Fall Course Guide

Courses in Geological Sciences (Division 377)

Fall Term, 1998 (September 8-December 21, 1998)

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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).

103. Dinosaurs and Other Failures. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 273. (1). (NS). (BS).

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)
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105. Continents Adrift. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 205 or 270. (1). (NS). (BS).
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 quizzes and final exams. Cost:2 WL:1 (Van der Voo)
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107. Volcanoes and Earthquakes. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 205, 270, or 271. (1). (NS). (BS).
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 quizzes and final exam. (Ruff)
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110. The History of the Oceans. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 222. (1). (NS). (BS).
The history of past oceanic inhabitants, events, and environments is recorded in the sediments which have accumulated on the ocean bottom throughout geological time. Fossils of marine plants and animals are a major part of the historical record; they give evidence of past oceanic living conditions and the evolution of life forms in the sea. Sediment particles eroded from land and carried to the oceans by rivers and winds provide insights into past climates on continents. Changes in ocean currents and in seawater chemistry have left their mark on the sediment record; the possible causes of these changes are explored. Plate tectonics and seafloor spreading have rearranged the shapes of ocean basins and repositioned continents over time. These processes are reflected in the record in marine sediments still present on the ocean floor and also in those now uplifted to form part of the continents. These topics are presented in lectures held twice weekly for a half term. A single exam at the end of the course will determine the course grade. Cost:1 WL:4 (Meyers)
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111. Climate and Mankind. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 201 or 275. (1). (NS). (BS).
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 we think will happen to the planet when the long expected "Greenhouse Effect Global Warming" finally arrives. Cost:1 WL:3 (Moore)
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117. Introduction to Geology. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 116, 119, or 120. Those with credit for GS 205 may only elect GS 117 for 4 credits. (5). (NS). (BS).
Introduction to Geology is a single term course structured to provide students from all backgrounds with an understanding of the history of Earth and of the natural processes which have given rise to its landscapes, oceans, and continents. This includes examination of: the physical processes which give rise to plate tectonics and the formation of earthquakes, volcanoes, the uplift of major mountain ranges; and of the chemical and biological phenomena which modify the character of the atmosphere-hydrosphere-biosphere at the Earth's surface. This course includes a laboratory to provide hands-on experience in identifying common rocks and minerals and in understanding geological and topographical maps. Topics covered in class lecture are reviewed weekly in a one hour discussion section. Course includes lectures and weekly laboratory and discussion sections. Cost:2 WL:4 (Lohmann)
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118. Introductory Geology Laboratory. Prior or concurrent enrollment in GS 119, or 205 and 206, or 135. Credit is not granted for GS 118 to those with credit for an introductory course in geology (GS 116, 117, or 218). (1). (NS). (BS).
This course provides hands-on laboratory experience for all students interested in learning to identify commonly-occurring rocks, minerals, and fossils and to interpret Earth history from geologic and topographic features represented in maps. Examples will be taken from regions complexly deformed by mountain building to areas sculptured by glaciers, erosion, and volcanism. Cost:2 WL:4 (Lohmann)
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119. Introductory Geology Lectures. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 116, 117, 120. No credit granted to those who have completed both 205 and 206. Those with credit for GS 205 may only elect GS 119 for 3 credits. (4). (NS). (BS).
This course shares lectures and a weekly discussion section with GS 117, but does not provide a laboratory experience. Students requiring a ONE-TERM introductory science course with laboratory should elect GS 117. Cost:2 WL:4 (Lohmann)
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124/AOSS 124/Environ. Stud. 124. Environment, People, Resources. (2). (NS). (BS).
See Environmental Studies 124. (Walker)
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130/Phys. 119/Chem. 108. The Physical World. High-school algebra. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).
The physics, chemistry, and pre-calculus (algebraic) concepts of comprehensive Earth and planetary science will be covered for those students who feel less than fully prepared for existing college-level science classes. The course is aimed at students in need of a science course, particularly those who will not readily select more than one physical science course as undergraduates at UM. Weekly discussions by a GSI will complement the lectures and amplify on them. Extensive weekly homework (quantitative exercises) will form 40% of the grade, with the remaining 60% based on two in-class exams and one final exam. Textbook: K.B. Krauskopf and A. Beiser, The Physical Universe, McGraw Hill, 8th ed. 1997. Cost:2 WL:3 (van Keken)
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201/Geography 201. Introductory Geography: Water, Climate, and Mankind. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 268. Those with credit for GS 111 may only elect GS 201 for 3 credits. (4). (NS). (BS).
This basic introduction to physical geography emphasizes the nature and dynamics of the earth system including the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and solid earth, and their interactions. Topics include seasons, heat balance, global warming, ozone destruction, and circulation, moisture, precipitation, clouds, groundwater, ocean circulation, waves, and tides, plate tectonics, landform evolution, and soil development, the biosphere, climate evolution, and global change. Students in this lecture-lab course are evaluated by hourly and final examinations and with satisfactory completion of the lab work a prerequisite to the final course evaluation. Cost:2 WL:3 (Stixrude)
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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). (BS).
This course will present 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. Textbook: The Planetary System, Morrison and Owen, 2nd ed., 1996. Cost:1 WL:2 (Atreya and van Keken)
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205. How the Earth Works: the Dynamic Planet. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 117, 119, or 270. 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). (BS).
