Department of Geosciences
Professor Richard E. Peterson, Chairperson.
Professor Emeritus Reeves; Horn Professor Chatterjee; Pevehouse Professor Asquith; Professors Barnes, Barrick, Güven, Haragan, Leary and Lehman; Associate Professors Chang, Jurica, Karlsson; Assistant Professors Doggett, Gurrola, Nagihara, Ridley, and Yoshinobu; Adjunct Faculty: Gill and Johnson; Joint Faculty: Lee and Rainwater.
This department offers study in the following graduate degree programs: ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE and GEOSCIENCE, Master of Science; GEOSCIENCE, Doctor of Philosophy.
Master's degree candidates may specialize in areas within geology, atmospheric science, and geophysics. At the doctoral level, research specializations for the major in geoscience are available in (a) sedimentology, sedimentary petrology, petroleum geology; (b) clay mineralogy and low temperature geochemistry, igneous petrology, high temperature geochemistry, and stable-isotope geochemistry; (c) paleontology and stratigraphy; (d) geophysics, structural geology, tectonics; (e) Tertiary-Quaternary and environmental studies; and (f) integrated studies in earth and atmospheric sciences. Details concerning the specific makeup of these groups are available from the department.
General degree requirements are those of the Graduate School. Admitted students are strongly encouraged to associate themselves with a faculty member or members by the end of their first semester in residence. The instructor(s) will serve as the student's principal advisor and will be responsible for the student's degree program.
The department encourages students with bachelor's degrees from other sciences to enter the geosciences graduate program. Required leveling work will be determined on an individual basis, primarily by the staff member(s) in the student's field of interest. A graduate minor may be taken either inside or outside this department.
Requirements for the master's degree in atmospheric science beyond those stipulated by the Graduate School, if any, are determined in each case by the student's thesis committee. Requirements for the master's degree in geoscience are completion of 27 graduate hours in geology, geophysics, or related fields; 3 hours in science or engineering beyond those required for an undergraduate degree; and 6 hours of thesis credit. A 36-hour nonthesis option in geoscience is also available.
Requirements for the doctor's degree follow those of the Graduate School. For students with a specialization in the geological sciences, the Geology Advanced GRE is used as the preliminary exam. A score of the 70th percentile or higher will be accepted with no further requirements. Students whose scores are lower than the 70th percentile will be required to take additional course work determined by the graduate advisor. For students with a specialization in atmospheric sciences, the dissertation committee will determine the type of preliminary evaluation within the options provided in this catalog. One tool subject is required. Tool subjects include foreign language, computer science, and statistics and are determined by the graduate advisor and the student's dissertation committee. Each tool can be met by taking two successive courses in the tool subject for a total of at least 6 semester hours, except for foreign language, the requirements for which are outlined in an earlier section of this catalog. German, French, and Russian are recommended as tool languages.
Courses in Atmospheric Science. (ATMO)
5101. Atmospheric Science Seminar (1:1:0). Discussions of current research or selected topics of interest. May be repeated for credit.
5301. Individual Studies in Atmospheric Science (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. A structured independent graduate studies course under the guidance of a faculty member. May be repeated for credit.
5302. Weather, Climate, and Applications (3:3:0). Basic principles of atmospheric science, with particular emphasis on applications, including severe weather, air pollution, and global climate change.
5315. Atmospheric Convection (3:3:0). Observations and models of convection in the atmosphere. Governing equations for shallow and deep convection. Natural and man-made plumes. Numerical and laboratory simulation of atmospheric convection.
5316. Dynamics of Severe Storms (3:3:0). Observations and theoretical studies of severe storms. Conceptual and numerical models of storm structure and development.
5319. Boundary Layer Meteorology (3:3:0). Boundary-layer turbulent transfer processes are examined, including diffusion, mixing, diabatic modification, low-level jet formation, and moisture discontinuities.
5320. Mesometeorology (3:3:0). Temporal and spatial analysis of mesoscale phenomena, including thunderstorms. Models of mesoscale circulations.
5321. Cloud and Precipitation Physics (3:3:0). Processes of cloud droplet nucleation; initial growth of droplets and cloud droplet size spectra; theories of natural precipitation processes and techniques for precipitation enhancement.
5327. Radar Meteorology (3:3:0). Applications of radar to investigation of precipitating weather systems. Emphasis is given to analysis and interpretation of radar data in conjunction with other data sources.
5328. Synoptic Meteorology (3:2:3). Basic techniques of interpreting meteorological data. Applications of analysis techniques to basic research and weather forecasting.
5331. Analysis of Geophysical Data Fields (3:3:0). The application of fourier analysis, times series and spectral analyses, and objectives analysis to geophysical data fields.
5332. Regional Scale Numerical Weather Prediction (3:3:0). Regional scale dynamics, numerical solution of geophysical problems, and numerical prediction of severe weather events such as tornadic storms and flash floods.
6000. Master's Thesis (V1-6).
7000. Research (V1-12).
Courses in Geochemistry. (GCH)
5300. Individual Studies in Geochemistry (3:3:0). A structured independent graduate studies course under the guidance of a faculty member. May be repeated for credit.
