This Course and Program Catalogue is effective from May 2019 to April 2020.

Not all courses described in the Course and Program Catalogue are offered each year. For a list of course offerings in 2019-2020, please consult the class search website.

The following conventions are used for course numbering:

  • 010-099 represent non-degree level courses
  • 100-699 represent undergraduate degree level courses
  • 700-999 represent graduate degree level courses

Course search


64 Results

GEOL 002.0: MITACS Globalink Undergraduate Visiting Research

Not Available


GEOL 108.3: The Earth and How It Works

Exploration of the global and local-scale physical, chemical, and biological processes that have shaped the Earth’s surface and interior through geologic time. Topics include Earth’s structure and composition, plate tectonics, minerals, the rock cycle, weathering and erosion, volcanoes, earthquakes, mountain building, geologic time, geologic hazards, the hydrological cycle, the origin and use of energy, mineral and water resources, and other earth processes that impact humans.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Note: May be used toward the Science requirement for B.A., B.F.A., and BMus programs. Students with credit for GEOL 103, 105, 110, or 121 may not take this course for credit. Costs in addition to tuition may apply to this course. GEOL 109/122 complements GEOL 108/121.


GEOL 109.3: The Earth and Life through Time

A consideration of the evolution of the earth, from its origin to the present. Emphasis is placed on the evolution of life, and on the interpretation of the rock and fossil record. Special consideration is given to major events in the history of our planet and of animals and plants.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Note: May be used toward the Science requirement for B.A., B.F.A., and BMus programs. Students with credit for GEOL 103, 105, 110, or 122 may not take this course for credit. Costs in addition to tuition may apply to this course. GEOL 108/121 complements GEOL 109/122.


GEOL 121.3: Earth Processes

Follows the same lectures as GEOL 108. The laboratory component satisfies the requirements of students in Program Type C (B.Sc. programs). Students in the College of Education who wish to take a course in Earth Science and require a laboratory component are advised to take this course.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Note: Students with credit for GEOE 118, GEOL 103, 105, 108, or 110 may not take this course for credit. GEOL 108/121 complements GEOL 109/122.


GEOL 122.3: Earth History

Follows the same lectures as GEOL 109. The laboratory component satisfies the requirements of students in Program Type C (B.Sc. programs). Students in the College of Education who wish to take a course in Earth Science and require a laboratory component are advised to take this course.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Note: Students with credit for GEOL 103, 105, 109, or 110 may not take this course for credit. GEOL 108/121 complements GEOL 109/122.


GEOL 206.3: Earth Systems

An introduction to Earth System Science, a concept that demonstrates the interrelationships between the Earth's landmasses, atmosphere, oceans and biosphere, and the role of humans in their interaction. Topics discussed will include geochemical cycles and environmental change, both natural and anthropogenic.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Prerequisite(s): One course from GEOL 121, 122, GEOG 120 (formerly 111 or 112), BIOL 108, 120, 121, ARCH 112, CHEM 112, or PHYS 111 or 115, or permission of the department.


GEOL 224.3: Mineralogy

Crystalline materials and their properties; crystal chemistry and chemical equilibria in natural systems; mineral properties and classification, and particularly rock-forming mineral groups; mineral genesis.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 121; and PHYS 115 or PHYS 155; and CHEM 112 or CHEM 114; and MATH 110, MATH 123, or MATH 176.
Note: Students with GEOG 112 or 120 instead of GEOL 121 may take this course with permission of the department. Students with credit for GEOL 221 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 226.3: Introductory Petrology

Provides the basics of optical mineralogy, with specific reference to mineral assemblages in igneous and metamorphic rocks. The classification, field relationships, textures, geochemistry, and tectonic setting of igneous and metamorphic rocks will be introduced.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 224.
Note: Students with credit for GEOL 225 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 229.3: Introductory Geochemistry

An overview of geochemical theory and problem-solving techniques used by Earth Scientists to elucidate Earth system processes. Topics of discussion will include the origin of elements, stable and radiogenic isotopes, geochronology, thermodynamics, trace element partitioning in mineral fluid systems, weathering and aqueous geochemistry.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 121; and CHEM 112; and MATH 110, MATH 123, or MATH 176.
Note: Students with GEOG 120 or 112 instead of GEOL 121 may take this course with permission of the department. Students with credit for GEOL 428 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 245.3: Introduction to Sedimentary Rocks

