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1996-97 UAF Catalog

Course Descriptions

Degrees and Programs Index

Geoscience (Geology and Geophysics) Courses

A $20.00 per semester student computing facilities user fee is assessed for Department of Geology and Geophysics courses 200 level and above. This fee is in addition to any material/laboratory fees.

GEOS 100X (4 Credits) Spring
Introduction to Earth Science (3+3) n

Survey of four main disciplines of earth science: geology, oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy. Lab portion goals: vehicle to learn scientific methodology, evidence to support theories presented in lectures. (Prerequisite: English placement test)

GEOS 101X (4 Credits) Fall, Spring
The Dynamic Earth (3+3) n

Physical geology: a study of the earth, its materials, and the processes that effect changes upon and within it. Laboratory training in use of topographic maps and recognition of common rocks and minerals. Laboratory fee: $15.00.

GEOS 104 (3 Credits) Independent Learning Only
Principles of Geology

Provides an understanding of earth processes (both on the earth's surface and at depth) and origin and classification of major rock types. Other topics include factors that have shaped the Earth, geologic events and processes occurring today, and ideas of future occurrences. Will not substitute for GEOS 101X.

GEOS 112X (4 Credits) Spring
The History of Earth and Life (3+3) n

Historical geologic interpretation, geologic time scale, stratigraphic record and interpretation. Sedimentation and plate tectonics, fossil record and utilization, biostratigraphy, and geologic evolution of the North American continent. Lab examination of fossils, interpretation of geologic maps and stratigraphic columns. Laboratory fee: $15.00. (Prerequisite: GEOS 101X with lab (4 credits) or GEOS/GE 261.)

GEOS 120X (4 Credits) Spring
Glaciers, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes: Past, Present, and Future (3+3) n

A survey course for the nonspecialist on the causes, effects, measurements, and prediction of glaciers, earthquakes and volcanoes. Laboratory fee: $15.00.

GEOS 125X (4 Credits) Fall
Humans, Earth, and the Environment (3+3) n

Application of principles of the geological sciences to understanding the relationship of humans to the earth system. Investigation of geologic hazards, including prediction and mitigation, use and distribution of vital resources such as soil, water, minerals, and fossil and alternative fuel sources, especially with respect to Alaskan environment. Earth's atmospheric, oceanic, and biotic systems examined in light of recent developments in global environmental change from both a modern and geologic perspective. Laboratory fee: $15.00.

GEOS 213 (4 Credits) Fall
Mineralogy (2+6) n

Mineral chemistry, atomic structure, elementary crystallography, optical crystallography and descriptive and determinative mineralogy. Instrumental determinative techniques (x- ray diffraction, petrographic microscope). Laboratory fee: $15.00.. (Prerequisites: GEOS 101X or 261; CHEM 105 and concurrent registration in MATH 107-108.)

GEOS 214 (4 Credits) Spring
Petrology and Petrography (2+6) n

Origin, occurrence, and classification of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Laboratory work involves hand lens identification and thin section examination of representative rocks. Laboratory Fee: $15.00. (Prerequisite: GEOS 213.)

GEOS 215 (4 Credits) Fall
Paleobiology and Paleontology (3+3) n

Survey of the history of life on earth as represented in the fossil record. Contribution of paleontology to the study of evolution, past environments, and paleogeography; biostratigraphically important invertebrate fossil groups and their temporal ranges; evolution of terrestrial flora and fauna; current issues in paleontology. Laboratories will emphasize recognition of major fossil groups and paleontological problem solving. (Prerequisites: GEOS 112, BIOL 103 or BIOL 106.)

GEOS 262 (3 Credits) Alternate Fall
Rocks and Minerals (2+3)

Physical properties of minerals and rocks, classification, mode of occurrence and economic applications. Role of rock materials in soil formation and fluid flow; influence on economic deposits and construction. Labs on recognition and measurement of physical properties. Course may not be used to satisfy degree requirements in Geology or Geological Engineering. (Prerequisites: GE/GEOS 261, 101X or equivalent. Next offered: 1997-98.)