5303. Trace Element Geochemistry (3:3:0). Theoretical basis for trace element distribution and fractionation. Trace element "fingerprints," use of stable and radioactive isotopes and rare-earth elements in petrology.
5307. X-ray Powder Diffraction Methods (3:2:3). Fundamental and practical aspects of X-ray diffraction on polycrystalline substances such as minerals, rocks, and other solids.
5309. Clay Mineralogy (3:2:3). Atomic structures of clay minerals in relation to physical, engineering, and colloid chemical properties of these materials. Instrumental methods of clay analysis such as X-ray diffraction and ion exchange methods.
5350. Isotope Geochemistry (3:3:0). Principles of isotope chemistry as applied to the earth and solar system. Radioactive and stable isotope systematics.
5405. Inorganic Geochemistry (4:4:0). Origin of elements and isotopes. Theory and application of isotopic systems, element mobility, thermodynamics, solution geochemistry, and geochemical cycles.
Courses in Geology. (GEOL)
5001. Problems in Geosciences (V1-6). Independent study under guidance of a faculty member.
5101. Seminar (1:1:0).
5211. Sedimentary Petrology (2:2:0). Origin, classification, and diagenesis of siliciclastic and carbonate sediments and sedimentary rocks. May be repeated for credit.
5212. Sedimentary Petrology Methods (2:0:6). Textural analysis, mineral separation, and thin section petrography of siliciclastic and carbonate sediments and sedimentary rocks. May be repeated for credit.
5300. Individual Studies in Geology (3:3:0). A structured independent graduate studies course under the guidance of a faculty member. May be repeated for credit.
5303. Advanced Igneous Petrology (3:2:3). Phase relations, geochemistry, and tectonic setting of igneous rocks. Emphasis on modern concepts of magma origin and differentiation. May be repeated for credit.
5305. Tectonic Evolution of Western North America (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Survey of the geologic and tectonic evolution of the western margin of North America over the past 3 billion years.
5310. Advanced Quantitative Methods in Geology (3:3:0). This class will emphasize computer methods of error analysis, data processing, and modeling of geological data. Applications to current research problems will be included.
5311. Micropaleontology (3:2:3). Lectures and labs are designed to acquaint the student with basic lab techniques, morphology, and classification within the major microfossil groups, and to demonstrate the usefulness and importance of microfossils as biostratigraphic and paleoecologic tools.
5314. Problems in Stratigraphy (3:3:0). Analysis of selected stratigraphic units emphasizing geometry, paleogeography, environments of deposition, depositional models, and theoretical problems.
5322. Sedimentary Processes (3:3:0). Principles of fluid dynamics important in sedimentation, interpretation of primary sedimentary structures, and description of depositional environments.
5323. Depositional Systems and Basin Analysis (3:3:0). Sedimentary Facies models for clastic and carbonate depositional systems and models for sedimentary basins in different tectonic settings.
5325. Petrophysics (3:3:0). Physical properties of reservoir rocks, including porosity, permeability, composition, and texture. Interrelationships between rock characteristics and electric log responses in geologic exploration and exploitation.
5327. Problems in Paleontology (3:2:3). Subjects include origin of life, Precambrian life, origin and relationships of fish, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, pterosaurs, birds, and primates; mass extinction and impact cratering processes.
5340. Advances in Historical Geology (3:3:0). Survey of currently important topics in earth processes and history for science educators, with an emphasis on how geologists interpret modern and past geologic events.
5362. Advanced Tectonics (3:3:0). Survey of the plate tectonics paradigm in terms of its historical development and modern application.
5399. Advanced Petrophysics (3:3:0). Analysis of complex reservoirs, such as shaly sands, carbonates with complex pore geometries, fractured reservoirs, and gas-bearing dolomites. The development and use of new logging tools is also covered.
5410. Vertebrate Paleontology (4:3:3). An introduction to the principles of paleontology governing evolution, morphology, and phylogeny of major groups of vertebrates.
5420. Geological Correlation (4:2:6). Principles and methods of correlation of stratigraphic units with the geological time scale including chronostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, ecostratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy, event stratigraphy, chemostratigraphy, and related techniques.
6000. Master's Thesis (V1-6).
7000. Research (V1-12).
8000. Doctor's Dissertation (V1-12).
Courses in Geophysics. (GPH)
5221. Advanced Seismic Exploration Methods (2:1:3). Methods to collect, process, and interpret seismic data are discussed.
5223. Advanced Applied Electrical Methods (2:1:3). Electromagnetic, resistivity, and ground penetrating radar methods of geophysical investigation are discussed.
5231. Seismology (2:2:0). Seismic wave and ray theory is discussed.
5233. Electrical Methods (2:2:0). Theory and numerical representation of electromagnetic and electrical methods are discussed.
5300. Individual Studies in Geophysics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. A structured independent graduate studies course under the guidance of a faculty member. May be repeated for credit.
5310. Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (3:3:0). Survey of dominant modes of wave motion in the atmosphere. Scale analysis for problems in atmospheric dynamics with application to mid-latitude synoptic scale systems.
5324. Radiative Transfer (3:3:0). Principles of radiation, the radiative transfer equation. Applications to absorption, emission, and scattering processes. Determination of physical properties from satellite measurements.
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LAST UPDATE: 3-9-01