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Ge 101: Introduction to Geology and Geochemistry

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Presentation on theme: "Ge 101: Introduction to Geology and Geochemistry"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ge 101: Introduction to Geology and Geochemistry
Structure of this course: 19 lectures, 6 problem sets, field trip, 2 labs, 1 quiz, 1 final exam Each lecture is essentially an independent survey of a distinct field of geology or geochemistry, each of which can be studied in detail for a whole course The class begins with geology and ends with geochemistry, more or less. The course website is . It contains: syllabus (lecture, lab, problem set, reading, exam schedule) all lectures in powerpoint format and an index to the resulting notes problem sets, link to online geochemistry text, etc. Two textbooks, one for geology and one for geochemistry. Please read if you find it useful!

2 Ge 101: Introduction to Geology and Geochemistry
Structure of this course: The labs are intended to give hands-on experience with the real tools that real geologists and geochemists use every day. We have tried to eliminate the old-fashioned teaching exercises that nobody really uses anymore! In the mineral identification lab you will use the research-grade modern analytical tools available in the GPS Division In the GIS lab, you will experience the advent of digital geology The problem sets are meant to be interesting and creative, to look at real problems, and to show how mathematics and computers are essential tools of modern Earth science. It is important to budget the appropriate amount of time (neither more nor less) to the problem sets!

3 Ge 101: Introduction to Geology and Geochemistry
Goal of this course: to teach the essential foundations of Geology and Geochemistry that any Earth or Planetary scientist needs in order to Place their own work in context (and, thereby, pass their oral exam) Understand where any Division Seminar speaker is coming from Know the vocabulary of geological discourse (in English)

4 Ge 101: Introduction to Geology and Geochemistry
What is the difference between Geology & Geochemistry? Geology is direct observation and interpretation of field relations to infer history and present state (e.g. hazards and resources) of the solid Earth and its regions structural geology, geomorphology, stratigraphy, paleontology, petrology, mineralogy, volcanology... Geochemistry is the application of principles of chemistry to understanding the Earth (solid, ocean, and atmosphere) Fundamental principles such as radioactive decay, conservation of elemental and isotopic mass, thermodynamics and kinetics bring rigor and certainty to geological interpretation Likewise, geophysics and geobiology bring the reductionist rigor of physics and biology to the interpretation of geological observation and inference The other sciences are needed to limit the speculation of geologists to plausible ideas, but geology is the anchor of Earth science: it provides the problems to be solved, and the record of actual events.

5 Ge 101: Introduction to Geology and Geochemistry
Logic of the lecture sequence: Lectures 1-9 are Geology Unifying themes: geologic time and plate tectonics Use of observable, active processes and environments to interpret records of ancient processes and environments Classification of plate boundaries and interiors to organize knowledge by making each region an example of a class Igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary, surficial, structural, morphological, and stratigraphic approaches all use these two organizing principles Lecture 4 is a small exception; it uses chemical thermodynamics to explain the melting of rocks and the nature of minerals

6 Ge 101: Introduction to Geology and Geochemistry
Logic of the lecture sequence: Lectures are Geochemistry The tools of nuclear, electronic, and physical chemistry are explained at a sufficient level to understand origin and abundances of atoms; bulk composition of the Earth and its reservoirs; origin and evolution of these reservoirs Quantification of geologic time; fingerprinting material sources; history of climate and atmosphere/ocean circulations; constraints on theories of the Earth’s deep interior

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