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 course focuses on various coastal environments and the degree to which man has modified these natural systems. For example, the State of Louisiana is 40 square miles smaller this year than last, and erosion along Michigan shores results in annual losses estimated at millions of dollars. These and other processes are directly or indirectly related to man's activities. (Wilkinson)

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

This course looks at the effects of past glaciations on the landscape and on life, man in particular. Concurrent climatic and paleogeographic changes, both in continental and oceanic realms, are also reviewed. 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. The course consists of lectures and one (final) exam. (Stearns)

105. Continents Adrift. (1). (NS).

The seemingly stable land masses of the world are actually in motion. Continental collisions and fragmentation, formation of new ocean floor, and specific patterns of earthquakes and volcanoes are some of the events caused by earth motions. This course presents the modern view of plate tectonics and continental drift, their suspected causes, and the predictable consequences of such a dynamic system. (Bachtadse)

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. (Gingerich)

114. Ecological Context of Human Evolution. (1). (NS).

In the last twenty years, new discoveries of hominoid fossils have altered our views on the origin of the human family, Hominidae. These fossils have been the basis of controversy among paleoanthropologists over taxonomic diversity, behavior, and ecology of our early ancestors. But hominoid fossils themselves do not give the whole story. The sediments and faunas associated with hominoids are evidence of the ecological context in which pre-hominids and early hominids diversified in the last 15 million years. This course reviews the geological and biological setting of several key sites from East Africa and South Asia, in order to examine the relationship of hominoids to a backdrop of changing climate, habitats, and faunas. Readings will be given in a course pack. (Badgley)

115. Geologic Timer. (1). (NS).

This course will introduce non-specialists to the world of minerals per se, and to the principles underlying their properties, crystal structure, mechanisms of growth, and their stability relations in various geological environments, past and present. The course will be scientifically rigorous, but at the same time draw upon examples meaningful to the student to illustrate the principles. Lectures twice weekly for half the term. A final examination. (Kelly)

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 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. Evolution and Extinction. May not be included in a concentration plan in geological sciences. (3). (NS).

This course discusses contemporary views of the historical evolution of life and the significance of crises (mass extinctions) in the history of life. Emphasis is placed on theories of evolution, mass extinction, and diversification as evidenced by the fossil record. Controversies are highlighted. The first half of the course concentrates on such topics as the Cambrian explosion of life, the evolution of sex, rates of evolution, and currently competing explanations of evolutionary change. The second half of the course discusses the anatomy of a mass extinction, examines specific times of mass extinction, and addresses both catastrophic and noncatastrophic explanations of causality. The course will conclude with lectures on the role played by ideas of evolution and extinction in society. The course is designed for students with no background in paleontology or evolutionary biology. Readings from S.J. Gould's Ever Since Darwin (1977), The Panda's Thumb (1980) and Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes (1983) will be discussed weekly. (Kitchell)

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

The fluctuating 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, and taxation vs. corporate profits. The course meets for three lectures per week. Student evaluation is by means of two quizzes, short research assignments and a final exam. One text is 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).

Petrology is the study of the origins of rocks. Emphasis is placed on igneous and metamorphic rocks in this course. The evidence for the deep crustal and upper mantle sources of igneous rocks is traced using petrographic, geochemical, and phase diagrammatic observations. In metamorphic petrology the response of metamorphites to changes in pressure, temperature, and fluid composition will be evaluated, primarily using petrographic and phase equilibrium data. Plate tectonic processes will be tied in to the origin and evolution of many igneous and metamorphic rocks. Some comparisons with extra-terrestrial igneous petrology will be made. The lectures are coordinated with microscopic laboratories using optical techniques to identify and evaluate mineral assemblages. The grade is determined through a combination of midterms, laboratory exams and a final. (Arculus)

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

The description and origin of structures of the earth's crust. Three lectures and two laboratory sessions weekly. Topics include description and kinematics of microscopic, mesoscopic and macroscopic structures, stress and strain, structural analysis, regional geology and plate tectonics. This is a core course for concentrators, but is open to all who require a basic knowledge of structural geology. Evaluation is based on two hour-long exams, a final exam and the laboratory exercises and exams. Foundations of Structural Geology, by R.G. Park (lectures), and Structural Geology - An Introduction to Geometrical Techniques, by D.M. Ragan, 3rd edition, (labs), are the required texts. Additional readings will be assigned. (van der Pluijm)

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

The course is designed to provide a quantitative introduction to geochemical aspects of the rock cycle. Topics which will be covered include: distribution of elements, sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic processes, weathering, seawater geochemistry, and economic concentrations of materials. Instruction will consist of lectures and discussion of homework problems. The course is intended primarily for seniors concentrating in the geological sciences, but is also open to graduate students with advisor approval. Evaluation will be based on homework problems, quizzes, two hour exams, and a final comprehensive examination. Prerequisites: Geological Sciences 231, 305, 310, and Chemistry 126. Required text: Krauskopf, Introduction to Geochemistry. (Beane)

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

This course is an examination of the geology of the ocean basins and the adjacent continental margins. Topics covered include: methods of marine data collection, geologic structure of the ocean floor and margins, sea-floor spreading and plate tectonics, the processes of terrigenous, biogenous and chemical sedimentation, and the interpretation of the sedimentary record in terms of past ocean circulation and global climate history. Grades are based on a midterm and final examination and a term project designed to reveal the geologic history of one of the major ocean basins to be selected each year by the class. The class is given in a lecture format, class discussions are encouraged. The textbook is Marine Geology by J.P. Kennett. Prerequisites are an introductory course in geology or permission of instructor. (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, x-ray fluorescence, atomic absorption, and mass spectrometry. Although silicate and mineralogical analysis is emphasized, no special 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. (Arculus)

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 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)

473/A&OS 473. Organic Geochemistry. Chem. 226 or Geol. 305. (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)

483. Geophysics: Seismology. Prior or concurrent election of Math. 215 and Phys. 240; or permission of instructor. (4). (NS).

The structure and composition of the earth, and the physics of earthquakes and their role in plate tectonics are the main topics covered in this course. As the interpretation of seismograms and seismic waves is of fundamental importance, relevant aspects of elastic wave propagation and seismic sources are developed. The problems encountered in observational seismology will also be discussed. (Lay)

485. Computer Utilization in the Earth Sciences. Calculus and experience in computer programming are recommended. (3). (NS).

This course will introduce students to the use of computers in the earth sciences. Students will use both micro and mainframe computers. Topics will include mapping, analysis of spatial data and simulation modeling. (Outcalt)

487. Seismology Laboratory. Permission of instructor. (1). (NS).

Actual seismic observations are used for determining earth structure and information about earthquake rupture processes. Interpretation of seismograms and basic computational procedures are emphasized.

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

See Botany 491. (Benninghoff)


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