GEOS 304 (3 Credits) Fall
Geomorphology (3+0) n

Surface features of the Earth and the processes which create or modify them. Application to Quaternary history, environmental science and related fields. Laboratory examination of topographic maps and aerial photographs, introduction to geomorphic measurements. (Prerequisite: GEOS 101X.)

GEOS 314 (4 Credits) Spring
Structural Geology (3+3) n

Origin and interpretation of primary and secondary geologic structures. Graphical solution of structural problems. Laboratory fee: $15.00. (Prerequisites: GEOS 112X, PHYS 103 or 211, MATH 201, GEOS 214 [or concurrent registration].)

GEOS 321 (3 Credits) Alternate Fall
Sedimentology (2+3) n

Origin, classification, composition, transportation, deposition, and diagenesis of sediments. Laboratory covers identification and description of hand specimens as well as techniques of textural and compositional analysis. Laboratory fee: $15.00. (Prerequisite: GEOS 213 or permission of instructor. Next offered: 1997-98.)

GEOS 322 (4 Credits) Spring
Stratigraphy and Sedimentation (3+3) n

Analysis of sequence in sediments including principles of litho-, bio- and chronostratigraphy and facies analysis. Surface and subsurface methods utilizing petrologic and geophysical data. Laboratory emphasizes correlation problem from geologic maps and subsurface data. Laboratory fee: $15.00. (Prerequisites: GEOS 101X or 261, and 112X).

GEOS 332 (3 Credits) Alternate Spring
Ore Deposits and Structure (1+6)

Distribution and characteristics (especially mineralogy, morphology, and structure) of major mineral deposit types with background on structural techniques. Emphasis on application to mineral exploration and development. Laboratory exercises stress recognition of major mineral deposit types, zoning and grade patterns; and use of structural techniques in mineral deposit exploration/development. Laboratory fee: $15.00. (Prerequisite: GEOS 262 or permission of instructor. Next offered: 1997-98.)

GEOS 351W (6 Credits) Alternate Summer
Field Geology (Arranged) n

Practical experience in collecting and presenting basic field data. Includes field mapping of stratigraphic and structural problems, aerial photographs, plane table maps, and preparation of professional reports and geologic maps. Students pay own transportation, subsistence and tuition. Entrance by preregistration only; apply through the department. Early registration recommended. Geophysics option students may enroll for 4 credits if they also register for GEOS 451. All others must take 6 credits. (Prerequisites: Junior standing in geology and permission of instructor. Next offered: Summer 1998.)

GEOS 370 (4 Credits) Alternate Spring
Sedimentary and Structural Geology for Petroleum Engineers (3+3) n

Origin and distribution of sedimentary rocks including depositional environments, stratigraphic relationships, and structures. Emphasis on the relationship to petroleum occurrences and petroleum exploration. Laboratory exercises on mapping, structural problems and facies relationships in petroleum exploration. Laboratory fee: $15.00. (Prerequisite: GEOS 101X or GE 261. Next offered: 1997-98.)

GEOS 401 (3 Credits) Alternate Fall
Invertebrate Paleontology (2+3) n

Study of invertebrate phyla with extensive geologic records. Emphasis on principles of biostratigraphy and paleoecology, application to geologic problems, and case studies from Alaska. Laboratory study of fossil assemblages with emphasis on stratigraphically significant groups. Designed to complement GEOS 322. Laboratory fee: $15.00. (Prerequisite: GEOS 215 or permission of instructor; GEOS 322 recommended. Next offered: 1996-97.)

GEOS 408 (2 Credits) Alternate Spring
Photogeology (1+3) n

Use of topographic maps, geologic maps, aerial photographs, and satellite imagery in interpretation of geological structures, landscapes, landforms, and geomorphic processes. Techniques included are map compilation, photo mapping, statistical treatment of map data, and composite mapping for planning. Laboratory fee: $15.00 (Prerequisite: GEOS 304 or permission of instructor. Next offered: 1997-98.)

GEOS 410 (2 Credits) Fall
Potential Methods in Geophysics (1+3) n

Theory of potential methods and application to geophysical exploration. Basic techniques and methods of interpretation of gravimetric and magnetic measurements. Class meets for one-half of the semester only. (Prerequisites: MATH 201, PHYS 212, or permission of instructor.)

