Courses in Geological Sciences (Division 377)

A. Introductory Courses and Courses for Non-concentrators

G.S. 101-113 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. 101-113 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. Geology 100 will be offered Jan. 7 to Feb. 16 with final exam in Feb. 18. (Lohmann)

102. Energy from the Earth. (1). (NS).

A survey of the principal non-nuclear energy sources of the earth: oil (petroleum), natural gas, coal, tar sands, oil shale. Includes discussions of the geology of these materials, their composition, and/or mineralogy, types of deposits, recovery, utilization and technology, and ecological problems. No prerequisites, except that a course in elementary chemistry (high-school or university) is highly desirable. Lectures only profusely illustrated with slides. Grade based solely on final examination. Text: Buedisili & Firebaugh (Eds.), Perspectives on Energy (2nd ed.) published by Oxford University Press, 1978. Geology 102 will be offered January 7 to February 18 with final exam to be arranged. (Wilson)

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

The course is intended for undergraduates with a potential interest in geology, paleontology, or evolution. The method of instruction consists of two lectures each week. The course objective is to acquaint students with the evolutionary record of the major groups of reptiles which have undergone successful radiation and dominance but which have eventually become extinct. The course theme is the interaction between evolutionary success and extinction and the environment with special emphasis on the question of whether or not there are current analogs. Geology 103 will be offered January 7 to February 16 with final exam on February 18. (Kesling)

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

This course looks at the effects of past glaciations on the landscape and on life in general and on man in particular. The causes of the ice ages that have dominated the Earth for the past two million years and predictions of future ice ages based on current geological research are examined. An optional field trip will examine features of glaciation in Southeastern Michigan. Geology 104 will be offered March 2 to April 15 with final exam during exam week as scheduled. (Farrand)

106. Fossils, Primates, and Human Evolution. (1). (NS).

Anatomical and behavioral characteristics of living primates are reviewed, and the fossil record is used to document the course of human evolution through the past 60 million years. No special background is required. Students seeking a more detailed course with laboratory exercises may follow this with Geology 438 (Evolution of the Primates). Course consists of 12 lectures, and a one-hour final examination. Geology 106 will be offered January 7 to February 16 with final exam on February 18. (Gingerich)

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

Lectures provide insights into the character, distribution, utilization, economics, politics, and deleterious side effects of mineral resources. The geology, including how a resource occurs, how it originates, and how much exists receive the most emphasis. The course centers around metals, such as iron, aluminum, and copper, essential to modern industrial society, fertilizers, and water, rather than energy, which is covered in G.S. 102. Current events related to minerals and national or international affairs are always incorporated as they arise. Grading will be based on one half hour exam and a one hour final. Texts: Kesler, Our Finite Material Resources, McGraw-Hill, 1976; G.S. Course Pack, Dollar Bill Copying. Geology 108 will be offered March 2 to April 15 with final exam during exam period as scheduled. (Cloke)

109. Fossils of Michigan. (1). (NS).

This course includes an introduction to (1) the geologic time scale and to the zoological-paleontological system of animal classification, (2) parts of the geologic time scale (periods) represented in Michigan strata, (3) animal faunas found in various geologic periods within the boundaries of Michigan, and (4) interpretation of past environments from the fossil and rock record. This course should enable students to become familiar with the kinds of animals preserved as fossils in the state, to become acquainted with the general evolution portrayed by such animals, and to develop an appreciation of the information conveyed by Michigan fossils in deciphering conditions of the environments of the geologic past. The course format is a combination of lecture and demonstration. A field trip is required. The textbook is Rhodes, Zim, and Shaffer, Fossils. Geology 109 will be offered March 2 to April 13 with final exam on April 15. (Kesling)

112. Nuclear and Other Future Energy Resources. (1). (NS).

A survey of the geology, mineralogy, present and future developments, and ecological implications of nuclear energy, fusion, tar sands, and oil shales. Geology 112 will be offered March 2 to April 15 with final exam during exam week as scheduled. (Heinrich)

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

This course, one of several short courses in the Department of Geological Sciences, provides a current survey of the geology of various bodies of the solar system in light of the extraordinary advances in planetary exploration during the past decade. Topics treated include historical development of geological ideas about the solar system, planetary evolution, variability of geological processes throughout the solar system, and individual portraits of the principal members of the solar system family. No previous geological background is required. Course grade will be determined from a single objective exam. Geology 113 will be offered from March 2 to April 15 with final exam during exam week as scheduled. (Essene, Pollack)

Geological Sciences 117, 119, 121, and 122.

