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).

100. Coral Reefs. (1). (NS).

Coral Reefs will be an in-depth tour of the biological and physical processes active in modern reef systems to provide a detailed understanding of the ecology of the individual organisms and the complex nature of their interactions within the reef community. Evolution of the reef community will be examined, ranging from the crude framework structures formed over one billion years ago by primitive algae to the luxuriant and diversified reefs of the modern-day oceans, to define the evolutionary strategies of reef building organisms. By tracking these evolutionary strategies through geologic time, the implications of man's intervention with the Earth's hydrosphere and atmosphere on the character of future reef communities will be considered. Cost:1 WL:4 (Meyers)

101. Waves and Beaches. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 276. (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:1 (Wilkinson)

103. Dinosaurs and Other Failures. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 273. (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)

105. Continents Adrift. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 205. (1). (NS).

In this one-credit course we will explore the mobility of the continents and oceans in present and past times. The goals of this course are to present the most exciting recent developments in the earth sciences, a unifying concept that explains ocean evolution, mountain building, earthquakes and volcanoes. Conceptual and factual material will be used to explain the principles of plate tectonics and the dynamics of the solid earth. No special background is needed. Evaluation is based on final exams. Cost:1 WL:4 (Stamatakos)

107. Volcanoes and Earthquakes. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 205 or 271. (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. Cost:$0 WL:1 (Lange)

111. Climate and Mankind. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 201 or 275. (1). (NS).

The intent of GS 111 is to give a heightened awareness to students of the nature and fragility of the Earth's climate, and how changes in climate have affected past civilizations and may affect our future. Course topics will include: a description of the climate systems of the Earth, the atmosphere, oceans and polar ice caps; the information we gather to understand the history of those systems; how changes in climate have affected past civilizations, and what may happen to the planet if the predicted "Greenhouse Effect - Global Warming" finally arrives. Cost:1 WL:4 (O'Neil)

114. The Elements. High School math, physics, and chemistry. (1). (NS).

This lecture course introduces the origin, abundance and distribution of the elements in the solar system. It is intended for students with an interest in science. The topics include: a review of the periodic table of the elements; stellar evolution and synthesis of the elements; nuclear properties and their relation to the abundance of the elements and their isotopes; chemical properties and their relation to the distribution of the elements in planets and in different reservoirs of a planet. Prerequisites: high school math, physics and chemistry. Evaluation on the basis of a final exam. Cost:2 (Zhang)

115. Geologic Time. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 135. (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 explains the formation of rocks, continental drift, volcanoes and earthquakes. It will discuss the discovery of time from the Renaissance to the latest high tech developments in radioactive dating. Finally, the history of planet Earth will be described 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 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:3/4 (Mukasa)

117. Introduction to Geology. Credit is not granted for G.S. 117 to those with credit for an introductory course in geology (GS 116, 118, 121, 122, or 218). No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 119. Those with credit for GS 205 may only elect GS 117 for 4 credits. (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:4 (Kesler and Lohmann)

118. Introductory Geology Laboratory. Credit is not granted for Geol. 118 to those with credit for an introductory course in geology (GS 116, 117, 119, 121, 122, or 218). (2). (Excl).

The laboratory provides hands-on experience with minerals, rocks and maps. Participants will learn to identify common minerals and rocks, use topographic and geologic maps, and draw and interpret geologic cross sections. Examples will be drawn from areas of recent glaciation, volcanism and earthquakes to show how these features are depicted in maps. Cost:2 WL:4 (Kesler and Lohmann)

119. Introductory Geology Lectures. Credit is not granted for G.S. 119 to those with credit for an introductory course in geology (GS 116, 118, 121, 122, or 218). No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 117. Those with credit for GS 205 may only elect GS 119 for 3 credits. (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:4 (Kesler and Lohmann)

135. History of the Earth. High school chemistry, physics and mathematics recommended. Those with credit for GS 115 may only elect GS 135 for 2 credits. (3). (NS).

This course provides a broad and fundamental introduction to the Earth and explains the formation of rocks and the major geological features, as well as the changes that have occurred over the 4.5 billion years of Earth history. The course is intended for students considering a Geological Sciences concentration, as well as for students interested in studying Earth sciences as part of their general educational background. Topics include minerals and the formation of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, fossils and the evolution of life, the interior of the Earth, the measurement of time, continental drift, and the effect of the Earth's atmosphere, climate, oceans and rivers on shaping the surface of the Earth. The history of the planet will be followed from Earth's accretion from dust, through the origin of life, the building of the current continents and ocean basins, and the origin of humankind. Lectures three times a week for the full term. Textbook required. Evaluation will be based on three exams. Cost:2 WL:3/4 (Bodenbender)

201/Geography 201. Introductory Geography: Water, Climate, and Mankind. Those with credit for GS 111 may only elect GS 201 for 3 credits. (4). (NS).