GEOS 411 (3 Credits) Spring
Seismic Exploration (2+3) n

Fundamental principles of seismic exploration techniques, beginning with basic laws of seismic wave propagation and ending with practical application of the techniques, including reflection and refraction methods. Class meets for one-half of the semester only. (Prerequisites: MATH 201, PHYS 212, or permission of instructor.)

GEOS 412 (2 Credits) Fall
Electrical Methods in Geophysics (1+3) n

Electrical resistivity and current flow in the earth and the practical application in the realm of geophysical exploration. Class meets for one-half of the semester only. (Prerequisites: MATH 201, PHYS 212, or permission of instructor.)

GEOS 417 (3 Credits) Fall
Introduction to Geochemistry (3+0) n
(Same as GEOS 618)

Application of chemical principles and elemental/isotopic behavior to the study of the earth. Topics include: aqueous geochemistry, high-temperature mineral-elemental chemistry, isotopic chemistry, kinetics and thermochemistry. Students in GEOS 618 will do additional reading and problems and must have all prerequisites and graduate standing. (Prerequisites: CHEM 105X-106X and either GEOS 213, 214, and 322 or CHEM 331 and 332.)

GEOS 418 (3 Credits) Fall
Basic Geophysics (3+0) n

Concepts and techniques of geophysics including origin of the earth, its structure, and large scale dynamic processes responsible for its surface features. Geophysical techniques including seismology, gravity, magnetometry, and electrical methods discussed along with measurements of the earth's thermal structure, rotation rates, and tide effects. (Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.)

GEOS 420 (4 Credits) Alternate Fall
Elements of Seismology (3+3) n

Global distribution of earthquakes; causes and effects of earthquakes with reference to Alaska; instrumentation utilization for determination of earthquake sources and subsurface structures; techniques for studies of seismotectonics and earthquake prediction. (Prerequisite: Geoscience students: MATH 201; Civil Engineering students: ES 331. Next offered: 1997-98.)

GEOS 422 (3 Credits) Spring
Geoscience Applications of Remote Sensing (2+3) n

Remote sensing and its applications to geologic, environmental and physical sciences. Includes nomenclature, a review of sensing systems, and forms in which data is available. Emphasis on use of LANDSAT, radar imagery, thermal imagery and color infrared photograph. (Prerequisites: PHYS 104, 212, junior standing or consent of instructor.)

GEOS 430 (3 Credits) Spring
Statistics and Data Analysis in Geology (3+0) n

Computer-supported geologic applications of elementary statistics, Markov chains, time-series analysis, trend-surface analysis, factor analysis, cluster analysis, discriminant analysis, and multiple regression. Laboratory fee: $15.00. (Prerequisites: MATH 200 or STAT 301; senior standing or permission of instructor.)

GEOS 432 (3 Credits) Alternate Fall and Spring
Geology of Mineral Resources (3+0) n

Occurrence and characteristics of metallic and selected nonmetallic mineral deposits, geographic locations, petrotectonic settings, mineralogic and petrologic features, and theories of genesis, with applications to exploration and development. (Prerequisites: GEOS 214, 314, 322, 401. Next offered: 1997-98.)

GEOS 432L (2 Credits) Alternate Fall and Spring
Geology of Mineral Resources Laboratory (1+3) n

Laboratory work includes identification, characterization and systematic description of major ore types. Laboratory fee: $15.00. (Prerequisites: GEOS 214. Next offered: 1997-98.)

GEOS 462O (4 Credits) Alternate Fall
Glacial and Periglacial Geology (3+3) n

Glaciers and their geological processes. Emphasizes recognition and understanding of glacial landforms, sediments, and stratigraphic relations, and implications for paleoclimatology, and paleogeography. Includes non- glacial techniques and methods for interpreting Quaternary sediments. Laboratory fee: $15.00. (Prerequisite: GEOS 304. Next offered: 1997-98.)

GEOS 465 (3 Credits) As Demand Warrants
Geoarchaeology (3+0)
(Same as ANTH 465)

Geological context of archaeological sites and the geologic factors that affect their preservation, with emphasis on Alaska. Includes a one or two-day field trip planned for a weekend in late April or early May. Materials fee: $5.00. (Prerequisites: GEOS 101X, an introductory course in archaeology, or permission of instructor. Next offered: 1997-98.)

