Geology


Department of Geology
*GEOL 100. The Earth and Man (3, 2; 3, 0 alternating). 3 credits.
A study of the earth. Major topics will include minerals and rocks, and internal and surface processes which create constant change in the planet. The evolution of scientific thought and the impact of geology on man and man's impact on the earth will be emphasized.
GEOL 110. Physical Geology (3, 2). 4 credits.
A systematic study of earth materials including the internal and external processes that affect earth structure and landforms. Topics include the genesis/properties of rocks and minerals, plate tectonics, and the agents of change that drive surface processes and land-form development.
*GEOL 211. Introduction to Oceanography. 3 credits.
An introduction to the oceanography of coastal environs including barrier islands, estuaries and tidal marshes. The physical, geological and biochemical characteristics of coastal waters will be discussed in the context of the economic and social pressures brought to bear on these areas by an increasing global population.
GEOL 220. Genetic Mineralogy (2, 2). 3 credits.
A study of mineral genesis. Emphasis is directed toward mineralogical environments, mineral associations and the geology/mineralogy of classical localities. An appreciation of mineral value and aesthetics is incorporated throughout the course.
GEOL 230. Evolution of Earth (3, 2). 4 credits.
An introduction to the evidence, methods and assumptions used by scientists to unravel the earth's origin and history. Emphasis on rock analysis/interpretation, modern and ancient processes of mountain building, origin and evolution of life, and the history of the North American continent. Prerequisite: GEOL 110 or permission of instructor.
GEOL 272. Planetary Geology. 3 credits.
A survey of currently developing ideas in planetology including origin of the planets, meteorites and planetary interiors. Also included are geologic processes and land forms on the moon and terrestrial planets, their modification under various planetary environments, and analogies to familiar earth land forms. Prerequisite: GEOL 100 or 110.
GEOL 280. Mineralogy (3, 2). 3 credits.
A study of morphological crystallography followed by hand specimen mineralogy and mineral chemistry. Prerequisite: GEOL 110.
GEOL 290. Optical Mineralogy (3, 2). 3 credits.
A study of the optical properties of minerals and mineral identification with the petrographic microscope. Prerequisite: GEOL 280.
GEOL 300. Introduction to Petrology (3, 2). 3 credits.
An introduction to the classification of metamorphic and igneous rocks. Laboratory study of hand specimens and thin sections. Prerequisite: GEOL 290 and corequisite: CHEM 131.
GEOL/GEOG 310 A-D. Environmental Impact. 2-3 credits, repeatable to 6 credits.
Focuses on a selected environmental realm. The course will examine the interface between human activities and environmental systems. It will address the impacts of social, economic and political activities on the environment. GEOL/GEOG 310 A-Atmosphere (air pollution); B-Biosphere (vegetation/wildlife); C-Hydrosphere (water); D-Lithosphere (geologic hazards/land issues). Prerequisite: GEOG 210, GEOL 100 or 110.
GEOL 320. Meteorology. 3 credits.
A survey of the science of weather including weather forecasting, weather maps and related atmospheric processes. Emphasis is placed on the dynamic aspects of meteorology and the interrelationships of atmospheric phenomena with land masses and the world ocean.
GEOL 340. Soils and Land Use (2, 2). 3 credits.
The origin, distribution and properties of soils are emphasized in the lecture, laboratory and field. These aspects are used to determine the value of various soil types for such uses as agriculture, forestry, recreation, urban development and structural foundations. Prerequisite: GEOL 100 or 110 and CHEM 131, or permission of the instructor.
GEOL/BIO 350. Invertebrate Paleontology (3, 2). 4 credits.
The history of nonvertebrate life from its origin, through evolving biogeochemical cycles, origin of eukaryotes and multicellularity, evolutionary records of all major groups and theoretical issues such as major group origins, adaptive radiation patterns, extinctions, functional adaptations and paleoecology. Prerequisite: GEOL 230, a general zoology course or permission of the instructor. (Formerly GEOL 250.)
GEOL 355. Geochemistry of Natural Waters (2, 2). 3 credits.
Study of chemical theory and reactions important in natural water systems. The role of atmospheric, geologic and biological inputs in determining the geochemistry of streams, rivers and oceans. Prerequisite: CHEM 131-132 or equivalent.
GEOL 364. Stratigraphy and Basin Analysis (3, 3). 4 credits.
