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Department of Physics and Geosciences
Member, Texas Tech University System The Princeton Review - 373 Best Colleges, 2011 Edition

Courses in Geology (GEOL)

1401/1403 Physical Geology (3-2). Earth materials, structure, landforms, mineral resources, and the processes that form them.  Emphasizes plate tectonics and how humans are affected by Earth processes.

1402/1404 Historical Geology (3-2). Application of geologic principles to interpret four billion years of Earth history recorded in rocks.  Includes evolutionary changes and the use of fossils in time and space. 

3102 Field Methods in Geology and Hydrogeology(0-3). An introduction to techniques used by field geologists.  Tools used include Brunton compass, aerial photographs, and hydrology equipment.   Techniques will be applied to construct a geologic map during a required field trip.  Perquisite: Geology 1401 or 1402.

3302 Hydrology (3-0).  This course provides an introduction to the movement and storage of water on the Earth’s surface (hydrology) and in the subsurface (hydrogeology). Topics to include surface water, aquifer properties, groundwater, groundwater modeling, human use and abuse of water resources, contamination, and extraction. Prerequisites: GEOL 1401 or 1402 and Math 1302.

3303 Environmental Geology (3-0). This course emphasizes the complex physical relations between land, sea, atmosphere, and human activity. Topics include geologic hazards, land management, water resources, hazardous waste disposal, energy resources, mineral resources, conservation of resources, and ocean science. Prerequisites: GEOL 1401 or 1402 and Math 1302.

3310 Geochemistry (3-0). This class is an introduction to the field of Geochemistry and will include topics of traditional rock Geochemistry along with Aqueous and Isotope Geochemistry. During this class students will also develop data sets and model them using computer programs such as PHREEQC. Prerequisites: GEOL 1401 and CHEM 1411.

3371 Geomapping Fundamentals (3-0). An overview of business geomapping concepts and terminology.  Application of geomapping (GIS; Geographic Information Systems) software to analyze business information.  Topics include relational databases, spatial data analysis, and digital mapping.  Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of instructor. 

3400 Mineralogy and Petrology (3-3). Description, classification, and interpretation of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Descriptions include tectonic setting, sedimentary environment, and pressure-temperature conditions.  Laboratory work consists of hand sample description, examination of thin sections under a petrographic microscope, and field trips.  Prerequisites: GEOL 1401 or 1402.

3401 Geomorphology (3-3).  Geomorphology is the study of physical, chemical, and biological processes that occur on the surface of a planetary body. This course focuses on the origin, development and relationship of landforms created by fluvial, glacial, aeolian, and karst processes. Prerequisite: Geology 1401 or 1402.

3411 Structural Geology (3-2). A study of ways rocks and continents deform by faulting and folding, methods of picturing geologic structures in three dimensions, and causes of deformation.  Includes a weekend field trip project and an introduction to geographic information systems (GIS).  Prerequisites: GEOL 1401 or 1402.

3600 Field Geology (0-12).  A five- or six-week summer field course on geologic mapping techniques.  Techniques emphasized: measuring stratigraphic sections, collecting and plotting fold and fault data, drafting geologic maps and cross-sections, and preparing reports.  Prerequisites: GEOL 3411 and  GEOL 3400.

4191, 4291, 4391 Research. Individual research problems for students seeking a major in Geoscience [or minor].  May be repeated for a total of six semester hours credit.  Prerequisite: 1 upper-level Geology course.

4300 Geophysics (3-0).  This course is an introduction to the geophysical methods used to explore the Earth’s subsurface with an emphasis on application.  Topics include seismicity, ground penetrating radar, magnetics, gravity, and resistivity.  Prerequisites: GEOL 1401, MATH 2513.

4303 Planetary Geology (3-0). A capstone study of terrestrial objects including planets, moons, and asteroids to describe and understand the past evolution and current dynamic state of planetary surfaces. Major topics include planetary evolution and differentiation, and surface morphology as an expression of internal dynamics, atmospheres, volcanic activity, and impact cratering. Prerequisite: Geology 1401 or 1402.

4304 Volcanology. Introduction to the physical and chemical properties of magma including, magma generation, rise, storage, and eruptive mechanisms.  Types of volcanoes, volcanic hazards, volcano monitoring, and the effect of volcanoes on climate change will also be discussed.  Prerequisites: GEOL 1401, MATH 2513.

4320 Introduction to Digital and Spatial Techniques/Modeling in the Geosciences. This class explores multiple the applications of Global Information Systems (GIS) used within the Geosciences and provides an introduction to geostatistics, modeling, database development and database management. Prerequisites: Physical GEOL 1401 and GEOL 3371.

4330 Advanced Hydrogeology (3-0). This class is an in-depth introduction to various types of groundwater systems including clastic/alluvial, karst and fracture zone aquifers along with confined and unconfined systems. The class will also introduce various types of contaminants (organic and inorganic) found within these groundwater systems.  Prerequisites: GEOL 1401 and Math 3514.

4402 Stratigraphy and Sedimentation (3-3). This course focuses on sedimentary rocks and the stratigraphic record. Topics covered include the origin and classification of sediments and sedimentary rocks, sedimentary structures, diagenesis, and basin analysis. Students are introduced to the principles and practice of stratigraphy. Prerequisite: Geology 1401 or 1402.