. Waves and Beaches. (1). (NS).

This short course approaches the subject of "waves and beaches" by combining relevant topics in both oceanography and geology, although no previous background in these subjects is required. We shall attempt to understand this dynamic place where land and sea interact by emphasizing the PROCESSES responsible for the major types of coastlines and the geologic/oceanographic phenomena associated with them. Some of the topics which will be considered include: fundamentals of wave and tide theory; the impact of waves and tides upon beaches; coastal geology; coastal processes on a short- and long-term time scale; estuaries; and, the impact of plate tectonics upon coasts. Instruction will be by lecture. Grades will be based on one exam which shall be given at the end of the course. [Cost:2] [WL:4] (Wilkinson)

103. Dinosaurs and Other Failures. (1). (NS).

This course will provide an introduction to our current understanding of dinosaurs and certain other reptilian groups of the Mesozoic Era. It is intended for students with an interest in geology, paleontology, or evolution, but does not require prior training in these fields. The course will deal with broad features of the evolutionary history of dinosaurs, methods of reconstructing dinosaur behavior and ecology, new developments in our interpretation of the biology of dinosaurs, and possible causes for the extinction of dinosaurs. There will be two lectures each week and a single exam at the end of the course. [Cost:1] [WL:3 or 4] (Cox)

104. Ice Ages, Past and Future. (1). (NS).

This course looks at the effects of present and past glaciations on the landscape and on life, humans in particular. Glaciers are examined as dynamic, climatically controlled systems of moving ice. Climatic and environmental changes concurrent with glaciation, in both continental and oceanic realms, are reviewed. The causes of the ice ages that have dominated the Earth for the past two million years and predictions of future ice ages are examined in the light of current geological and climatic research. The course consists of lectures, one hour exam, and one final exam. [Cost:1] [WL:4] (Farrand)

107. Volcanoes and Earthquakes. (1). (NS).

The course is a study of the earth in action and includes the following topics: geography of earthquakes and volcanoes; catastrophic events in historic times; size and frequency of occurrence of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions; the products of volcanism; volcanic rocks; volcanic activity through geologic time; volcanic exhalations and the evolution of the earth's atmosphere and oceans; relationship of earthquakes and volcanoes to plate tectonics and the internal dynamics of the earth; volcanism and geothermal energy; manmade earthquakes; and earthquake prediction and control. Instruction by lecture, evaluation on basis of final exam. (Pollack)

108. Minerals in the Modern World. (1). (NS).

Our society uses large quantities of metals for industrial, scientific, and recreational pursuits. Many people, however, are unaware of how these materials become available, or how small the supply of some metals may be. This course concerns the geologic, economic, and political aspects of metallic industrial and strategic minerals. Emphasis will be placed on the types of ore deposits in which these minerals occur, and the geologic processes responsible for forming the deposits. The geographic distribution and estimated remaining reserves of important metals will be reviewed, as well as economic and political constraints on methods of mining and distribution. The capacity of the U.S. for self-sufficiency with regard to strategic metals, such as chromium, manganese, and cobalt, will also be discussed. Material will be presented in a lecture format. A course pack (strongly recommended) is available from Dollar Bill Copying. Grading will be determined solely by a final exam. [Cost:1] [WL:4] (Jones)

109. Natural and Unnatural Pollutants in Oceans, Lakes, and Rivers. (1). (NS).

Presence of liquid water, and its interaction with rocks and biota, makes planet earth unique. Industrial and agricultural activities are releasing compounds into the environment. Many of these compounds, although present in low levels in unpolluted natural waters, are being added in what may be hazardous amounts by human activities. To place the effects of pollution into clearer perspective, this course will introduce the student to operation of the hydrologic cycle and to factors controlling rates of chemical exchange among surface waters (oceans, rivers, lakes) and rocks and biological systems. Operation of these exchange cycles over geologic time, as well as important shorter-term human lifetime scales will be discussed. No prerequisites. Two hours of lecture per week. Student performance will be gauged by occasional homework assignments on current topics and a final examination. [Cost:2] [WL:4] (Walter)