Lecture emphasizes application of sedimentologic and stratigraphic principles to identifying and interpreting depositional systems, and examines how eustasy (sequence theory) and local tectonics influence the distribution of depositional systems under different plate tectonic regimes. Lab emphasizes critical field observation, application of theory to stratigraphic analysis, and writing scientific papers. Prerequisite: GEOL 230.
GEOL 365. Structural Geology (3, 2). 3 credits.
Major and minor structures of the earth's crust. Mechanical principles involved in folding, faulting, jointing and penecontemporaneous structures. The causes and results of mountain building processes. Preparation and interpretation of geologic maps. Prerequisite: GEOL 110; GEOL 230 recommended.
GEOL 385. Geomorphology (2, 2). 3 credits.
The description, classification, analysis, origin and evolution of land forms. The physical and chemical processes that have formed the present landscape. Advanced interpretation of topographic maps. (This course is required by the U.S. Civil Service Commission for employment as a geologist in the federal government.) Prerequisite: GEOL 100, 110 or GEOG 210.
GEOL 390. Laboratory Techniques in Geology (2, 2). 3 credits.
An elective course for science majors. A study of the basic theories and techniques of laboratory methods and instrumentation. Implementation and application of techniques to geological problems. Prerequisite: GEOL 280 and permission of the instructor.
GEOL 398. Topics in Geology. 1-4 credits.
Study of selected topics in geology at the upper division level. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.
GEOL 399. Field Geology. 6 credits.
Field methods include use of Brunton compass, telescopic alidade and plane table, and compass traversing. A synthesis of geologic concepts and principles leading to the construction and interpretation of geologic and topographic maps. Prerequisite: GEOL 364 and 365, or permission of the instructor.
GEOL/BIO 405. Vertebrate Paleontology (3, 1). 3 credits.
A study of the origin and evolution of the vertebrates. Emphasis will be on understanding how the processes of earth evolution and biological evolution have interacted through time to produce a coherent picture of vertebrate history. Prerequisite: GEOL 230, a general zoology course or permission of the instructor. (Formerly GEOL 435.)
GEOL 410. Engineering Geology (2, 2). 3 credits.
Study of the applications of geology to engineering practice. Topics include soil mechanics, foundations, engineering classification of soils, slope stability and mineral aggregates. Prerequisite: GEOL 340 and MATH 205 or 235, or equivalent.
GEOL 415. Geological Evolution of North America. 3 credits.
A systematic survey of the tectonic evolution of the North American continent, and the corresponding evolution of depositional basins and paleoenvironments. Prerequisite: GEOL 364 and 365, or permission of the instructor.
GEOL 450. Geology Seminar. 1 credit.
An in-depth study of a particular problem in geology e.g., plate tectonics, astrogeology, low-temperature geochemistry, etc.) Scientific literature will be reviewed and discussed. Prerequisite: 20 credits in GEOL.
GEOL 460. Geohydrology (2, 2). 3 credits.
Basic concepts of subsurface water as a part of the hydrologic cycle. Topics include storativity and permeability in porous media, principles of flow, computer applications, groundwater exploration, mapping and environmental aspects of groundwater. Prerequisite: GEOL 100 or 110 and two semesters of calculus, or permission of the instructor.
GEOL 489. Quantitative Methods in Geology (2, 3). 3 credits.
A mathematical approach to the treatment of geological problems. Emphasis is placed on the techniques for the management and analysis of geological data. Prerequisite: Computer programming or permission of the instructor.
GEOL 491. Geological Literature Research. 3 credits.
Provides instruction in the definition of a geological problem, sources and strategies for a literature search, and the preparation of both written and oral reports. Prerequisite: Geology major (senior standing) and permission of the instructor.
GEOL 493. Geophysics (2, 2). 3 credits.
A survey of applied geophysics and the relationship of geophysics to the earth as a whole. Topics include seismology, gravity, magnetism, electrical methods and additional selected subjects. The laboratory will stress reduction and interpretation of geophysical data. Prerequisite: GEOL 100 or 110 and two semesters of calculus, or permission of the instructor.
GEOL 497. Problems in Geology. 1-3 credits each semester.
An undergraduate research course in one of the fields of geology. Open to advanced students who have adequate preparation. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
GEOL 499. Honors in Geology. 6 credits. Year course.

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Undergraduate Catalog Contents


1996-97 Undergraduate Catalog
Last reviewed: 30 November 1996
Information Publisher: Division of Academic Affairs
James Madison University