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Cal Poly Pomona

Catalog Descriptions - Geological Sciences

GSC 101/101A The Earth Revealed (3/1) FWSp(Su)

A broad ranging non-quantitative examination of basic concepts in the physical earth sciences. Subject areas are geology, oceanography, the atmosphere and the Earth’s place in the solar system. 3 lectures and 1 recitation per week.

GSC 111 Principles of Geology (4) FWSp(Su)

An introduction to minerals, rocks and geologic features which comprise the Earth; analysis of internal and external processes controlling the features of the planet. 3 lectures per week. Corequisite: GSC 141L.

GSC 112 Earth, Time and Life (3) W

Changes in continents and ocean basins, fossil populations during successive geological ages, 3 lectures. May be taken without laboratory by non-majors.

GSC 116 Introduction to Astronomy (4) FWSp(Su)

A synthesis of our current knowledge of the cosmos and techniques used in its investigation. Primary emphasis is on the composition, history, and dynamics of the solar system (the sun, planets, moons, comets,asteroids, and meteors) and theories of its origin and evolution. The second part of the course examines the nature of stars, galaxies, and theuniverse as interpreted from analysis of starlight. Topics include distance, magnitude, luminosity, temperature, and composition of stars, stellar evolution, other solar systems, and search for extraterrestrial life. Special attention is given to independent stargazing activities, current celestial events, and new information revealed by satellite data or unmanned space missions. 4 hours lecture.

GSC 120 Introduction to Oceanography (4) FWSp(Su)

An introduction to the marine sciences. Dealing primarily with the properties of water, ocean currents, waves, tides, beaches, marine life, marine resources and the nature and origin of the sea floor. 4 lectures. Field trip fee required.

GSC 141L Principles of Geology Laboratory (1) FWSp(Su)

Classification of minerals and rocks. Reading and interpreting topographic and geologic maps. 1 three-hour laboratory. Must be taken concurrently with +GSC 111. Laboratory optional for non-majors.

GSC 145L Megascopic Petrography (1) Sp

Identification of common igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, as well as rock-forming minerals in hand sample. Emphasis is placed upon modern classification schemes and recognition of rock textures. Required field trips to collect rock samples and make observations of rock outcrops. 1 three-hour laboratory. Prerequisites: GSC 111 and GSC 141L.

GSC 151L Earth, Time and Life Laboratory (1) FW(Su)

Classification of fossil invertebrates, studies of paleogeographic maps and geologic maps and problems in structural geology. 1 three-hour laboratory. Must be taken concurrently with GSC 112. Optional for nonmajors. Field trips required. Field trip fee required.

GSC 200 Special Study for Lower Division Students (1-2) FWSp

Individual or group investigation, research, studies or surveys of selected problems. Total credit limited to 4 units, with the maximum of 2 units per quarter.

GSC 215/215L Mineralogy (3/1) F

Identification, occurrence, origin and uses of the common minerals. Quantitative x-ray diffraction microanalysis, physical and chemical properties of minerals and introductory morphologic crystallography. Three lectures, one three-hour laboratory. Prerequisites: GSC 111, GSC 141L, CHM 121/121L. Field trip fee required.

GSC 225 Quantitative Applications in the Earth Sciences (4) Sp

Solving realistic quantitative problems in the Earth Sciences using standard mathematical procedures as well as more specialized techniques. Use of symbols, scientific notation and units. Different functional forms of the geotherm. Earthquake statistics. Determining angles and distances from maps and crosssections. Analysis of plate motions. Geological and geophysical data visualization using graphing. Hazard analysis. Calculation of rates of geological processes and volumes of geological landforms. 4 hours of lecture and problem solving. Prerequisites: MAT 115 or consent of the instructor.

GSC 255/255L Field Methods (1/3) Sp (even years)

Techniques of recognizing, mapping, analyzing and interpreting geologic structures and earth features. Surveying with plane table, alidade, Brunton compass and tape. 1 lecture/problem, 3 three-hour laboratories. Prerequisites: GSC 333/333L. Field trips required. Field trip fee required.

GSC 299/299A Special Topics for Lower Division Students (1-4)

Group study of a selected topic, the title to be specified in advance. Total credit limited to 8 units, with a maximum of 4 units per quarter. Instruction is by lecture/problem-solving, laboratory or a combination.

