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 (001: Meyers; 002: Lohmann)

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 is based on final exams. Cost:1 WL:4 (Ruff)

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. WL:1 (Satake)

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

Our society uses large quantities of metals for industrial, scientific, and recreational pursuits. Many people, however, are unaware of how these materials become available, or how small the supply of some metals may be. This course concerns the geologic, economic, and political aspects of metallic industrial and strategic minerals. Emphasis will be placed on the types of ore deposits in which these minerals occur, and the geologic processes responsible for forming the deposits. The geographic distribution and estimated remaining reserves of important metals will be reviewed, as well as economic and political constraints on methods of mining and distribution. The capacity of the U.S. for self-sufficiency with regard to strategic metals, such as chromium, manganese, and cobalt, will also be discussed. Lecture format. A course pack (strongly recommended) is available from Dollar Bill Copying. Grade will be determined solely by a final exam. Cost:1 (Kesler)

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 (Owen)

113. Planets and Moons. No credit granted to those with credit for GS 278. (1). (NS).

"Planets and Moons" is a survey of the geology of the "solid" bodies of the solar system as revealed by both the manned exploration of our own moon and unmanned, "robotic," exploration of the inner planets and moons of the outer planets. The course will not only provide qualitative description of planetary surfaces as revealed by photographic reconnaissance, but will also provide physical explanations of what we see in terms of external cratering processing and internal dynamic processes. Exploration of the planets reveals that impact cratering is the single most pervasive process in the solar system. Particular emphasis will be placed on why the various bodies have such different morphologies, especially why they are so different from the Earth. Nevertheless, planetary exploration does provide the framework to understand our own Earth better, especially the first billion years of terrestrial evolution. Instruction by lecture; evaluation by means of final exam. Cost:2 (Gurnis)

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 (Essene)

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

A basic single-term course in introductory geology concentrating on the evolution of the Earth in physical and chemical terms with particular reference to modern plate tectonic theory, and to the interaction of the external biosphere-atmosphere-hydrosphere with the Earth's interior. The laboratory provides a practical study of minerals, rocks and geologic maps. One hour each week is scheduled for review and discussion of topics covered in class. Lectures, laboratory and discussion. Cost:2 WL:4 (Mukasa and Pollack)

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 lectures shared with Geology 117 but does not include the laboratory section. A separate discussion section is also scheduled to insure continuity with class material and student-teacher contact. Students interested in ONE-TERM laboratory introductory science course should elect Geology 117. Lectures and discussion. Cost:2 WL:4 (Mukasa and Pollack)

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/AOSS 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 and homework exercises. Instruction is by lectures, films, and assigned reading. The text is The Global Environment by P. ReVelle and C. ReVelle, publ. by Jones and Bartlett, 1992. Cost:2 WL:4 (Walker)

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

The course will survey the history of life, mechanisms of evolution and extinction, and large-scale evolutionary trends. A secondary focus will be problems in the philosophy of science arising in connection with these topics. Requirements include lectures, discussion sections, readings, exams, and short papers. Readings consist of a textbook, Darwin's Origin of Species and Raup's The Nemesis Affair. (Lectures and assignments for the two section numbers, 001 and 002, will be nearly identical. Students should register for only one section number.) Cost:3 WL:4 (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, through the origin of life, the building of the current continents and ocean basins, and the origin of humankind. Lectures three times a week for the full term. Textbook required. Evaluation will be based on three exams. Cost:2 WL:3/4 (Pollack and Smith)

201/Geography 201. Introductory Geography: Water, Climate, and Mankind. (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:3 WL:3 (Opdyke)

205. How the Earth Works: the Dynamic Planet. (2). (NS).

The dynamic Earth has given us oceans, continents and an atmosphere. Its continuing activity is manifested today by the destructive powers of such natural phenomena as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and mountain building. The unifying concept of plate tectonics contains the clue to the shape and changes in the physical environment of the Earth from its initial formation to today. Our goal is to present a fully integrated approach to the evolving Earth's unique features in our solar system and explain its physical and chemical principles using conceptual and factual material. Extensive use is made of videos, slides and classroom demonstrations. Two lectures/week; evaluation based on midterm and final exam. No special background required. Course reading: Earth's Dynamic Systems by W.K. Hamblin and a course pack. This course can be taken singly or concurrently with its companion course (GS 206); together they constitute a balanced introduction to modern earth sciences. Cost:2 WL:1 (Lange and Ruff)

206. How the Earth Works: the Water Cycle and Environment. (2). (NS).

This course describes behavior of earth materials in the surficial environment. Water is the main transport agent in the geological cycle; it's unique properties and exchange rates among oceans, lakes, rivers, and groundwater are one focus. Interaction between water reservoirs and physical and chemical weathering of soils, sediments and rocks also are discussed. Impact of humans on the surficial environment is a unifying theme because we can affect hydrologic and geochemical cycles. No special background required. Two lectures and one optional discussion session per week. Several field sessions are planned to collect water and sediment samples for follow-up lab analyses. Evaluation based on three exams and participation. Readings include The Global Water Cycle: Geochemistry and Environment (Berner and Berner). This course, and its companion course (GS 205), may be taken singly or concurrently and together constitute a balanced introduction to modern earth science. Cost:2 WL:2 (L. Walter)

