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 (Lohmann)

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

A survey of the principle energy resources from the Earth; hydrocarbon (oil and natural gas), coal, tar sand, oil shale, uranium, and geothermal. Discussions will cover the geology of these resources (e.g., composition, setting, and nature of deposits), recovery technology, use, and the impact of energy resources on social, political and ecological policies. No prerequisites; a course in elementary chemistry (high school or university) would be helpful. Lecture only. No text. Grade is based on one short assignment or quiz and a final examination. Cost:1 WL:4 (Richards)

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

This one-credit hour course will explore the mobility of the continents and oceans in geological times. Conceptual and factual material will be combined with the principles of plate tectonics and the processes that drive the plates. No special background is recommended, and evaluation will be based on a final exam (with a practice take-home exam midway). The goals of this short course are to familiarize students with one of the more exciting recent developments in earth sciences, a unifying concept that explains ocean evolution, mountain building, earthquakes and volcanoes. [Cost:2] [WL:4] (van der Pluijm)

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. [Cost:1] [WL:4] (Gingerich)

110. The History of the Oceans. (1). (NS).

The history of past oceanic inhabitants, events, and environments is recorded in the sediments which have accumulated on the ocean bottom throughout geological time. This course gives an introduction to the ways by which this record can be examined, and it discusses the information available about the history of the oceans. 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] (001 - Meyers; 002 Owen)

111. Climate and Man. (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 we think will happen to the planet when the long expected "Greenhouse Effect Global Warming" finally arrives. [Cost:1] [WL:4] (001 Rea; 002 DeWolf)

115. Geologic Time. (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 will explain how rocks form, continental drift, and the causes of earthquakes and volcanoes. It will also discuss attempts to date the Earth and measure geological time, from the questions raised by the great thinkers of the Renaissance to the latest high tech developments in radioactive dating. Finally, it will describe the history of planet Earth including its formation from 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] (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. [Cost:2] [WL:1] (Wilkinson)

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

Since life emerged on Earth more than 3 billion years ago it has profoundly affected the properties of its environment. For example, the oxygen of the atmosphere and a host of other constituents are entirely the product of life's metabolic activities. Ocean composition, also, is significantly affected by life. Life affects the climate through its interaction with the hydrologic cycle, radiation balance, and properties of the land surface. While the interaction of life and the global environment has been important throughout Earth history, the changes brought about by human beings, particularly in the last century, are much more rapid than any the planet has experienced before. Humans are affecting global climate, the composition of air and water, and global ecology in ways that are unprecedented and probably harmful. It can be helpful to view the global change of the present from the perspective of planetary history. No special background is needed for this course, which is not part of a departmental sequence. Grades are based on multiple choice hour examinations. Instruction is by lectures, films, and assigned reading, with classroom discussion. The text is THE NEXT 100 YEARS by Jonathan Weiner published by Bantam Books in 1990. Cost:1 WL:1 (Walker)

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

This course analyzes patterns and mechanisms of evolution. Discussion will be both theoretical and empirical, and will treat evolution both within populations and at higher levels. Special attention will be paid to the fossil record. Among the specific topics covered will be: the role of chance in evolution; changes in the number and kinds of species through time; rates of evolution; natural selection and adaptation; extinctions in the past; extinction today; and biogeography. Prerequisite: general science and math at the secondary school level; no background in paleontology or evolutionary biology is required. Readings pertaining to lectures and discussions will consist of primary literature in a course pack, and selections from THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES. Cost:1-2 (Foote)

201/Geography 201. Introductory Geography: Water, Climate, and Man. (4). (NS).

This course is a basic introduction to the field of physical geography and emphasizes various topics including maps, seasons, time, the atmosphere, radiation and heat balance, circulation, moisture and precipitation, air masses (fronts), and water supply. Students also study ground and surface water, climate classification, hot climates, transitional climates, cold climates, permafrost and changes in climate (glaciers). Students in this lecture-laboratory course are evaluated by midterm and final examinations with satisfactory completion of the laboratory work a prerequisite to this final course evaluation. The text is Strahler, INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY while the laboratory workbook is Strahler, EXERCISES IN PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. (Outcalt)

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 several hour exams. (Moore)

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 marine 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. The course grade will be based on written laboratory exercises and a final exam. (Moore)