These courses introduce the subject of geology in different ways. G.S. 117 and 119 emphasize the development of the earth through time; the physical and chemical processes themselves are touched on only to the extent necessary for the student to be able to see their effect in historical context. G.S. 121 and 122, on the other hand, approaches the subject from the standpoint of the physical and chemical processes which continually act to shape the earth or on the variation in intensity of the processes discussed through time.

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

This course provides a one term, introductory level survey of the field of geology. No previous science background is assumed. The general themes of Geology 117 are the evolution of the earth, and life on earth, and the processes responsible for the observed changes. Emphasis is on historical geology, but physical geology is introduced briefly early in the course. The course provides the essential educational background for a greater appreciation of the geological world. There are three lectures and one discussion session each week and an audio tutorial laboratory. The laboratory is open about 30 hours per week, and students may come in at any time it is open. Approximately three to four hours each week are required to complete the laboratory work. Course evaluation is based on two lecture examinations, discussion section quizzes on reading assignments, a final examination, and several short laboratory quizzes, and graded assignments. This course may be elected, without the laboratory, as G.S. 119. (Dorr)

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 Geology 117 without the laboratory. There are three lectures and one discussion per week. Course evaluation is based upon two lecture examinations, a final examination, and short weekly quizzes in discussion sections. See Geology 117 for the description. (Dorr)

120. Geology of National Parks and Monuments. Credit is not granted for G.S. 120 to those with credit for an introductory course in geology. (4). (NS).

Geology of National Parks and Monuments is the newest addition to the several distribution courses offered by the Department of Geology and Mineralogy, but unlike other introductory geology courses, approaches earth history by examining the geology of places rather than by taking a process approach. It is designed for all interested undergraduates at The University of Michigan. The course format consists of three lectures each week and one two-hour demonstration-laboratory period, for four hours credit. Lecture material deals with the geologic history of selected National Parks and Monuments, which are chosen (largely by enrolled students) and scheduled so that those in which the oldest rocks are exposed (thus relating to the earliest portions of earth history) are covered first. In so doing, we cover earth history in a temporal progression, but do so by discussing different geographic areas. The demonstration-laboratory portion of the course will give you first-hand experience with rocks, minerals, and fossils; and an opportunity to discuss these in small groups. (Wilkinson)

125(265). Introduction to the Evolution of Life. May not be included in a concentration plan in geological sciences. (3). (NS).

This course reviews the origin and development of animal life with special emphasis on the fossil record. Other sources of data in support of the evolutionary concept, some of the general principles and procedures for the interpretation of such data, and the historical and philosophical impacts of the concept of evolution are also considered. The three weekly lectures are extensively illustrated with slides which stress the fossil record and the history of life. Required readings complement the lectures and increase the scope of material covered, expanding upon the philosophical significance and the impact of the concept and its impact on western thought. A term paper investigating the impact of the evolutionary concept on a field of intellectual interest to the student is optional. There are three objective, noncumulative examinations. Texts are Racle's Introduction to Evolution which introduces the general facts of the evolutionary concept; Simpson's The Meaning of Evolution which provides a materialistic interpretation of the facts; and Green's The Death of Adam which provides the history of the concept and its impact on western thought. No special background is required. Upperclasspersons in zoology, biology, botany, or natural resources will find the course both elementary and repetitive, so should not elect it. (Dorr)

241. Gems and Gem Materials. (2). (NS).

This course comprises a comprehensive introduction to gemology, including: 1) general gem features including crystallography, properties, geology, synthesis, etc. (two-thirds of course), and 2) descriptions of specific properties, geologic and geographic distribution, etc. of the more significant species (diamond, ruby, quartz, etc.), making use of extensive collections of rough and faceted specimens as examples. Students may become competent at gem identification and become at least generally familiar with aspects of the marketplace. There are no prerequisites. Properties of gems as inorganic materials are considered from basic principles familiar to most university students. There is a weekly, optional laboratory. For approximately half the term students may fashion cabochons with the cutting and polishing equipment. Other labs are concerned with gem properties and their use in characterization and identification. Grades are determined through an hour exam and the final exam. There is a text but the lecture material is largely unique to this course. This course is not part of a departmental sequence. (Peacor)

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

The increasing cost of oil and gold has focused the world's attention on mineral resources. 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. The course concerns 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 discussed 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, discovery rates, strip mining, recycling, smelting methods, money and gold, nuclear waste disposal, taxation vs. corporate profits and expropriation. The course meets for three lectures per week. Student evaluation is by means of two quizzes, several short research assignments, a research paper, and a final exam. Two texts are suggested for the course, and additional reading is recommended from sources such as Scientific American. 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 Geology and Mineralogy. (Kesler)

B. Primarily for Concentrators

310. Petrology. G.S. 231 and either an introductory geological sciences course or G.S. 351 to be elected prior to or concurrently with G.S. 310. (4). (Excl).