GSC 300/300L Introduction to Geochemistry (3/1) FW

An examination of the interrelationship of geology and chemistry in the near surface environment. The course focuses on low temperature groundwater systems and geothermal fluids. Topics of discussion include the chemistry of meteoric and connate waters, application of EhpH and log fugacity of 02 diagrams to the modeling of aqueous fluids, stable isotopic fractionation in the hydrosphere, chemical reactions at the water-rock interface and dynamics of hydrothermal systems. 3 lectures/problems, one 3-hour laboratory. Prerequisites: 1 year of college-level chemistry.

GSC 304 Meteorology (4) W

Framework topics, such as atmospheric structure, composition, heating, pressure, humidity form the base upon which a process-oriented semiquantitative, descriptive survey of major weather phenomena, including winds, clouds, precipitation, and storms is conducted. 4 lecture /discussions. Prerequisites: One GE course from each of the following Sub-areas: A1, A2, A3 and B1, B2, (PHY 121/121L) and B3. GE Synthesis course for Sub-area B4.

GSC/PHY 307/307L Introduction to Global Geophysics (3/1) F

The physics of the solid Earth and its applications. The following topics will be discussed: the theory of plate tectonics; magnetics, seismology and gravity; radioactivity and heat; the deep interior of the Earth and physical processes of the mantle and core; applications to specific regions on Earth. Throughout the course, special attention will be given to new research results and the interpretation of actual data. 3 hours of lecture + 3 hours lab. Prerequisite: MAT 112.

GSC 310/310L GIS Applications for Earth Scientists-Part I (1/2)

Practical techniques for converting traditional coordinate-based geoscience data into digital map layers. Digitizing methods applied to creation of geologic, hydrologic, meteorologic, and oceanographic maps. One hour lecture plus two 3-hour laboratory sessions.

GSC 311/311L GIS Applications for Earth Scientists-Part II(1/2)

Practical GIS methods for geologic map representation and quantitative analysis of real-world coordinate-based geoscience data. Manipulation and enhancement of digital data layers in contemporary drafting programs. Creation and interpretation of contour maps, isopach maps, and slope stability maps. Three-dimensional analysis of borehole data; construction of cross section images. One hour lecture plus two 3-hour laboratories.

GSC 320 Studies of a Blue Planet (4) FSp

Science-based issues related to the ocean-atmosphere system which directly impact Humankind are examined. Global environmental change, El Niño/La Niña, ozone depletion, sea level changes, coastal development, alternative energy sources and satellite monitoring of earth are investigated. Four lecture/discussions per week. Prerequisites: One GE course from each of the following Sub-areas: A1, A2, A3 and B1, B2, B3. GE Synthesis course for Sub-area B4.

GSC 321/321L Engineering Geology I (3/1)

Fundamentals of geology applied to engineering problems. Includes rock types, structure, erosion, sedimentation, seismic explorations, rock/soil movements, and dam site evaluations. Individual and group study of selected engineering geology problems. Instruction is carried out in the field and laboratory. 3 hours lecture/discussion, 1 laboratory. Prerequisites: one course from each of the following Sub-areas: A1, A2, A3 and B1, B2, B3. GE Synthesis course for Sub-area B4.

GSC 323/323L Applied Geomorphology (3/1) F

Introduction to the modern geologic study of Earth surface processes and landforms. Geomorphic analysis of landscape evolution, dynamic equilibrium, and topographic response to tectonic and climatic forcing. Terrain analysis utilizing geomorphic field data, remote sensing imagery, and numerical models. Emphasis on practical applications to natural hazards and resource problems. Topics may include active tectonics, river systems, hill slopes, coastlines, glaciers, soils, wind, and climate change. This course includes 3 lecture discussions and 1 field laboratory (3 hrs.) per week. Required field trips during lab sessions and on at least one weekend. Prerequisite: GSC 111 or permission from instructor. GSC 325/

GSC 325/325L Optical Mineralogy (2/2) W

The chemistry (primarily phase relationships) of the common rockforming minerals. The description, composition, texture and origin of the common rock-forming minerals according to their optical properties as determined with the petrographic microscope. 2 lectures/problemsolving, 2 three-hour laboratories. Prerequisite: GSC 215/215L, CHM 122/122L.

GSC 331/331L Invertebrate Paleontology (3/1) Sp

Morphology and evolution of fossil invertebrates. Includes discussion of ancient environments and changes in life forms with time. 3 lectures/problem-solving, 1 three-hour laboratory. Prerequisite: GSC 112 and GSC 151L. Field trips required. Field trip fee required.