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. [Cost:5] [WL:3] (Mukasa)

351. Structural Geology. G.S. 117 or 119 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 covered: the description of geological structures; the kinematics and dynamics of folding and faulting; stress, strain, deformation and rheology; introduction to dislocation theory; micro-structural analysis; principles of plate tectonics; selected orogenic systems of the world. This is a core course for concentrators, but is open to all who want to have a basic knowledge of geology. Evaluation is based on graded lab assignments, a lab test, a midterm and a final exam. Textbooks: STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY, by R.D. Hatcher, Jr. (lectures) and BASIC METHODS OF STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY, by S. Marshak and G. Mitra (labs). In addition, hand-outs (text and figures) will be used throughout the course. [Cost:3] [WL:4] (van der Pluijm)

415. Introductory Economic Geology (Metals). G.S. 310, 351, or permission of instructor. (4). (Excl).

This course deals with the range of geologic processes that concentrate metallic and some non-metallic elements to form ore deposits. Although some attention is given to the economic, engineering and exploration aspects of economic geology, the course concentrates on the geology and geochemistry of ore deposits. Most attention is given to hydrothermal ore deposits, including the solution and isotopic geochemistry of these ore-forming systems. Hydrothermal deposits associated with sedimentary basins, metamorphic terranes, submarine and continental volcanic areas, and deeper intrusive zones are discussed in detail. Deposits formed by other processes such as magmatic differentiation and immiscibility, weathering, and stream action, are given less attention. A laboratory associated with the course deals with geochemical calculations, examination of representative suites of ore samples in transmitted and reflected light, and study of fluid inclusions. A textbook, THE GEOLOGY OF ORE DEPOSITS by Guilbert and Park, is strongly recommended. (Kesler)

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: thermodynamic and kinetic controls on the distribution of the elements, trace element and isotope geochemistry, geochemistry of the oceans and atmosphere, environmental geochemistry, and geochemical cycles. 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, a short term paper, a midterm examination and a final comprehensive examination. Required text: Richardson and McSween, GEOCHEMISTRY, PATHWAYS AND PROCESSES. [Cost:3] [WL:4] (O'Neil)

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

Anatomical and behavioral characteristics of living primates are reviewed and the fossil record of primates is covered in detail, illustrating how fossils document the history of primates and the tempo and mode of primate evolution. This course includes three lectures and a laboratory each week, one midterm exam, a research paper, and a final exam. Introductory geology and biology are recommended as background. Cost:3 WL:3, but normally never closes. (Gingerich)

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

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, electron microprobe analysis, scanning electron microscope examination, X-ray fluorescence, atomic absorption, inductively coupled plasma analysis, and mass spectrometry. 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, two midterms, and a final. [Cost:1] [WL:1] (Essene, Owen, and O'Neil)

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 relationships present within the sedimentary record of Earth history. It will provide an understanding of the principles and terminology of stratigraphy; these will be applied directly to real geological sequences through problem oriented exercises. 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. This course will fulfill the 400-level requirement. (Moore)

473. Fundamentals of Organic Geochemistry. G.S. 305 or Chem. 226. (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. Cost:1 (Meyers)

480/A&OS 480. The Planets: Composition, Structure and Evolution. Math 216, Physics 240, and Chemistry 126. (3). (Excl).

Origin and distribution of material in the solar system, gross composition and radial distribution of material in the planets and satellites; gravity fields and their relationship to shape and internal density distribution; origin and significance of surface topography; thermal, ionospheric and extended structure of planetary atmospheres; energetics and dynamics of planetary interiors and atmospheres, thermal histories and evolution of solid interiors, devolatilization, origin and evolution of atmospheres. Cost:2 WL:3 (Gurnis)

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

Elastic properties of rocks, elastic waves, seismological instruments and data, use of body wave travel times, surface wave dispersion, and periods of free vibrations to infer the structure and composition of the earth's interior; earthquake intensity and magnitude scales; spatial, temporal, and magnitude distribution of earthquakes, earthquake source mechanisms, seismological contributions to understanding of earth dynamics and global tectonics, moonquakes, underground nuclear explosions and "man-made" earthquakes, earthquake prediction and control. Lecture and laboratory. (Satake)

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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