Our continuously evolving Earth has given rise to the formation of continents, oceans, and an atmosphere. Her continuing activity is manifested today by the destructive powers of such natural phenomena as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building. Beginning with the formation of the Universe and stellar evolution, the goal of this course is to present an integrated approach to Earth's unique characteristics in our solar system, and explain her physical principles using conceptual and factual material. Extensive use is made of animations, analogies, images and classroom demonstrations, in addition to WWW-based material specifically designed for this course. Two lectures/week; evaluation based on two midterms and a 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 courses (GS 206 and GS 207); together they constitute a balanced introduction to modern Earth sciences. Cost:2 WL:1 (van der Pluijm)
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207. How the Earth Works: A Hands-On Experience. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 116, 117, 118, or 120. (2). (NS). (BS).
This course involves a one-hour lecture and a two-hour hands-on `practicum' weekly. It is intended for students interested in environmental issues, in particular the relationship between earth sciences and short-term (on the order of years) human concerns. We will examine the earth science which underlies environmental issues facing the earth's surface (water and air pollution, biologic and atmospheric changes, seabed and climate changes). Hands-on activities include groundwater and surface water systems, soils, glacial geology, lal6 deposits, and more. The class provides an introductory, hands-on approach to understanding and solving these problems. Because you will get a solid understanding of major environmental issues, the class can serve as a pre-concentration requirement in environmental geology. Reading: Our Changing Planet by F. MacKenzie (1998). (Walter)
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222. Introductory Oceanography. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in AOSS 203. (3). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).
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 (Meyers)
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223. Introductory Oceanography, Laboratory. Concurrent enrollment in GS 222. (1). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).
This course is an optional laboratory intended to provide students with opportunities to explore further various oceanography topics presented in the GS 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:1 WL:4
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231. Elements of Mineralogy. Prior or concurrent enrollment in Chem. 125/130 or 210/211. Those with credit for GS 232 may elect GS 231 for only 2 credits. (4). (Excl). (BS).
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 Department of Geological Sciences. Cost:3 WL:3 (Peacor)
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269. Evolution of the Earth. Only first-year students (including first-year students with sophomore standing) may pre-register for this course. All other students need permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 135. Those with credit for GS 115 may only elect GS 269 for 2 credits. (3). (NS). (BS).
This seminar course is intended for first and second year students with no previous knowledge of, or experience in, the earth sciences. The material will introduce students to the history of the earth from its formation in the solar nebula, through the development of the continents, oceans, atmosphere, and life to its present state as an active planet. The course will explain how various features of the earth "work," including continental drift, volcanoes, and the formation of most rocks, how theories are developed in geology and how the magnitude of time has been determined. The course will be divided into two halves. In the first half the basic concepts will be explained. In the second half students will each make a presentation covering a relevant subject which will be followed by discussion. Assessment will be by two one-hour examinations and an oral presentation that will form the basis for a term paper. Course pack. (Mukasa)
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271. Natural Hazards. Only first-year students (including first-year students with sophomore standing) may pre-register for this course. All other students need permission of instructor. Those with credit for GS 107 or 205 may only elect GS 271 for 2 credits. Those who have credit for both GS 107 and 205 may only elect 271 for 1 credit. (3). (NS). (BS).
This first-/second-year seminar examines various types of natural hazard such as earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, and tornadoes. We make case studies, explore geological and geophysical background, and discuss the social aspects of natural hazards. Each student is given a project, which will be presented in a class and reported as an essay. Evaluation is based on an exam, the presentation and essay. No science background is required, but active participation of students is expected. Cost:1 WL:4 (Lange)
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275. The Ice Ages: Past and Present. Only first-year students (including first-year students with sophomore standing) may pre-register for this course. All other students need permission of instructor. Those with credit for GS 104 may only elect GS 275 for 2 credits. (3). (NS). (BS).
Characteristics of the Earth's climate system and how various components of that system operate to produce times when extensive ice sheets covered large parts of the Earth's surface. The role in climate change of the oceans, the atmosphere, the ice sheets themselves, orbital variations, and the movement of the continental and ocean boundaries are presented and discussed. Cost:1 WL:1 (Moore)
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280/Environ. Stud. 360. Mineral Resources, Economics, and the Environment. May not be included in a concentration plan in geology. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).
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. Required text: Mineral Resources, Economics and the Environment (S.E. Kesler). A course pack is also required. 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)
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284. Environmental Geology. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GS 272. Those with credit for GS 271 may only elect GS 284 for 3 credits. (4). (NS). (BS).
Environmental Geology
deals with interactions between people and Earth. It begins with an introduction to geologic materials and processes and goes on to specific topics such as soil, surface and ground water, natural hazards (volcanism, landslides, earthquakes, floods, coastal processes), geomedicine, and waste disposal. Previous experience in geology is not required. The course includes three lectures and one discussion period (in which homework exercises are explained and discussed) per week. Evaluation is by means of quizzes, exercises, and a final exam. A book and exercise pack are required. Cost:2 WL:4 (Kesler)
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B. Primarily for Concentrators