Provides a general introduction to sedimentary rocks, sedimentary processes, and the depositional environments in which these rocks form. Stratigraphic concepts are introduced with specific reference to the relationship between sedimentary rock units. Laboratories focus on the identification of sedimentary rocks and structures in hand specimen.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 2 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 121; and PHYS 115 or PHYS 155; and CHEM 112 or CHEM 114; and MATH 110, MATH 123, or MATH 176.
Note: Students with GEOG 120 or 112 instead of GEOL 121 may take this course with permission of the department. Students with credit for GEOL 243 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 247.3: Palaeontology

Ancient life on earth will be explored via the principles and concepts of invertebrate paleontology, paleoecology, paleobiology and evolution. The basic morphology and systematics of the main fossil invertebrate groups will be covered in the laboratory sessions, when fossil specimens will be studied.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 122 and 245.
Note: Students with credit for GEOL 246 or 332 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 258.3: Structural Geology

An introduction to the structural features of rocks including discussions of their origin and use. The description of folds, faults, and joints are emphasized, along with outcrop relationships of intrusive bodies. Other topics will include tectonics, orogeny, stratigraphic facing, and non-orogenic process, such as salt doming and glacial thrusting. Laboratories will introduce mapping techniques and the analysis of geological maps.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 121; and PHYS 115 or PHYS 155; and CHEM 112 or CHEM 114; and MATH 110, MATH 123, or MATH 176.
Note: Students with GEOG 120 or 112 instead of GEOL 121 may take this course with permission of the department.


GEOL 282.3: Earth Physics

Physical processes in the origin of the Earth and Moon, and in the subsequent development of internal structure. The generation of the geomagnetic field by dynamo action, and the use of magnetics and gravity in geophysics. Earthquakes and global seismology. The use of satellite data in geophysics.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Formerly: GEOL 382
Prerequisite(s): MATH 112 or 116 or 124; PHYS 115 (PHYS 111, 121) or GE 124; PHYS 117 or 125 (PHYS 111, 121, 128) or PHYS 155 (EP 155).


GEOL 298.3: Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations. Students interested in these courses should contact the department for more information

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours


GEOL 299.6: Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations. Students interested in these courses should contact the department for more information.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours


GEOL 306.3: Handling and Visualising Deep Earthtime Geoscience Data

Large datasets are common in the geosciences. Effective processing of these data require them to be structured, preferably utilising database systems. Visualisation and representation of the characteristics of the data are typically best performed using robust, non-parametric procedures which emphasise unusual data. Data which vary with both time and space require special treatment and presentation when utilising GIS or plate reconstruction models. This course provides an introduction to structuring data, the development of project-specific databases, time-slider variations in GIS, plate reconstruction modelling and geochemical data visualisation. It draws on skills learned in igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic geology, together with introductory GIS courses to teach students how to more effectively work with large deep earth-time datasets. These insights and approaches will position the student better for later geology classes such as GEOL 406 and GEOL 465 and for most exploration work environments.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 206.3 or GEOL 229.3.
Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): GEOG 222.
Note:Students may find it advantageous to take one of CMPT 113 or CMPT 140, and one of STAT 242, STAT 245, or STAT 246 prior to taking this course.


GEOL 308.3: Field School Sedimentary Rocks

A field course in a location with good outcrops of sedimentary rocks. Emphasis will be given to mapping and interpreting sedimentary rocks and the use of stratigraphic principles.

Weekly hours: 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 226, GEOL 247, GEOL 258 and permission of the department.
Note: There will be costs in addition to tuition fees.


GEOL 315.3: Geomicrobiology

Exploration of the role of microbes in geochemical and mineral transformations in natural environments and in engineered environments such as mine tailings and contaminated sites. Strong emphasis on environmentally-important microbial metabolic guilds and exploring the relationship of these guilds to biogeochemical cycles. Topics will include microbial diversity, microbial metabolism, cell surface reactivity and metal sorption, biomineralization, biosignatures, and culture-dependent and independent techniques in geomicrobiology.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 2 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): Any one or more of the following courses: GEOL 226, GEOL 229, SLSC 313, SLSC 343, SLSC 344, EVSC 220, ENVE 201, or by permission of the instructor.
Note: This course is primarily intended as an upper level elective for geology majors. Students from other disciplines without one of the prerequisites who are interested in taking this course are welcome to contact the instructor to discuss if their background is suitable. Additional assigned readings may be required to ensure these students attain the requisite geoscience background to succeed in the course.