GSC 333/333L Structural Geology (3/1) F

Investigation of the deformation of the earth’s lithosphere. Solution of geologic field problems. 3 lectures/problem-solving, 1 three-hour laboratory. Prerequisites: GSC 111, GSC 141L, GSC 145L, and GSC 255/255L. Field trips required. Field trip fee required.

GSC 334/334L Exploration Geophysics (3/1)

Geophysical techniques. Gravity, magnetic, electrical and seismic methods applied to the solution of geologic problems. 3 lectures/problem-solving, 1 three-hour laboratory. Prerequisites: GSC 111, GSC 141L, PHY 132 and PHY 132L or PHY 122 and PHY 122L. Field trips required. Field trip fee required.

GSC 335 Exploring the Oceans: Oceanography (4)

Fundamental ocean processes emphasizing physical, chemical, and geological oceanography. Topics include currents, tides, waves, beaches, chemistry of ocean water, ocean basin evolution and physiography, and sedimentation as well as specific, relevant biological processes. Research vessel cruise. Lecture/discussion/demonstration. Prerequisites: one course from each of the following Sub-areas: A1, A2, A3 and B1, B2, B3 (BIO 110/111L or BIO 115/115L or equivalent). GE Synthesis course for Sub-area B4.

GSC 338 Coastal Processes (4)

Geologic development of and the hydrologic and geologic processes acting within beach, deltaic and estuarine environments. Field trip required. 4 lectures/problem-solving. Prerequisites: GSC 111, GSC 120 or 335. Upper division standing. Field trips required. Field trip fee required.

GSC 340 Marine Geology (4)

The physiography, sedimentology, structure, origin and evolution of the ocean basins and continental margins. Facts, data, speculation derived from a variety of texts, journals, maps. 4 lectures/problem-solving. Prerequisites: GSC 335 or 120, and GSC 111, upper division standing. Field trips required. Field trip fee required.

GSC 350 Natural Disasters (4) FWSp (Su)

The scientific study of natural disasters and their impact on humankind. A variety of hazards related to plate tectonics and climate are examined from a scientific perspective. Topics may include earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, landslides, flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, and climate change. Recent events and notable case histories are studied through lecture, Internet, video, field trips, and student presentations. GE Synthesis course for Subarea B4.

GSC 351/351L Petroleum Geology (3/1)

Origin and occurrence of petroleum and related products. Study of the geologic structure and stratigraphy of major oil and gas fields. 3 lectures/problem-solving, 1 three-hour laboratory. Prerequisites: GSC 141L and GSC 151L. Field trips required. Field trip fee required.

GSC 360/360L Groundwater Geology (3/1) W (even years)

Groundwater occurrence and movement. Role in hydrologic cycle and geologic processes. Groundwater resource evaluation, geotechnical problems and contamination. 3 lectures/problem-solving, 1 three-hour laboratory. Prerequisites: GSC 111, GSC 141L, MAT 105 or higher.

GSC 400 Special Study for Upper Division Students (1-2) FWSp

Individual or group investigation, research, studies or surveys of selected problems. Total credit limited to 4 units, with a maximum of 2 units per quarter.

GSC 415/415L Engineering Geology II (3/1)

Application of geologic and geophysical principles to engineering problems encountered in the geotechnical industry. Lecture topics include earthquake faults and seismology of Southern California, earthquakeinduced strong ground motion and site effects, seismic instrumentation and shake maps, probabilistic hazard analysis, AlquistPriolo/fault trench studies, stability analysis of slopes and dams, and case studies of landslides, earthquakes, and dam failures. Laboratory sessions involve 3dimensional analysis of geologic data, field measurement and analysis of unstable slopes, and investigation of dam sites. 3 units lecture/discussion scheduled for evening. 1 unit laboratory requires field trips to be conducted on selected Saturdays. Prerequisites: Equivalent of GSC 111/GSC 141L or GSC 321/GSC 321L.

GSC 423/423L Sedimentary Geology (3/2) Sp

Stratigraphic procedures, correlation, depositional environments, classification and origin of stratigraphic units, chemical, mineralogic and textural studies of sedimentary rocks, using petrographic, mechanical and x-ray techniques. Theory of the classification and origin of these rocks. Field trips. 3 lectures, 2 three-hour laboratories. Prerequisite: GSC 325/325L. Field trips required. Laboratory fee required.

GSC 424 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (3) Sp

Theory of the origin, classification, chemistry and mineralogy of igneous and metamorphic rocks. 3 lectures. Prerequisites: GSC 325/325L. Corequisite: GSC 425L.

