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. (Algeo)

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)

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

A survey of the principal non-nuclear energy resources 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. Grade based on two short assignments and final examination. (Kettler)

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

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

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 paleoenvironmental changes, in both 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, one hour exam, and one final exam. (Farrand)

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

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

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

Lectures provide insights into the character, distribution, utilization, economics, politics, and environmental aspects 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, copper, and gold, essential to modern industrial society, fertilizers, and water, rather than energy, which is covered in Geological Sciences 102. Current events related to minerals and national or international affairs are incorporated as they arise. Grading will be based on a one hour final only. Texts: Brookins, EARTH RESOURCES, ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, Merrill, 1981; G.S. course pack, Dollar Bill Copying. (Kesler)

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

This course will introduce non-specialists to the subject of the timespan over which the earth has developed, the processes that are involved in the formation of rocks and minerals, the determination of the rates at which these processes occur, and the ways in which we can use the current behavior of the earth to deduce how rocks formed in the past. The course will also include relevant aspects of the historical development of geologic theory. It will be scientifically rigorous but, at the same time, draw upon examples meaningful to the student to illustrate the principle. Lectures twice weekly for half the term. A final examination. (Halliday)

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)

123. Life and the Global Environment. (2). (NS).

The Gaia hypothesis of Lovelock and Margulis holds that the biota evolves and interacts in such a way as to regulate the chemical and physical environment in ways that are beneficial to life. One possible implication is that Mother Earth will take care of pollution. This notion can be tested against current understanding of global biogeochemical cycles and the feedback processes that govern the compositions of ocean and atmosphere. The geological record of environmental evolution, preserved in sedimentary rocks, is a rich source of relevant information. No special background in needed for this course, which is not part of a departmental sequence. Grades are based on frequent short quizzes, a midterm, and a final examination. Instruction is by lectures, films, and assigned reading, with classroom discussion. (Walker)

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), HEN'S TEETH AND HORSE'S TOES (1983), and THE FLAMINGO'S SMILE (1985) will be discussed weekly. (Kitchell)

135. History of the Earth. High school chemistry, physics and mathematics recommended. (3). (NS).

This lecture course is intended for students with a strong high school background in math and science. It will serve as a broad introduction to the earth sciences for students considering a Geological Sciences concentration, as well as for students interested in studying the earth sciences as part of a general science background. Topics covered include methods of determining relative and absolute ages, the early history of the earth, its accretion and chemical differentiation, the development of continental and oceanic lithosphere, the evolution of plate tectonics, the history of the crust, sediments, oceans, atmosphere, and life. The unique aspects of earth history will be highlighted by viewing the development of the earth from the perspective of the evolution of the moon and the other terrestrial planets. Evaluation will be based on three examinations. (Pollack)

256/Biol. 256. Ancient Plants and the World They Lived In. Biol. 152, 195 or 255. (2). (NS).

The evolution of plant life through geologic time makes a fascinating story. This course which provides evidence, derived from fossils, of the earth's past plant life also includes a discussion of associated animals in those cases where there is documented evidence from the fossil record, and techniques used in the study of plant fossils. Among many other interesting topics are: life in the Precambrian, adaptations for life in a terrestrial environment, the evolution of seed plants, continental drift and the affect of continental movement through time on continental climates and dominant vegetation, plants of the Pennsylvanian coal swamps, and the origin of flowering plants. There will also be an opportunity to see some beautiful fossil specimens from the collections of the Museum of Paleontology. Grades will be based on a midterm test and a final examination. (Beck)

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. (Essene)

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

The description and analysis of geological structures in the earth's crust. Three lectures and one laboratory session weekly. The following topics will be given: the description of geological structures; the kinematics and dynamics of folding and faulting; stress, strain, deformation and rheology; principles of plate tectonics; selected orogenic systems of the world; introduction to dislocation theory; micro-structural analysis. This is a core course for concentrators, but is open to all who want to have a basic knowledge of structural geology. Evaluation is based on graded lab assignments, a lab test, a midterm and a final exam. Textbooks: STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY, AN INTRODUCTION, by J.G. Dennis (lectures) and STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS AND SYNTHESIS, by S.M. Rowland (labs). In addition, hand-outs (text and figures) will be used throughout the course. (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.

447. Archaeological Geology. G.S. 442 or 448, or equivalent, or permission of instructor; and one 300-level (or higher) course in anthropology or classical archaeology. (3). (Excl).

This course will concentrate on selected geologic topics that are especially pertinent to archaeological studies, such as geological raw materials (flint, obsidian, building stone, clay), soils and paleosols, cave sediments, dating methods, and paleoclimatology. Lectures will be in-depth treatments assuming some prior geologic and archaeologic knowledge and will commonly be based on case histories of actual archaeological studies. The emphasis will be on answering questions of an archaeological nature by means of geologic studies. Prerequisites: Geological Sciences 442 or 448 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor, PLUS one 300-level (or higher) course in Anthropological or Classical Archaeology. Course will consist of lectures and discussions, and will be graded on the basis of one or two hour exams and a term project. (Farrand)

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. (Peacor)

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). (Excl).

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. (Ruff)

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

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)

486/Geography 499. Permafrost, Snow, and Ice. Math. 116 or the equivalent. (3). (Excl).

This course is designed to give students of natural sciences and engineering an introduction to the environmental conditions in high altitudes and latitudes. Students should have a basic background in introductory physics and calculus. Additional background in a natural science is helpful. Topics covered in lectures include: general climatology and geography of arctic-alpine regions; physical properties of ice; the ground thermal regime; geomorphic processes resulting from ice and the ground thermal regime; snow metamorphosis melt, etc.; glaciers and heat and energy budgets; lake, river and sea ice; economic development and environmental protection in cold regions. There will be no assigned text. A final examination and midterm test will determine grades in the course. (Outcalt)


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