GEOL 324.3: Igneous Petrology

Mineralogy, phase relations, origin, and occurrence of igneous rocks. Geological processes that tend to produce and modify a magma will be interpreted in the light of chemical equilibria and kinetics. The laboratory will involve the study of igneous rocks in thin section.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 226, GEOL 229, and CHEM 115.


GEOL 325.3: Metamorphic Petrology

The mineralogy, phase relations, possible equilibration temperatures and pressures, and occurrence of metamorphic rocks. Geological processes that tend to produce geothermal and geobarometric gradients and modify rocks will be interpreted using chemical equilibria and chemical-thermal kinetics. The laboratory will involve the study of metamorphic rocks in thin section.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 226, GEOL 229, CHEM 115.


GEOL 330.3: Climate History

Explores the record of climate variations preserved in recent earth materials, and the influence of these variations on contemporary societies. The focus will be on extreme periods, e.g., Pleistocene deglaciation, the Younger Dryas, 8.2ka event, Piorra Oscillation, Roman Warm Period, Dark Ages, Medieval Optimum, Little Ice Age, and 20th century warming.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 206 or 229 or GEOG 233 or permission of the department.
Note: Students with credit for GEOL 398 (Climate History) may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 334.3: Gravity Magnetics Electromagnetic and Radiation Methods

Basic theory of gravity, magnetic, electromagnetic and radiation methods and the application of these methods in exploration and environmental problems.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): CMPT 116 or 111 or 141; MATH 223 or 225 or 276; MATH 224 or 226 or 238; (PHYS 115 and PHYS 117) or (PHYS 115 and 125) or PHYS 155.
Note: Students with credit for GEOE 333 or 334 may not take this course for credit. These courses have not been offered for more than ten years as of 2012. *Geophysics students intending to take CMPT 116 must contact the geophysics program advisor before they will be allowed to register.


GEOL 335.3: Seismology and Ground Penetrating Radar Methods

Introduction to seismological and ground penetrating radar methods; their integration with other geophysical techniques. Application of geophysical measurements to geological engineering, groundwater, and prospecting problems.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): CMPT 116 or 111 or 141; MATH 223 or 225 or 276; MATH 224 or 226 or 238; (PHYS 115 and PHYS 117) or (PHYS 115 and 125) or PHYS 155.
Note: Students with credit for GEOE 333 or 335 may not take this course for credit. These courses have not been offered for more than ten years as of 2012. *Geophysics students intending to take CMPT 116 must contact the geophysics program advisor before they will be allowed to register.


GEOL 343.3: Sedimentary Environments

The history of the facies concept; sedimentary environments and facies; techniques of facies analysis; modern environments of deposition; interpretation of ancient sedimentary environments; sedimentary facies through geological time; sedimentary facies, sea level, and tectonics.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 245.
Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): GEOL 247.
Note: This course may be taught as a field course, and thus there will be costs additional to tuition fees.


GEOL 350.3: Organic Geochemistry

This course will provide students with an understanding of theory, practice and methods in organic geochemistry. The course will focus on the origin and distribution of organic matter in the environment, and its fate in natural and engineered environments. Topics will include carbon biogeochemistry, origin and characteristics of natural organic matter, organic matter in the rock record, molecular biomarkers, evolution of organic compounds in petroleum and contaminated sites, and analytical tools. Course content will centre around applications of organic chemistry in the study of earth history, economic geology, and natural and contaminated environments.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 2 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): Any one or more of the following courses are recommended as prerequisites for this course: GEOL 226, GEOL 229, CHEM 115, CHEM 221, SLSC 313, EVSC 220, ENVE 201, or by permission of the instructor.
Note: This course is primarily intended as an upper level elective for geology majors, but students from other disciplines without one of the prerequisites who are interested in taking this course are welcome to contact the instructor to discuss if their background is suitable. Additional assigned readings may be required to ensure these students attain the requisite geoscience background to succeed in the course.