GEOS 475W,O (2 Credits) Spring
Presentation Techniques in the Geosciences (1+3)
(Same as GEOS 675)

Instruction and practice in oral and written communication skills specifically related to the geosciences. Oral and written presentation of abstracts, resumes, proposals, and reports required. Works critically analyzed by instructor(s), and peers for both geoscience content and communication effectiveness. Laboratory fee: $15.00. (Prerequisite: Senior standing in geology.)

GEOS 482 (1 Credit) Fall, Spring
Geology Seminar (1+0)

A weekly seminar series on a geologic theme of current interest for a complete semester. (Prerequisite: Senior or graduate standing or permission of instructor.)

GEOS 600 (4 Credits) Fall
Introduction to X-ray Spectrometry (2+6)

Theory of x-ray spectrometry and quantitative chemical analysis; mechanics of microprobe and X-ray equivalent instruction, is required for use of the Cameca SX-50 at UAF. (Prerequisites: Graduate standing in the sciences or engineering; PHYS 212, STAT 300, and GEOS 417; or permission of instructor.)

GEOS 602 (3 Credits) Alternate Fall
Geophysical Fields (3+0)

Introduction to the application of potential theory to fields of geophysical interest, namely heat flow, gravity magnetics, and geoelectricity. Emphasis will be placed on methods for solving classes of problems, and the geophysical interpretation of solutions. (Prerequisites: MATH 421/422, General Physics, or instructor approval.)

GEOS 603 (1-2 Credits) As Demand Warrants
Advanced Field Mapping (0+3) - (1+3)

Practical experience in advanced field mapping techniques with accompanying instruction in the regional and local geology of the study area. (Prerequisite: GEOS 351.)

GEOS 604 (3 Credits) Alternate Fall
Intermediate Seismology (3+0)

Sources of ground motion including focal mechanisms, magnitude and propagation of waves within the earth. Measurement of seismic data by analog and digital techniques and subsequent treatment of seismic data by various techniques including inversion.

GEOS 605 (3 Credits) Fall
Geochronology (3+0)

The application of the most commonly used radiometric dating methods to geologic problems. Fundamentals of the K-Ar, Rb-Sr, fission-track, U-Th-Pb and C methods. Laboratory training in K-Ar and fission-track dating techniques. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.)

GEOS 606 (2 Credits) Alternate Spring
Volcanology (2+0)

Physical processes of volcanism. Specific topics to be discussed include global tectonic setting, physical properties of magmas, eruption mechanisms, volcanic hazards, volcano geophysics. Special emphasis will be on explosive volcanism and its products, the pyroclastic rocks. Geochemistry and petrology will not be emphasized in this course. (Prerequisite: permission of instructor.)

GEOS 607 (2 Credits) Spring
Advanced Paleomagnetism (1+3)

An advanced course in the theory and practice of paleomagnetism including the basic magnetic properties of rocks, paleomagnetic techniques, and interpretation of paleomagnetic data. (Prerequisite: Senior or graduate standing.)

GEOS 609 (2-4 Credits) Fall and Spring
Advanced Geomorphology (2-4+0-3)

An advanced course providing a detailed treatment of geomorphology. Specific topics to be covered in different semesters include A. quantitative geomorphology, B. landscape evolution, C. periglacial geology, and D. geomorphology of Alaska. Each time the course is offered only one topic will be considered. (Prerequisites: GEOS 304 or permission of instructor.)

GEOS 610 (3 Credits) Alternate Spring
Advanced Seismology (3+0)

Characteristics of seismic sources; general properties of seismic wave forms; near field and far field of seismic radiation; characteristics of seismic wave propagation media; free oscillations of the earth. (Prerequisites: Math. 421, PHYS 312, elementary course in basic seismology or permission of instructor.)