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. Cost:2 WL:3 (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. Cost:1 WL:3 (Moore)

272. Seminar: Environmental Geology. High school math and science. (3). (NS).

This seminar will focus on a wide spectrum of possible interactions between people and their physical environment and could be described as a course in applied geology. Fundamental principles important to the study of environmental geology will be presented followed by readings of case histories and discussions of selected environmental problems including natural hazards (flooding, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions), water resources, global warming, nuclear waste disposal, and geological aspects of environmental health. Students can study this subject without any previous exposure to the geological sciences. The goal of the seminar is to provide a scientific basis for making informed decisions on the myriad of environmental problems that challenge a modern technocratic society. Student will be evaluated on the basis of midterm and final examinations as well as a short term paper. Cost:2 WL:1 (O'Neil)

273. Contemporary Dinosaurs. (3) (NS).

Paleontologists' understanding of dinosaurs and other fossil reptiles has undergone a revolutionary transformation since the mid-1970's. New data, new methodologies, and new assumptions about the basic biology of extinct reptiles have resulted in a more complex and dynamic picture of dinosaurian behaviour, ecology, and morphology, and new estimates of their evolutionary history and relationships. In this course, we will investigate both these new scientific conceptions of fossil reptiles including dinosaurs, pterosaurs, aquatic reptiles, and other related groups and examine the history and philosophy of paleobiological work. We will also pursue aspects of contemporary evolutionary theory and introduce background information on geological processes needed to understand the field. Course requirements include one brief (5 page) paper and one term paper of about 15 pages, a mid-term and final exam, and vigorous class participation. Weekly readings will be assigned from reserve materials, text, and course pack. There are no prerequisites for enrollment. Cost:2 WL:3, students should ask instructor for override, but also are encouraged to sign up for it at CRISP too. (Cox)

274. Seminar: What is Science Anyway? High school math and science. (3). (NS).

The course examines philosophical aspects of certain modern controversies in geology and evolutionary biology, in particular creationism's perennial challenge to evolution, the Alvarez meteor-impact hypothesis for explaining the extinction of the dinosaurs, and global warming. Readings will be drawn both from the primary scientific literature and from some of the major 20th century works in the philosophy of science (e.g., Ayer, Popper, Kuhn, Feyerabend). Discussions will focus on both the scientific issues and on certain philosophical questions: 1) How do we distinguish science from non-science? 2) What are the roles of social and historical factors in the construction of scientific theories and in the fixing of belief? Requirements: readings, discussion, and two short term papers. Cost:3 WL:4 (McShea)

277. Humans and the Natural World. (3). (NS).

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)

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:4 WL:3 (Mukasa and Essene)

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 Voo)

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)

439. Fossil Record and Evolution of Mammals. Permission of instructor. (4). (Excl).

Overview of the history of mammals based on the fossil record. Course covers osteology and odontology of living mammals, with particular emphasis on skeletal elements commonly preserved as fossils and their value for understanding the biology of extinct mammals; patterns of morphological variation and species concepts; evolutionary patterns at the species level; Mesozoic mammals; origin and diversification of modern orders in the Cenozoic; morphological and molecular approaches to mammalian phylogeny at higher taxonomic levels; evolution of the brain and other anatomical systems. Understanding of basic geology and biology is assumed. Student evaluation based on laboratory participation, research paper, midterm and final exams. Extensive reading of original literature in addition to text. Three lectures and one 3-hour lab per week. Cost:3 WL:4 (Gingerich)

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:3 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, and atomic absorption. 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:2 WL:3 (Peacor, Essene, and Owen)

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:2 WL:3 (Peacor)

473. Fundamentals of Organic Geochemistry. G.S. 305 or Chem. 215/216. (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/AOSS 480. The Planets: Composition, Structure and Evolution. Math 216, Physics 240, and Chemistry 125/130. (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).

This course studies physics of earthquakes and the Earth's interior. Various seismological techniques to infer those from seismic waves are presented. Most treatments are application of physics to the real Earth and basic knowledge of math and physics is required. Geological background is not required. The outline of the course is: 1) basic seismological information including spatial and temporal distribution of earthquakes, magnitude and intensity scales, locating earthquakes, and seismometry; 2) elastic wave theory including stress and strain, seismic wave equations, body and surface waves, refraction and reflection, free oscillations of the Earth; 3) the Earth's structure; 4) earthquake source models. Lecture and laboratory. Cost:1 WL:4 (Satake)


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