GEOL 384.3: Introduction to Applied Geophysics

Principles and methods of geophysics; their use in the interpretation of crustal structures of both tectonic and stratigraphic origin; their role in locating probable centres of mineral concentration; their application to problems in engineering geology.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 258; MATH 110 or MATH 176; MATH 112, MATH 116, or MATH 177; PHYS 155 or (PHYS 115 and (PHYS 117 or 125)). (Students other than Geology majors who do not have all of the prerequisites may be accepted on written approval of the Geology Department).
Note: This course may not be taken for credit concurrently with or after GEOL 334 or 335.


GEOL 398.3: Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.

Weekly hours: 3 Seminar/Discussion hours


GEOL 399.6: Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.

Weekly hours: 3 Seminar/Discussion hours


GEOL 405.3: International Field Studies

A field course involving the observation, analysis and interpretation of geological relationships and processes in international locations. The geographic site of the course will vary, but will be chosen to highlight features that will assist the student in understanding the Earth system, and the international character of Geology.

Weekly hours: 5 Lecture hours and 60 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 245, GEOL 247, GEOL 258, and GEOL 343; and permission of the instructor. GEOL 447 and 448 are highly recommended.
Note: There will be costs additional to tuition fees.


GEOL 406.3: Global Considerations in Geology

Origin of the universe and the solar system; the early earth and the origin and evolution of its core, mantle, crust, oceans, and atmosphere. The Archaean-Proterozoic contrasts; plate tectonics; geochemical cycles and budgets; climatic, atmospheric, hydrospheric and biospheric change; limits on resource exploitation; occurrence, distribution and retardation of radionuclides.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 226, 229, 245, 258, and 306.
Note: Students with credit for GEOL 409 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 408.3: Field School Crystalline Rocks

A field course where deformed and metamorphosed volcanic, sedimentary and intrusive igneous rocks will be mapped and interpreted. Fieldwork results will be presented as a map and in a report.

Weekly hours: 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 226, GEOL 258, GEOL 247, GEOL 229, and at least one of GEOL 324 or GEOL 325.
Note: There will be costs additional to tuition fees. Normally held in late August.


GEOL 413.3: Aqueous Geochemistry

An overview of theoretical and applied aspects of aqueous geochemistry. Topics include sampling and analysis of terrestrial waters, geochemical processes controlling water chemistry, and application of thermodynamic models to aqueous systems.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 229, CHEM 115, and (MATH 110 or MATH 176); or permission of the department.
Note: Students are strongly recommended to take GEOE 375 prior to taking GEOL 413. Students who completed GEOL 498 (Aqueous Geochemistry) may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 429.3: Isotope Geochemistry

An overview of theory and applications of stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry including the use of isotopes as geotracers, geochronometers and geothermometers.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 224, 229.


GEOL 442.3: Sedimentary Petrology

This course deals with the petrographic attributes and origins of terrigenous and carbonate sedimentary rocks and sedimentary particles including fossils and bioclasts as well as other authigenic minerals and precipitates such as sulphates, apatite, glauconite and pyrite. The course also treats the diagenesis of sediments, including cementation, recrystallization, silicification and dolomitization. Hands-on microscopy is emphasized.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 2 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 224, GEOL 226, GEOL 245, and GEOL 247.
Note: GEOL 343 and GEOL 308 are recommended but not required.


GEOL 446.3: Advanced Sedimentology

Chemical, biochemical and physical processes in the formation of sedimentary rocks; origin, diagenesis and petrography of carbonates, evaporites and cherts. Major topics of current sedimentological interest may also be discussed.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 224, 229 and 247.


GEOL 447.3: Ichnology Animal Substrate Interactions in the Stratigraphic Record

Ichnology is the study of biogenic structures and animal-substrate relations. Biogenic structures comprise burrows, trails, trackways and borings. They record the behavior of the tracemakers in response to the prevailing environmental conditions and therefore they supply valuable information in paleoecology, paleobiology, facies analysis, and sequence stratigraphy.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): GEOL 343.
Note: GEOL 847 and GEOL 447 possess similar content. Students will not receive credit for both courses.


GEOL 448.3: Sequence Stratigraphy

Sequence stratigraphy is a new approach to understanding the stratigraphic record. It helps to integrate different datasets, including sedimentology, paleontology and the various fields involved in petroleum geology. It is particularly valuable as a tool in oil and gas exploration and production.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): GEOL 343.
Note: GEOL 846 and GEOL 448 possess similar content. Students will not receive credit for both courses.