GEOS 611 (3 Credits) Fall
Advanced Structural Geology and Tectonics (3+0)

An advanced course providing an in-depth treatment of specific aspects of structural geology and tectonics. Topics to be considered in different semesters include: (A) tectonics and sedimentation, (B) mountain belts of the world, (C) structural analysis, (D) structural geology of a specific tectonic setting (such as fold-and-thrust belts or rifts), and (E) other special topics in structural geology or tectonics. (Prerequisites: GEOS 314 or equivalent and graduate standing or permission of instructor.)

GEOS 612 (3 Credits) Alternate Fall
Geologic Evolution of Alaska (3+0)

An overview of the geological provinces of Alaska and neighboring continental and oceanic regions. Emphasis will be on the geologic history and tectonic evolution of Alaska. (Prerequisites: GEOS 214, 314, 321, and 322, or equivalents.)

GEOS 613 (3 Credits) Alternate Spring
Global Tectonics (3+0)

An advanced course dealing with tectonic theory. Emphasis on plate tectonics with discussions of the evidence supporting the plate hypothesis and the interaction of plates both past and present.

GEOS 614 (3 Credits) Alternate Spring
Ice Physics (3+0)

A survey of the physics of ice. Topics will include the crystal structure and properties of ice, high pressure phases, hydrogen bonding, mechanical properties, thermal properties, electrical and acoustic properties, nucleation and growth, optical properties, and surface properties (adhesion, friction). (Prerequisites: MATH 421/422, General Physics, Materials Science and/or Solid State Physics recommended.)

GEOS 615 (3 Credits) Fall
Sea Ice (3+0)

A study of sea ice in the natural environment including sea ice properties and processes on the microscale and the macroscale, freezing processes and sea ice growth, ice decay, and ice dynamics. (Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.)

GEOS 616 (3 Credits) Alternate Spring
Permafrost (3+0)

The study of the occurrence, thickness, environmental problems, and mass and energy transport of permafrost, including soil and ice interaction, freezing and thawing processes, and mechanical and electrical properties and processes. (Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.)

GEOS 617 (3 Credits) Alternate Fall
Glaciers (3+0)

The mechanisms responsible for the existence, motion and variations of present day glaciers and ice sheets, the paleoclimate information which they contained, and their role in engineering hydrology. (Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.)

GEOS 618 (3 Credits) Fall
Introduction to Geochemistry (3+0) n
(Same as GEOS 417)

Application of chemical principles and elemental/isotopic behavior to the study of the earth. Topics include: aqueous geochemistry, high-temperature mineral-elemental chemistry, isotopic chemistry, kinetics and thermochemistry. Students in GEOS 618 will do additional reading and problems and must have all prerequisites and graduate standing. (Prerequisites: CHEM 105X-106X and either GEOS 213, 214, and 322 or CHEM 331 and 332.)

GEOS 620 (3 Credits) Alternate Fall
Geodynamics (3+0)

Applications of continuum mechanics and heat flow theory to geophysical, geologic and glaciological problems. Topics such as postglacial rebound, non-Newtonian fluid flow, thermal convection, stress-relaxation and the rheology of earth materials will be discussed. (Prerequisites: MATH 421/422, GEOS 419 or equivalent, or instructor approval.)

GEOS 621 (3-4 Credits) As Demand Warrants
Advanced Petrology (2-3+3-6)

An advanced course providing a detailed treatment of various aspects of petrology. Specific topics to be considered in different semesters include: (A) metamorphic petrology, (B) igneous petrology, and (C) igneous and metamorphic petrography. Each time the course is offered, only one topic will be presented. Laboratory fee for each course: $15.00. (Prerequisites: GEOS 214, 316.)

GEOS 635 (1-4 Credits) As Demand Warrants
Advanced Economic Geology (1-4+0-3)

An advanced course providing an in-depth treatment of various aspects of economic geology. Specific topics will be considered in different semesters. They include: (A) ore microscopy, (B) industrial minerals, (C) economics of minerals, (D) geochemistry of ore deposits, (E) modern fossil fuel exploration, and (F) detailed study of particular ore deposit type. Only one topic will be presented at a time. (Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.)

GEOS 637 (4 Credits) As Demand Warrants
Rock-Forming Minerals (3+3)

Examination of the rock-forming minerals; their structure and composition. Application of mineral data to problems in geochemistry, petrology and ore deposits. Laboratory involves analysis of minerals by various analytical techniques. (Prerequisites: GEOS 213, GEOS 417, GEOS 621C or equivalent, or instructor approval.)