113. Planets and Moons. (1). (NS).

"Planets and Moons" is a survey of the geology of the "solid" bodies of the solar system as revealed by both the manned exploration of our own moon and unmanned, "robotic," exploration of the inner planets and moons of the outer planets. The course will not only provide qualitative description of planetary surfaces as revealed by photographic reconnaissance, but will also provide physical explanations of what we see in terms of external cratering processing and internal dynamic processes. Exploration of the planets reveals that impact cratering is the single most pervasive process in the solar system. Particular emphasis will be placed on why the various bodies have such different morphologies, especially why they are so different from the Earth. Nevertheless, planetary exploration does provide the framework to understand our own Earth better, especially the first billion years of terrestrial evolution. Instruction by lecture; evaluation by means of final exam. [Cost:2] (Gurnis)

115. Geologic Time. (1). (NS).

Until the middle of the 18th century the Earth was generally thought to be less than 10,000 years old, and according to many, close to its apocolyptic end. We now know that the Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago and that the entire history of mankind is nothing but the latest tiny fraction of Earth history. This course will explain how rocks form, what makes continents move, why volcanoes erupt, the causes of earthquakes, and the way to build mountains. It will also discuss attempts to date the Earth and measure geological time, from the questions raised by the great thinkers of the Renaissance to the latest high tech developments in radioactive dating. Finally, it will describe the history of planet Earth including its accretion out of dust and giant impacts, the origin of the Moon, the formation of the atmosphere and oceans, the development of life and the building of continents. The course will be scientifically rigorous but at the same time will draw upon examples meaningful to the student to illustrate the principles. Lectures twice weekly for half the term. Course pack provides most of the diagrams. A final one hour examination. [Cost:1] [WL:3] (Halliday)

117. Introduction to Geology. Credit is not granted for G.S. 117 to those with credit for an introductory course in geology. (5). (NS).

A basic single-term course in introductory geology concentrating on the Evolution of the Earth in physical and chemical terms with particular reference to modern plate tectonic theory. Reference to the interaction of the external biosphere-atmosphere-hydrosphere with the Earth's interior is an essential component of the course. The laboratory provides a practical study of minerals, rocks and geologic maps. One hour each week is scheduled for review and discussion of topics covered in class. Lectures, laboratory and discussion. [Cost:2] [WL:2 or 3] (Kesler)

119. Introductory Geology Lectures. Credit is not granted for G.S. 119 to those with credit for an introductory course in geology. (4). (NS).

This course consists of lectures shared with Geology 117 but does not include the laboratory section. A separate discussion section is also scheduled to insure continuity with class material and student-teacher contact. Students interested in ONE-TERM LABORATORY introductory science course should elect Geology 117. Lectures and discussion. [Cost:2] [WL:2 or 3] (Kesler)

201/Geography 201. Introductory Geography: Water, Climate, and Man. (4). (NS).

This course is a basic introduction to the field of physical geography and emphasizes various topics including maps, seasons, time, the atmosphere, radiation and heat balance, circulation, moisture and precipitation, air masses (fronts), and water supply. Students also study ground and surface water, climate classification, hot climates, transitional climates, cold climates, permafrost and changes in climate (glaciers). Students in this lecture-laboratory course are evaluated by midterm and final examinations with satisfactory completion of the laboratory work a prerequisite to this final course evaluation. The text is Strahler, INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY while the laboratory workbook is Strahler, EXERCISES IN PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. (Outcalt)

222. Introductory Oceanography. No credit granted to those with credit for AOSS 203. (3). (NS).

This course introduces students to the scientific study of the oceans. Contents include the shape, structure, and origin of the ocean basins; the sedimentary record of oceanic life and conditions in the past; the composition of seawater and its influence on life and climate; waves and currents; the life of the oceans and how it depends upon the marine environment; the resources of the ocean and their wise use by society. The course format consists of lectures and readings from an assigned textbook. The course grade will be based on several hour exams. [Cost:2] [WL:1] (Meyers)