Lecture topics for this course are: (1) Igneous : rock-forming minerals; magmas; geology of extrusive rocks; geology of intrusive granitoid complexes; rhyolites; the andesitic-orogenic kindred; origins of granitoids and related volcanics; continental basalts; oceanic basalts; gabbros-peridotites; origins of basaltic rocks; continental alkalic rocks; the evolution and tectonic regimes of igneous rocks; extra-terrestrial rocks; (2) Metamorphic : metamorphism-types, factors, isograds, facies; textures and structures; distribution and classification; representation of metamorphic assemblages; shock metamorphism, cataclastic metamorphism; contact metamorphism, pyrometasomatism; regional metamorphism; low-pressure facies (contact); low to high-grade regional facies; higher pressure of regional facies; metamorphic environments, facies sequences; and (3) Campus petrology walk. (Heinrich)

351. Structural Geology. G.S. 117 or 121 or the equivalent; or permission of instructor. (4). (Excl).

Structural geology is an intermediate course primarily for students with a professional interest in earth sciences. It deals with the description, origin, and interrelationships of geologic structures in the framework of plate tectonics in general and the evolution of mountain belts in particular. The course consists of three lectures and a two-hour laboratory each week. The laboratory is an integral part of the course and accounts for approximately one-third of the course grade. Lectures deal mostly with the description and mechanical origin of geological structures such as faults, folds, joints, foliations, as well as some igneous structures such as laccoliths and dikes. The discussion of individual structures leads to the end goal of the course: interpretation of the tectonic history of complexly deformed terrains through the analysis of the constituent structures. The laboratories include calculations useful in deciphering the geometry of structures in the field: true dip of beds; net slip on faults; distribution of fold-axis orientations, etc. A significant part of the laboratory will also deal with interpreting geologic maps of deformed regions such as the Appalachians, Canadian Rockies, and elsewhere. (Wiltschko)

422. Principles of Geochemistry. G.S. 231, 305, 310 and Chem. 126. (3). (Excl).

Instruction is directed toward how geochemical methods, such as stable isotope and trace element analysis, radioactive age dating, determination of phase relations of minerals and melts at low to high temperature and pressure, and computation of or experimentation on equilibria in the hydrosphere, hydrothermal solutions, and metamorphic and igneous systems, can unravel and provide insight into the origin and chemical evolution of the earth and its parts (core, mantle, crust, crustal rocks). The course is intended primarily for Seniors concentrating in the geological sciences. (Cloke)

438. Evolution of the Primates. Permission of instructor. (4). (NS).

The course is designed to familiarize the student with the paleontological evidence of the evolutionary radiation of primates during the past 70 million years. Lectures are supplemented by reading and discussing current research publications and the study of actual fossils and casts in the lab. Course requirements include midterm and final exams, an original research paper, and a 10-15 minute oral presentation of the research paper to the rest of the class. (Gingerich)

442. Geomorphology. G.S. 305 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

A study of the landforms of the earth's surface approached from the standpoint of the processes which shape them; by extrapolation the material covered aids in the understanding of ancient landscapes and in the interpretation of the conditions under which they formed. The course is designed both for the geology concentrator and the advanced student in other natural sciences and engineering. Instruction is by lecture, augmented by self-run open-laboratory exercises utilizing topographic maps and aerial photographs. The grading is based on laboratory exercises, examinations and a term paper. Text: Process Geomorphology by D.F. Ritter (W.C. Brown). (Eschman)

447. Archaeological Geology. One laboratory course in physical geology (G.S. 116, 117, or 121); and one course in archaeology (Anthro. 221, or 517, or Class. Arch. 221 or 222). (4). (NS).