This course is a basic introduction to the field of physical geography and emphasizes many topics including maps, seasons, time, the atmosphere, greenhouse gasses, radiation and heat balance, the dangers of global warming, circulation, moisture and precipitation, air masses (fronts), and water supply. Students also study climate classification, and historical changes in global climate. Students in this lecture-lab course are evaluated by midterm and final examinations with satisfactory completion of the lab work a prerequisite to the final course evaluation. Cost:3 WL:3 (Stearns)

204/AOSS 204/Astronomy 204. The Planets: Their Geology and Climates. High school mathematics through plane geometry and trigonometry. Those with credit for GS 113 may only elect GS 204 for 2 credits. (3). (NS).

This course will present current perspectives on the evolution of the solar system in both an historical context and in light of the extraordinary scientific advances resulting from recent space exploration. The principal focus will be on the structure, composition and evolutionary history of the surfaces and atmospheres of the planets and their satellites. Special emphasis will be given to comparative aspects of geology, meteorology and climatology as developed on the various bodies of the solar system. Concepts of space exploration techniques will also be presented. The course is intended for non-science concentrators and other students with typical high school science and math backgrounds. Not open to students who have received credit for GS 113. Cost:1-2 WL:4 (Pollack and Atreya)

205. How the Earth Works: the Dynamic Planet. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 117 or 119. No credit granted to those who have completed both GS 105 and 107. Those with credit for one of GS 105 and 107 may only elect GS 205 for 1 credit. (2). (NS).

The dynamic Earth has given us oceans, continents and an atmosphere. Its continuing activity is manifested today by the destructive powers of such natural phenomena as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and mountain building. The unifying concept of plate tectonics contains the clue to the shape and changes in the physical environment of the Earth from its initial formation to today. The goal is to present a fully integrated approach to the evolving Earth's unique features in our solar system and explain its physical and chemical principles using conceptual and factual material. Extensive use is made of videos, slides and classroom demonstrations. Two lectures/week; evaluation based on midterm and final exam. No special background required. Course reading: Earth Science and the Environment by Thompson and Turk. This course can be taken singly or concurrently with its companion course (GS 206); together they constitute a balanced introduction to modern earth sciences. Cost:2 WL:1 (van der Pluijm)

206. How the Earth Works: the Water Cycle and Environment. Those with credit for GS 109 may only elect GS 206 for 1 credit. (2). (NS).

This course describes behavior of earth materials in the surficial environment. Water is the main transport agent in the geological cycle; it's unique properties and exchange rates among oceans, lakes, rivers, and groundwater are one focus. Interaction between water reservoirs and physical and chemical weathering of soils, sediments and rocks also are discussed. Impact of humans on the surficial environment is a unifying theme because we can affect hydrologic and geochemical cycles. No special background required. Two lectures and one optional discussion session per week. Several field sessions are planned to collect water and sediment samples for follow-up lab analyses. Evaluation based on three exams and participation. Readings include The Global Water Cycle: Geochemistry and Environment (Berner and Berner). This course, and its companion course (GS 205), may be taken singly or concurrently and together constitute a balanced introduction to modern earth science. Cost:3 WL:2 (L. Walter)

222. Introductory Oceanography. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 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 three one-hour exams and a two-hour final exam. Cost:2 WL:4 (Rea)

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 various oceanography 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 and interpreted to help understand the oceans. The course grade will be based on written laboratory exercises and a final exam. Cost:1 WL:4 (Rea)

231. Elements of Mineralogy. Prior or concurrent enrollment in Chemistry 125/130 or 210/211. (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, pyroxenes, 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, (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. Introductory optical mineralogy is covered in five of the recitation classes. Geology 231 is a prerequisite to the professional concentration program in the Dept of Geological Sciences. Cost:3 WL:3 (Peacor)

279/Environ. Stud. 359. Ocean Resources. High school science and math recommended. (3). (NS).

The ocean has provided many resources to humans, and the availability of these resources rests on scientific principles. This course will address a number of equivocal issues facing ocean scientists and makers of marine policies. Students will be asked to examine critically some of the conflicting demands being placed on the resources of the oceans by modern societies. Some examples are the conflicts that emerge from protection of natural beaches and wetlands as opposed to the economic benefits of coastal developments such as marinas and harbors, and from protection of endangered species as opposed to the undeniable need for more food for more people. Each student will select one of the weekly topics and lead class discussions on this topic. A major whole-class topic will involve all students. Two written papers and one written exam will be required. Cost:2 WL:1 (Meyers and Owen)

280/Environ. Stud. 360. Mineral Resources, Economics and the Environment. May not be included in a concentration plan in geology. (4). (NS).