305. Sedimentary Geology. An introductory geological sciences laboratory course. (4). (Excl). (BS).
Sedimentary Geology is one of several geology core courses required of all concentrators. The course format consists of two lectures, one evening discussion session, 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)
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418. Paleontology. GS 117, or Biol. 154 or 195. (3). (Excl). (BS).
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 multicellular organisms) 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. Cost:2 WL:4 (Fisher)
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419. Paleontology Laboratory. Prior or concurrent enrollment in GS 418. (1). (Excl). (BS).
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. Recommended text: Clarkson, Invertebrate Paleontology and Evolution (3rd ed.). Cost:2 WL:4
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442. Earth Surface Processes and Soils. Upperclass standing; an introductory course in physical geology is recommended but not required. (4). (Excl). (BS).
Study of processes resulting in landforms on the Earth's solid surface and the formation of soils on these landforms. Emphasis includes present-day processes as well as the evolution of landforms over geologic time. GS 442 is intended for a wide, but professional audience: geologists, archaeologists, ecologists, resource managers, civil engineers, at a level appropriate for seniors and first-year graduate students. A previous course in geology is not required, but would be helpful. Lectures, map exercises, and several required field trips to examine landforms and processes in southern Michigan. Grading: a midterm and final exam, and exercises. Cost:2 WL:4 (Stearns)
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455. Determinative Methods in Mineralogical and Inorganic Materials. One term of elementary chemistry and physics. (4). (Excl). (BS).
Determinative methods is a course in techniques of analysis of inorganic materials with lectures aimed at providing theoretical background for understanding of the techniques as practiced in laboratory exercises. The major emphasis is placed on X- ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, electron microprobe analysis, X- ray fluorescence, and atomic absorption. Although silicate and mineralogical analysis is emphasized, no background in geology is required. Entrance to the course is by permission of the instructors. The grade is determined by laboratory grades, three midterms, and a final. Cost:2 WL:3 (Peacor, Essene, Owen, and Lange)
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465/AOSS 467/Chem. 467. Biogeochemical Cycles. Math. 116, Chem. 210, and Phys. 240. (3). (Excl). (BS).
See Chemistry 467. (Carroll)
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477. Hydrogeology. Phys. 140/141, Chem. 125/130, and Math. 116; Math. 215/216 are recommended. (4). (Excl). (BS).
This course provides an introduction to physical and chemical hydrogeology. Emphasis is on process and direct application to geological settings and fieldwork and problem solving are important course components. The hydrologic cycle, physical rock framework, and properties of aquifer systems will be described and quantified. We will develop and apply transport equations and examples of fluid, watershed and subsurface energy, and chemical transport in porous and fractured geologic media. In addition to stated prerequisites, Math 216 is also strongly recommended. Evaluation is based on weekly practicum/problem sets. Cost:2 WL:2 (Walter)
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479. Marine Geochemistry. Chem. 125/130. (3). (Excl). (BS).
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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