Archaeological geology is part of a growing program of interdisciplinary study of archaeological sites and their settings, both here at the University and in general in the USA and Europe. Application of geological knowledge and techniques is now an expected part of any modern excavation project. Although pertinent geologic study is available in a number of other geology courses, the purpose of Geology 447 is to cover those aspects particularly useful to the archaeologist with as much depth as feasible in a single course, since it is realized that most students do not have time for more than one such course in their already full schedules. This course builds on the basic geologic knowledge that the students are expected to have acquired in their introductory geology course. For example, flint, obsidian, and construction stone, soil development and the recognition of paleosols, the study of cave sediments, and geochronological and paleoclimatological methods applicable to the Quaternary Period are emphasized. This information is integrated during the latter part of the course by means of discussions of case histories of important archaeological excavations, and the students are required to write a paper emphasizing the geological analysis of a couple of sites. Laboratory sessions provide the students with the opportunity to examine, manipulate, and process geological materials and to examine soils and landforms in the Ann Arbor area. Geology 447 is intended for upperclassmen and graduate students with a professional interest in either prehistoric or classical archaeology. Readings will be chosen from a variety of sources since a single, appropriate text does not exist. In addition to the term paper, a midterm and final examination will be given. (Farrand)

449/A&OS 449. Marine Geology. An introductory course in geological sciences or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course is intended to impart to the student a basic knowledge of the geology of the ocean basins and their boundaries. It begins by reviewing basic principles of oceanography, geology, and marine geophysics. This introductory portion is followed by the two major sections of the course: a study of the structure and formation of the ocean floor; and an analysis of the nature, origin, and distribution of deep-sea and shallow-water sediments. Any time remaining will be devoted to current "hot topics" in marine geology, such as the use of deep sea research submarines to study ocean floor processes or the history of global climates and climatic change. Grades are based upon a midterm and final exam and a term paper. Students will be encouraged to participate in class discussions. (Rea)

455. Determinative Methods in Mineralogical and Inorganic Materials. One term of elementary chemistry and physics. (4). (Excl).

Determinative methods is a lab course in analytical procedures of inorganic materials with lectures aimed at providing adequate theoretical background for understanding of the techniques. The major emphasis is placed on x-ray diffraction, electron microprobe, atomic absorption, and mass spectrometry. Although silicate and mineralogical analysis is applied, no special background in geology is required. Entrance to the course is by permission of the instructors. The grade is determined by laboratory grades, two midterms, and a final. (Essene, Peacor, Owen, Lohmann)

456/Bot. 456. Paleobotany. An introductory course in botany or biology; or permission of instructor. (4). (NS).

See Botany 456. (Beck)

458. X-ray Analysis of Crystalline Materials. G.S. 455 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course is an introduction to single-crystal diffraction (principally X-ray) theory and techniques through the basics of crystal structure analyses. In the first two weeks, symmetry theory is covered, emphasizing space groups. In the following six weeks the theory and techniques (rotating crystal, Weissenberg, precession) of X-ray diffraction are developed. In succeeding weeks general diffraction relations are developed, and developed into the techniques of crystal structure analyses. There is a laboratory. Students are encouraged to provide their own original research materials (or they are provided) to serve as a vehicle for learning the techniques of determination of unit cell and space group parameters. Single crystal X-ray equipment is used on an individual, self-paced schedule. In suitable cases, this may be expanded into a crystal structure analysis or refinement. (Peacor)

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

This is a course in advanced historical geology and paleotectonics. The structural and stratigraphic evolution of western Europe, North Africa, Middle East, and North America is discussed in lectures. The approach is stratigraphic. Within the historical framework, specific rock sequences are examined. In the course of this the student should become familiar with many of the classic stratigraphic sections of North America and Europe. These include sheet quartz arenites, geosynclinal clastics and euxinic siliceous sediments of basins, paralic sediments, red beds, black shales, sheets of shelf carbonates, cyclic sedimentation, starved basins and shelf marginal carbonates, various types of reefs and carbonate buildups, and evaporites. Background needed: a course in historical geology or regional stratigraphy and a course in petrography (preferably sedimentary petrography, and structural geology). (Wilson)

473/A&OS 473. Organic Geochemistry. Chem. 226 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

The origins and fates of organic matter in geological settings form the basis of this course. Distributions of various types of carbon compounds in lakes and oceans, recent and ancient sediments, and soils are discussed. Molecular and isotopic indicators are used as tracers of organic matter sources and of alteration and exchange processes within and between these compartments. The special circumstances required for formation of coal, oil, and gas are explored as an important part of the alteration process discussions. The course format consists of lectures, discussions, and readings from the scientific literature. A midterm and final examination, plus a term paper, are required. (Meyers)

491/Biol. 491. Quaternary Paleoecology. A course in ecology or in Pleistocene geology. (2). (NS).

See Biology 491. (Benninghoff)


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