Geology 280 deals with mineral resource-related problems in a complex society. The course discusses the origin, distribution and remaining supplies of oil, coal, uranium, iron, copper, gold, diamonds, potash, sulfur, gravel, water, and other important mineral resources 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. Three lectures and one discussion per week. Evaluation by means of quizzes, exercises, and a final exam. No previous background in geology is necessary for this course. This course cannot be used as part of a concentration plan in Geological Sciences. Cost:2 WL:4 (Kesler)

B. Primarily for Concentrators

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

Sedimentary Geology is one of several geology core courses required of all concentrators. The course format consists of two lectures (T, Th), one evening discussion session (W), and one scheduled two-hour laboratory each week. In addition, three one-day field trips, scheduled from September to November, are required. The lectures will examine the principles and processes of sedimentation, and survey modern surficial environments, aspects of sediment diagenesis, and the tectono-sedimentological evolution of the Phanerozoic North American continent. The laboratory will provide an in-depth familiarization with terrigenous clastic and non-clastic rocks, in hand sample and thin section, and focus on identification of constituent grains, their fabric and classification. Evaluation is based on two lecture examinations, laboratory quizzes and assignments, and field trip projects. Cost:3 WL:3 (Wilkinson and Lohmann)

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 ed.). 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)

420. Introductory Earth Physics. Math. 116. (3). (Excl).

An introduction to the physics of the solid earth. Topics included are: seismology and structure of the earth's interior; geodynamics; gravity and the figure of the earth; isostasy; geomagnetism and paleomagnetism and its implications for plate tectonics; geothermics and the thermal history of the earth. Instruction by lecture; the evaluation on the basis of homework and a final problem set. Textbook: The Solid Earth: an Introduction to Global Geophysics, C.M.R. Fowler, Cambridge Univ. Press. Cost:2 WL:3 (Satake)

437. Evolution of Vertebrates. A course in general biology or historical geology. (4). (Excl).

The course will cover the fossil evidence of the evolutionary history of the vertebrates. Lectures will describe the diversification, adaptation, and paleoecology of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and birds from the Cambrian to the recent. Laboratories, one three hour session per week, will be devoted to the study and identification of fossils and characteristics of the vertebrate groups. The grading system will be based on two exams and a term paper. (Smith)

448. Geomorphology II: Glacial and Periglacial. An introductory physical geology course or permission of instructor. (4). (Excl).

One of two geomorphology courses; (GS 442, Geomorphology I, is offered in alternate years. The courses may be taken singly or in either order.) Geomorphology II focuses on glaciers, glacial effects on the landscape, and the causes of ice ages. Specific topics are the growth, movement, and climatic controls of glaciers, sedimentation and erosion related to glaciers, periglacial phenomena such as permafrost, eolian dunes and loess, and glacial lakes, as well as short- and long-term climatic change. Evidence of glaciation in Michigan and around the Great Lakes is examined in the course of 3 or 4 required Saturday field trips. Intended for professionally oriented students in geology, ecology, archaeology, natural resources, civil engineering, etc.; a previous course in physical geology is a prerequisite. GS 448 will satisfy the Geological Sciences concentration requirement for an advanced elective. Grading based on a midterm, map exercises, a term project, and a final exam. (Farrand)

467. Stratigraphy. G.S. 305, 310, and 351. (3). (Excl).

Stratigraphy is an intermediate level course which evaluates the framework for determining the time-space-rock relationship present within the sedimentary record of Earth history. It will provide an understanding of the principles and terminology of stratigraphy (including lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, seismic stratigraphy, and chronostratigraphy). These principles will be applied directly to real geological sequences through problem oriented exercises, including exercises in seismic stratigraphic and seismic facies interpretation. Synthesis of tectonic, sedimentologic and paleontologic data within this context will provide the basis for resolving the environmental and physical evolution of the Earth as a dynamic, interactive system. Prerequisites: an introductory geology course and Sedimentology (GS 305). Recommended background: Structural Geology (GS 351) and Paleontology. Evaluation of student performance will be based on two examinations and ongoing class projects and exercises. This course will fulfill the 400-level requirement. Cost:2 WL:3 (Moore and Lohmann)

486. Geodynamics. G.S. 420 and prior or concurrent election of Math. 215 and Physics 240 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course introduces the student to the analysis of dynamic problems in geology and to the mathematical and physical tools by which they are solved. The basic principles of continuum and thermal physics are derived and applied to both small and large scale geological processes with principal emphasis on global processes. Four major topics in continuum physics will be considered in geological context: stress, strain, and elasticity; heat conduction, fluid flow, and advection of heat. The results of simple physical models allow us to explain a range of geophysical observations, including oceanic bathymetry and heat flow, plate kinematics, and the stress within plates. The student should take from this class an understanding of the physical causes of plate tectonics. There will be bi-weekly homework assignments made up of problem sets and essay questions; in addition, there will be two in-class and one take-home exam. Cost:2 WL:3 (Gurnis)


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