223. Introductory Oceanography, Laboratory. Concurrent enrollment in G.S. 222. (1). (NS).

This course is an optional laboratory intended to provide students with opportunities to explore further marine topics presented in the G.S. 222 lectures. Laboratory sessions will include sampling procedures, use of equipment, discussions, and demonstrations of how data are generated. The course grade will be based on written laboratory exercises and a final exam. [Cost:2] [WL:1] (Meyers)

280. Mineral Resources, Politics, and the Environment. May not be included in a concentration plan in geology. (3). (NS).

Fluctuating costs of oil and gold have focused the world's attention on mineral resources and resource-related environmental problems. We are now more aware that our high standard of living depends critically on adequate supplies of energy, metals, fertilizers, construction materials and water, most of which come from a finite supply of mineral deposits that appears to be dwindling rapidly. In the face of these developments, newscasters, politicians and the rest of us have had to form opinions on an apparent mineral resource crisis with little or no information on the topic. It is the purpose of Geology 280 to provide the information necessary to contribute to the solution of mineral resource-related problems in a complex society. This course discusses the origin, distribution and remaining supplies of mineral resources such as oil, coal, uranium, iron, copper, gold, diamonds, potash, sulfur, gravel and water. These and other important mineral resources are reviewed in terms of the economic, engineering, political and environmental factors that govern their recovery, processing and use. Among topics considered are the origin of oil, mineral exploration methods, strip mining, recycling, smelting methods, transport of oil, money and gold, nuclear waste disposal, and taxation vs. corporate profits. The course meets for three lectures per week. Student evaluation is by means of quizzes, exercises, and a final exam. One text is suggested for the course, and additional reading is recommended. No previous background in geology or related sciences is necessary for this course. This course cannot be used as part of a concentration plan in Geological Sciences. [Cost:2] [WL:3 or 4] (Kesler)

B. Primarily for Concentrators

231. Elements of Mineralogy. Prior or concurrent enrollment in the first term of elementary inorganic chemistry. (4). (Excl).

This course is a comprehensive introduction to the nature, properties, structures, and modes of occurrence of minerals. The first three-fourths of the course (three lectures per week) considers the general features of minerals and includes topics such as introductory crystallography, crystal chemistry, and introductory phase equilibria. During the last portion of the course, the principal rock-forming minerals such as feldspars, proxenes, and olivines are individually reviewed with respect to properties, structures, genesis, and other characteristics. The laboratory (one three-hour laboratory each week) is divided into three sections: (1) three weeks of morphological crystallography plus x-ray diffraction, (2) six weeks of systematic mineralogy during which students become familiar with the properties and associations of approximately seventy-five significant minerals, and (3) four weeks of introduction to the use of the polarizing microscope as applied to both crushed mineral fragments and rock thin sections. There is one required field trip. Optical mineralogy is covered in a separate recitation. Geology 231 is a PREREQUISITE TO THE PROFESSIONAL CONCENTRATION PROGRAM in the Dept of Geological Sciences. [Cost:2] [WL:3] (Peacor)

305. Sedimentary Geology. An introductory geological sciences laboratory course; or permission of the instructor. (4). (Excl).

