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)

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. Cost:1 WL:3 or 4 (Cox)

105. Continents Adrift. (1). (NS).
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 will based on a final exam. Cost:1 WL:4 (Meert)

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)

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 and geothermal energy; manmade earthquakes; and earthquake prediction and control. Instruction by lecture, evaluation on basis of final exam. Cost:NA WL:NA (Ruff)

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. 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)

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 (Moore)

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 explains the formation of rocks, continental drift, volcanoes and earthquakes. It will discuss the discovery of time from the Renaissance to the latest high tech developments in radioactive dating. Finally, the history of planet Earth will be described including its accretion out of 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:3/4 (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, including the compositions of atmosphere and ocean and the climate. The environment, in turn, has constrained the evolution of life. 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. This course views the global change of the present from the perspective of planetary history. Grades are based on multiple choice 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).
The course will cover the history of life, mechanisms of evolution and extinction, and arguments and evidence for and against evolution. A secondary focus will be certain problems in the philosophy and methodology of science arising in connection with these topics. Requirements include lectures, discussion sections, readings, exams, and short papers. Readings consist of primary literature in a course pack and selections from Darwin's Origin of Species. Prerequisites: science and math at the high school level; no background in paleontology or evolutionary biology expected. Cost:2 WL:NA (McShea)

135. History of the Earth. High school chemistry, physics and mathematics recommended. (3). (NS).
This course provides a broad and fundamental introduction to the earth and explains the formation of rocks and the major geological features, as well as the changes that have occurred over the 4.5 billion years of earth history. The course is intended for students considering a Geological Sciences concentration, as well as for students interested in studying earth sciences as part of their general educational background. Topics include minerals and the formation of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, fossils and the evolution of life, the interior of the earth, the measurement of time, continental drift, and the effect of the earth's atmosphere, climate, oceans and rivers on shaping the surface of the earth. The history of the planet will be followed from earth's accretion from dust, origin of life, through building of the current continents and ocean basins, to the origin of humankind. Lectures three times a week for the full term. Textbook required: Earth: Then and Now by C.W. Montgomery and D. Dathe, (W.C. Brown, publ). Evaluation will be based on three exams. Cost:2 WL:3/4 (Halliday)

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 many topics including maps, seasons, time, the atmosphere, greenhouse gasses, radiation and heat balance, the dangers of global warming, circulation, moisture and precipitation, air masses (fronts), and water supply. Students also study climate classification, and historical changes in global climate. Students in this lecture-lab course are evaluated by midterm and final examinations with satisfactory completion of the lab work a prerequisite to the final course evaluation. Cost:NA WL:NA (Opdyke)

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 three one-hour exams and a two-hour final exam. Cost:2 WL:4 (Owen)

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 various oceanography 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. Cost:1 WL:4 (Owen)

277. Humans and the Natural World. (3). (Excl).
How humans affect and are affected by the natural environment, including other living creatures, the chemistry of air, water, and land, and the physical environment, particularly climate. Problems of pollution, changes in land use including destruction of natural habitats, population pressure, and climate change. The histories of these assaults on the environment and their underlying causes, with possible solutions. Ethical and political aspects of human interaction with the natural world and the place of humans in nature, particularly from the perspective of biological evolution and Earth history. Two hours of lecture each week in conjunction with GS 123, Life and the Global Environment. The third hour will be a seminar and discussion led by Professor Walker. Textbook and supplementary readings. Short written assignments and a term paper. Exams will include multiple choice and essay questions. Cost:3 WL:3 (Walker)

278. Earthlike Planets. High school science and math recommended. (3). (Excl).
In a small class room setting, Earthlike Planets introduces the freshman or sophomore undergraduate to the terrestrial planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, moon, and Mars. Studies of solid planets will be used as a vehicle to better understand our own world and the methodology and limitations of science in the presence of conflicting hypotheses and ambiguous data. Since western society has made a significant commitment of resources toward he exploration of the planets, we must consider not only the scientific merits of the endeavor but also its historical origins. Grades will be based upon class participation, a midterm exam, and a final project. The final project will provide the basis for a written report and an in-class oral presentation. Cost:2 WL:3 (Gurnis)

279. Ocean Resources. High school science and math recommended. (3). (Excl).
This seminar course will address some of the equivocal issues facing ocean scientists and makers of marine policy. The course will combine an introduction to ocean science with discussions of the conflicting demands placed on marine resources. Some possible issues include: Why save the whales? Why has the U.S. not ratified the Law of the Sea treaty? How much energy can be obtained from ocean tides and waves? How bad are oil spills? Student teams will select weekly topics and lead class discussions, and there will be one major whole-class assignment. Course grade will be determined from two written papers, two hour exams, and participation in discussions. Cost:1 WL:1 (Meyers)

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 and an introduction to global tectonics. 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 M.G. Dennis (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)

422. Principles of Geochemistry. G.S. 231, 305, 310 and Chem. 125/130. (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: Faure, Principles and Applications of Inorganic Geochemistry, (1991). Cost:3 WL:4 (O'Neil)

449. Marine Geology. G.S. 222/223 or introductory physical geology. (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 oceanography (G.S. 222). Cost:2 WL:2 (Rea)

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, x-ray fluorescence, atomic absorption, 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, three midterms, and a final. Cost:NA WL:NA (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. Cost:NA WL:NA (Peacor)

478. Aqueous Geochemistry. Chem. 365 or the equivalent. (3). (Excl).
Solution-mineral-gas equilibrium and mass transfer in geochemical environments ranging from near surface to deeper crustal temperature/pressure regimes. Models for ion activity/concentration relations, reaction path for rock/water interactions, mineral dissolution and precipitation mechanisms and reaction kinetics, adsorption and incorporation of ions. Geochemical links between atmosphere, ocean and crustal reservoirs will be quantified in light of equilibrium and kinetic constraints. Examples focus on surface waters, oceans and crustal fluids. Integrated lecture, laboratory and problem solving to relate chemical concepts to actual field and laboratory measurement of natural water chemistries. Computer modeling of activity-concentration and mineral equilibria. Two hours of lecture and two hours of practicum per week. Evaluation based on weekly problem sets, two examinations and a focused research project. Cost:2 WL:4 (Walter)

483. Geophysics: Seismology. Prior or concurrent election of Math. 215 and Phys. 240; or permission of instructor. (4). (Excl).
This course presents some basic information about earthquakes and the Earth's interior, as inferred from seismic waves. Most treatments are quantitative, and some knowledge of math and physics is required. The course material includes: spatial and temporal distribution of earthquakes, magnitude and intensity scales, earthquake location techniques, seismometry, stress and strain, and crustal deformation due to earthquakes. Also covered are seismic wave equations, refraction and reflection of seismic waves, free oscillations of the Earth, methods of computing synthetic seismograms, Earth's structure as inferred from seismic waves, and earthquake source models. Lecture and laboratory. Cost:1 WL:4 (Satake)


lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.