GEOL 450.3: Limnogeology

An introduction to the geology of lake basins and lacustrine rocks, emphasizing paleoenvironmental analysis of lacustrine sediments and rocks from Precambrian to Recent.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 247.
Note: Students with credit for GEOL 498 (Limnogeology) may not take GEOL 450 for credit.


GEOL 451.3: Synchrotron Xray Absorption Spectroscopy

X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), a primary technique of the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, provides local molecular and electronic structure of specific chemical elements in any matrix. XAS can be applied with little pre-treatment of the sample and can be used to answer fundamental chemical questions about almost any sample or system, from soils and rocks to intact biological tissues to purified proteins or chemicals. The course will include a description of the physical principals underlying XAS, practical aspects of experimental technique, details of data analysis and some common pitfalls and difficulties. This course will equip students with a practical working knowledge of the technique and its capabilities, with examples drawn from the chemical, biomedical and environmental sciences.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Prerequisite(s): 15 credit units in Geology, Physics, or Chemistry.
Note: Students cannot receive credit for both GEOL 451 and GEOL 851.


GEOL 463.3: Petroleum Geology

The composition and physical properties of petroleum. Organic matter evolution, maturation, and migration of hydrocarbons from source rock to reservoir. Introduction to petroleum exploration, development and recovery methods, and the main types of reservoirs and traps.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 224, 245, and GEOL 258.


GEOL 465.3: Mineral Deposits

Examines the geology and genesis of the principal types of magmatic and hydrothermal mineral deposits, with an emphasis on the deposits of the Canadian Shield. The criteria used for exploring for these deposits and the analytical techniques used to unravel their origin will be emphasized.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 226, GEOL 245, and GEOL 258.


GEOL 481.3: Potential Field Methods

The theory of interpretation of gravity and magnetic fields in geophysical exploration. Elements of potential theory, mathematical models, Fourier methods and interpretation procedure will be discussed.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 334 and 335.


GEOL 482.3: Electrical Methods in Geophysical Prospecting

The fundamental principles underlying electrical methods; instrumentation, field procedures, and the computation and interpretation of data; application of the methods in geophysical exploration.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 334 and 335.


GEOL 483.3: Seismology

Theory of elasticity; energy sources; refraction and reflection methods; instrumentation and interpretation, including the fundamentals of digital processing.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours and 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 334 and 335.


GEOL 485.6: Geophysics Field Camp

Practical experience in conduct of geophysical surveys; operation of equipment, data manipulation, computer processing and interpretation, preparation of reports. Normally held in late August, two weeks prior to the beginning of on-campus classes.

Weekly hours: 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 334 and 335.


GEOL 487.3: Geophysical Field Methods

A course in geophysical field methods for students who are not geophysics majors but who require some experience with field techniques. Gravity, magnetic, electro-magnetic and seismic surveys will be performed over appropriate targets. The course is normally conducted in the two weeks immediately preceding the fall regular session. Interested students should contact the department for further details.

Weekly hours: 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 384 or (GEOL 334 and 335).
Note: Students with credit for GEOL 485 or GEOE 473 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 490.3: Geological Sciences Research

Students will work on theoretical or practical research projects under the guidance and supervision of a faculty member. An outline of the project must be submitted to the course co-ordinator in the term preceding registration and be approved before Departmental permission will be granted. An oral presentation and written report submitted at the end of the project will be evaluated by a faculty committee.

Weekly hours: 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Permission of the department required.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in geological sciences at the 300-level or above.


GEOL 492.6: Geological Sciences Research

Students will work on theoretical or practical research projects under the guidance and supervision of a faculty member. An outline of the project must be submitted to the course co-ordinator in the term preceding registration and be approved before Departmental permission will be granted. An oral presentation and written report submitted at the end of the project will be evaluated by a faculty committee.

Weekly hours: 3 Practicum/Lab hours
Permission of the department required.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in geological sciences at the 300-level or above.


GEOL 498.3: Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.

Weekly hours: 3 Seminar/Discussion hours


GEOL 499.6: Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.