GEOS 640 (4 Credits) Alternate Spring
Petrology of Carbonate Rocks (3+3)

Origin, depositional environments, diagenesis and classification of limestones, dolostones and related rocks. (Prerequisite: GEOS 401 or permission of instructor.)

GEOS 643 (3 Credits) Alternate Fall
Sandstone Depositional Environments (3+0)

An advanced course stratigraphy treating the hydrodynamics, sediment dispersal patterns, and preservation potential of modern terrigenous clastic depositional environments and criteria for recognizing their ancient counterparts in the geologic record. (Prerequisites: GEOS 321, GEOS 322.)

GEOS 647 (3 Credits) As Demand Warrants
Advanced Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (3+0)

An advanced course dealing with various topics in sedimentology and stratigraphy. Specific offerings to be presented at various times include: (A) sequence stratigraphy and sea-level analysis, (B) sandstone petrology, (C) thermal maturation and geohistory analysis of sediments. Materials fee: $10.00. (Prerequisite: GEOS 322.)

GEOS 649 (3 Credits) As Demand Warrants
Geomorphology of the Unglaciated Arctic and Subarctic (3+0)

A study of the processes that shape northern landscapes and of the distinctive morphology that they produce. Application to environmental planning, soils engineering, ecology and paleoecology, Quaternary history, and economic geology. (Prerequisite: GEOS 101 and 304 desirable, but not required.)

GEOS 650 (3 Credits) As Demand Warrants
Paleoecology of Beringia

Reconstruction of landscape, climate, biota and ecology of Beringia between 40,000 and 8,000 years ago through literature surveys. (Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.)

GEOS 651 (3 Credits) As Demand Warrants
Quaternary Seminar (3+0) (Same as ANTH 651)

The seminar will involve learning about the Quaternary Period (relatively recent past spanning the past two million years) in order to gain a better understanding of the landscape, biota, and climate of the present day. Quaternary studies are concerned with the historical dimension of the natural sciences. This seminar will range widely over diverse interdisciplinary subjects of Quaternary interest, such as paleoclimatology, paleobiogeography, vertebrate paleontology, and sedimentology. Materials fee: $5.00. (Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.)

GEOS 652 (3 Credits) Alternate Fall
Quaternary Vegetation History (2+3)

Reconstruction and interpretation of past vegetation during the Quaternary period (2 MY - present), as determined from palynology and related methods. Emphasis on the contribution of historical vegetation studies to modern ecology, landscape evolution (natural and anthropogenic), and paleoclimatology. Laboratory projects focus on Alaskan problems. (Prerequisites: BIOL 271 or BIOL 472 or BIOL 474 or GEOS 401 or permission of instructor.)

GEOS 661 (3 Credits) Alternate Spring
Microwave Active Remote Sensing (3+0)

Principles of operation of side-looking and synthetic aperture radar systems, methodology of image construction, signal processing for error compensation, image optimization. (Prerequisites: PHYS 331 or equivalent.)

GEOS 662 (3 Credits) Alternate Fall
Microwave Scattering from Land, Sea and Ice (3+0)

Physical mechanisms of microwave scattering from terrain and sea surfaces; microwave dielectric properties of natural earth materials; random surface scatter and emission; active microwave sensing of the ocean, the land and vegetative, snow, and ice covered surfaces. (Prerequisites: PHYS 331 or equivalent.)

GEOS 670 (1-3 Credits) Fall
Selected Topics in Volcanology (1-3 +0)

Survey course in subjects relating to volcanology. Possible subjects include, but are not limited to, eruption dynamics, geophysics of eruptions, volatiles in volcanic systems, modeling volcanic systems. May be repeated for credit. (Prerequisites: GEOS 621, GEOS 417.)

GEOS 675 (2 Credits) Spring
Presentation Techniques in the Geosciences (1+3)
(Same as GEOS 475W,O)

Development of oral and written presentation skills in the geological sciences with emphasis on the critical analysis of both peers and the instructor(s). Oral and written presentations of abstracts, resumes, proposals and reports. Materials fee: $15.00. (Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Geology.)