GSC 425L Igneous and Metamorphic Petrography (2) Sp

Mineralogy, texture and description of igneous and metamorphic rocks with the petrographic microscope, mineral separation techniques and xray diffraction. Field trips. Prerequisite GSC 325. Corequisite GSC 424. 2 three-hour laboratories. Field trips required. Field trip fees required.

GSC 433/433L Ore Deposits (3/1) W (even years)

A systematic study of the deposition of metallic ores. Preparation of comprehensive ore deposit models is stressed requiring the integration of mineralogy, petrology and structural geology. Discussions and practical exercises on wall rock alteration, paragenesis, metal zoning and fluid inclusion geothermometry are important components of the course. Laboratory examination of polished sections and thin sections from "classic" mining districts throughout the world and field trips to important mining districts compliment the lecture. Three lectures and one 3 hour lab.

GSC 440/440L Exploration and Mining Geology (3/1) Sp (even years)

Planning and implementation of mineral exploration programs, resource extraction and ore-processing. Course topics include mineral economics, exploration planning, exploration techniques, ore deposit valuation and mining and processing systems. Special emphasis is placed on the economic theory and practical aspects of development of precious metal properties. Laboratory exercises focus on all aspects of exploration from field exercises involving claim staking, geochemical/geophysical prospecting and underground mine mapping to on-campus work with computer generated ore reserve models and automated data base literature searches. 3 lectures, 1 three-hour laboratory. Prerequisites: GSC 111, GSC 215/215L.

GSC 441/441L Micropaleontology (3/1)

Morphology, classification and evolution of major plant and animal microfossil groups with emphasis on the Foraminiferida. Use of microfossils in petroleum exploration and paleoenvironmental reconstruction. 3 lectures/problem-solving, 1 three-hour laboratory. Prerequisites: GSC 112, GSC 151L and GSC 331/331L.

GSC 444/444L Geotectonics (3/1) W (odd years)

Study of the major tectonic elements of the Earth, their geometry, kinematics and dynamics with special emphasis on the Cordillera of Western North America. All of the tectonic features will be analyzed in the context of plate tectonics. Prerequisites: GSC 145L and GSC 333/333L. Field trips required. 3 lectures/problem-solving, 1 three-hour laboratory.

GSC 450/450L Introduction to Seismology, Earthquakes and Earth Sturcture (3/1) W

The study of the generation, propagation and recording of seismic waves and of the sources that produce them. Stress and strain. Body waves and ray theory. Surface waves and free oscillations. Seismometry. Interpretation of seismograms. Determination of Earth structure. Reflection seismology. Seismic sources. Strong motion seismology and earthquake hazard. Earthquake statistics. Seismotectonics. 3 hours of lecture + 3 hours lab. Prerequisite: MAT 115 or consent of the instructor.

GSC 461, 462 Senior Thesis (2) F W Sp

Independent research study into a geologic problem of scientific merit following standard scientific methodology. Topic selection, research techniques, data analysis and formal write up are done under close guidance and supervision of a GSC faculty research advisor. Successful completion of GSC 461 and 462 requires submission of a formal, written report in appropriate scientific style. In certain cases, publication of research results in appropriate scientific journal or as an abstract may be accepted in lieu of report.

GSC 463 Senior Seminar (2) F W Sp

A formal, oral presentation of senior thesis results. This presentation will be judged on clarity, organization, scientific merit and the presenter’s ability to discuss and to respond to faculty and student questioning in an effective and persuasive manner. Students should not enroll in GSC 463 until senior thesis is near completion.

GSC 490L Summer Field Geology (8) Su

A six-week course in geological field methods. Preparation of geological maps of metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary rock areas. Geologic report on areas mapped. Prerequisite: GSC 455/455L. Field trip fee required.

GSC 491L Field Module (2) FWSpSu

Advanced geologic mapping in a variety of geologic settings. Field reports, maps and crosssections required. Techniques emphasized include surveying, GPS mapping, satellite and aerial photo interpretation, Brunton compass pace and traverse. Each module requires a minimum of five field days with additional field and lab time as necessary to complete the assignments. Students are expected to complete four (4) modules to fulfill the GSC degree requirement. Each module must be topically distinctive. Modules must be taken from at least two different instructors. Total credit limited to 8 units with a maximum of 4 units per quarter.

GSC 499/499A/499L Special Topics for Upper Division Students (1-4) FWSp(Su)

Group study of a selected topic, the title to be specified in advance. Total credit limited to 8 units with a maximum of 4 units per quarter. Instruction is by lecture, laboratory or a combination.

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