Weekly hours: 3 Seminar/Discussion hours


GEOL 813.3: Advanced Aqueous Geochemistry

This graduate course examines controls the chemical composition of water at or near Earth’s surface. The principal focus is on geochemical processes that influence forms of major and trace elements in terrestrial waters. Geological and anthropogenic influences on water chemistry will be covered.

Weekly hours: 3 Seminar/Discussion hours
Note: Students with credit for GEOL 413 will not receive credit for this course.


GEOL 829.6: Petrology

Dynamic and comprehensive treatment of important aspects of igneous and metamorphic petrology at an advanced level. Problems of current interest will be analyzed and discussed through integrated lectures, seminars, and laboratories.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours


GEOL 846.3: Advanced Sequence Stratigraphy

Sequence stratigraphy comprises the study of genetically related facies within a framework of chronostratigraphically significant surfaces. It emphasizes correlation discontinuity surfaces, sea level changes and hierarchy of stratal units. This discipline has valuable applications to the petroleum industry.

Note: GEOL 846 and GEOL 448 possess similar content. Students will not receive credit for both courses.


GEOL 847.3: Advanced Ichnology

Ichnology, the discipline that focuses on the processes and products involved in the interaction of animals and substrates, is an exciting field that has expanded exponentially in the last decades. Ichnology provides valuable insights into a number of sedimentologic and paleobiologic fields, including facies analysis, petroleum geology, paleoecology and evolution.

Note: GEOL 847 and GEOL 447 possess similar content. Students will not receive credit for both courses.


GEOL 851.3: Synchrotron Hard X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy

X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), a primary technique of the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, provides local molecular and electronic structure of specific chemical elements in any matrix. XAS can be applied with little pre-treatment of the sample and can be used to answer fundamental chemical questions about almost any sample or system, from soils and rocks to intact biological tissues to purified proteins or chemicals. The course will include a description of the physical principals underlying XAS, practical aspects of experimental technique, details of data analysis and some common pitfalls and difficulties. This course will equip students with a practical working knowledge of the technique and its capabilities, with examples drawn from the chemical, biomedical and environmental sciences.

Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
Permission of the instructor is required
Note: Students cannot receive credit for both GEOL 451 and GEOL 851.


GEOL 865.3: Analysis of Mineral Deposits

Advanced level consideration of structural, magmatic, and hydrothermal processes involved in the formation and evolution of mineral deposits, and their relationship to the Earth and the environment. The application of petrological and geochemical techniques to mineral deposit research. Problems of current interest will be addressed through lectures, and student presentations.

Weekly hours: 1.5 Lecture hours and 1.5 Seminar/Discussion hours
Permission of the instructor required.


GEOL 880.3: Seismology

Topics selected from the theory of propagation of seismic waves in layered media; theory of reflection and refraction of spherical waves, present advances in numerical filtering; information theory as related to geophysics.

Weekly hours: 3 Seminar/Discussion hours


GEOL 882.3: Selected Topics in Geophysics

The detailed content may vary from year to year in accordance with the specific interests of students but will include some consideration of electrical methods, well-logging techniques, and other fields of applied geophysics.

Weekly hours: 3 Seminar/Discussion hours


GEOL 884.3: Geophysical Inversion

A practical course on inversion techniques in geophysics. Linear discrete inverse problems will be discussed, and an appreciation for the concepts of non-uniqueness, determinacy, and the use of a priori information will be emphasized. Students will be encouraged to use the techniques discussed in class in a computer laboratory and will be required to complete a term project with a written report, and a seminar.

Weekly hours: 2 Lecture hours and 2 Practicum/Lab hours
Prerequisite(s): MATH 226, 338, GEOL 483, GEOE 414; or permission of the instructor.


GEOL 898.3: Special Topics

Offered occasionally in special situations. Students interested in these courses should contact the department for more information.


GEOL 899.6: Special Topics

Offered occasionally in special situations. Students interested in these courses should contact the department for more information.


GEOL 990.N/A: Seminar

Presentation of papers by faculty, visiting scientists, and graduate students. Graduate students are required to attend and interested undergraduates may be invited to attend. Satisfactory participation in this course is required of all graduate students throughout their period of residence.


GEOL 994.N/A: Research

Students writing a Master's thesis must register for this course.


GEOL 996.N/A: Research

Students writing a Ph.D. thesis must register for this course.