Geological Sciences 305 is one of several geology core courses, required of all concentrators. The rigorous course format consists of three lectures and one scheduled two-hour laboratory session each week, in addition to 4-6 hours of evening laboratory work each week that can be carried out individually at the student's own pace. In addition, four one-day field trips are required, and are scheduled from September to November during the Fall Term. The laboratory portion of the course material consists of in-depth familiarization with terrigenous clastic and non-clastic rocks, both in hand-sample and in thin-section, their fabrics, compositions, and classifications. The lecture portion of the course deals with the principles and processes of sedimentation, a survey of modern sedimentary environments, diagenesis of sedimentary rocks, and the general tectono-sedimentological evolution of the phanerozoic North American continent. Evaluation of students is based on three lecture exams, a final exam, laboratory quizzes and assignments, and field trip projects. Sedimentary Geology is intended only for the serious student of the earth sciences. [Cost:3] [WL:3] (Wilkinson)

418. Paleontology. G.S. 117 (or the equivalent), or Biol. 105 or 114. (3). (Excl).

This course is an introduction to the principles, methods of analysis, and major controversies within paleontology. It will familiarize the student with the fossil record (primarily, but not exclusively, of invertebrates) and its use in dealing with problems in evolutionary biology, paleoecology, and general earth history. Three lectures weekly; midterm, final examination, and term paper. Required text: Raup and Stanley, PRINCIPLES OF PALEONTOLOGY (2nd edition). [Cost:2] [WL:4] (Fisher)

419. Paleontology Laboratory. Prior or concurrent enrollment in G.S. 418. (1). (Excl).

This course is an introductory laboratory in paleontology. It will involve observation, analysis, and interpretation of fossil specimens (primarily invertebrates) and relevant material of living organisms. Its goal is to give the student experience in dealing with paleontological problems and to develop a familiarity with the systematics and morphology of important groups of fossil organisms. Students should be registered concurrently or previously in GS 418. One three-hour lab weekly; lab exercises, midterm, and final examination. [Cost:2] [WL:4] (Fisher)

430. Carbonate Sedimentology. G.S. 305 and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

(Note: CARBONATE SEDIMENTOLOGY is in the processed of being renamed DEPOSITIONAL ENVIRONMENTS). This is an upper division course dealing with advanced concepts in the deposition of sedimentary rocks. It is intended for seniors and entering graduate students in the geological sciences with some background training in depositional processes, such as a previous course in sedimentary geology or stratigraphy. Course material includes examination of important processes and products of sediment accumulation in the major terrigenous clastic, carbonate, and evaporite depositional systems, including both continental and oceanic settings, where appropriate. Graded evaluation based on results of two (midterm and final) examinations and one term paper, and participation in one two-day field trip. (Wilkinson)

466. Computational Models of Geochemical Processes. Ability to program computers in the BASIC language and introductory course in a natural science. (3). (Excl).

Computational models allow us to test ideas concerning the processes that control the chemical and physical properties of the global environment, to predict possible future changes in these properties, and to reconstruct the history of the evolutionary changes that have led to the world we inhabit. Simple computational models will be developed, concentrating on the composition of atmosphere and ocean. These models will be used to explore controlling processes and the response of the global chemical system to perturbations such as those introduced by human activities as well as those caused in the course of earth history by biological evolution and tectonic activity. Students will develop these computational models themselves, run them on microcomputers to test ideas developed in class, and interpret the results in terms of evidence from the sedimentary rock record to develop new ideas and to design new computational experiments. [Cost:1] [WL:4] (Walker)

479. Marine Geochemistry. Chem. 124 or the equivalent. (3). (Excl).

There are three major questions addressed in this course: (1) What are the geochemical processes which control the composition of the ocean? (2) To what extent do these processes leave their imprint on the composition of marine sediments? and, (3) What are the possibilities, problems and constraints that we face in our attempts to reconstruct the history of the oceans through the analysis of ancient marine sediments. Specific topics covered include the distribution and composition of marine sediments, marine cycles and budgets of major and trace elements, conceptual and quantitative models of ocean composition, thermodynamic and kinetic controls on composition, paleochemistry of seawater, seafloor hydrothermal systems, geochemical tracers, and current research topics of interest. There is no required text; class readings are selected from the current literature. The course is presented in a lecture format, although extensive discussion of each topic is encouraged. Final course grades are determined on the basis of two written examinations, a term paper, and class participation. [Cost:1] [WL:3] (Owen)


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