May 25, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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GEOL 483 - Isotope Geochemistry

Covers principles of isotope geochemistry and applications to studies of geological processes such as hydrologic cycling, volcanic petrogenesis, and climate change. Three hours lecture per week plus required laboratory work and field trips. GEOL 483 and GEOL 583 are layered course; students may not receive credit for both. Offered in alternate years.

Prerequisites: CHEM 182, CHEM 182LAB, and MATH 154.

Credits: (5)

Learner Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Explain the difference between stable and radiogenic isotopes and can describe the mechanisms for isotopic fractionation in these two types of isotope systems.
  • Explain how isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen can be used to study water sources, flow paths and fluxes in the hydrological cycle.
  • Describe, both intuitively and mathematically, how isotopes are used to date rocks.
  • Look up the range of typical isotopic compositions in various rock types and how processes such as mixing, assimilation or fractional crystallization might affect these isotopic compositions.
  • Describe several environmental applications of isotope geochemistry such as their use in studying animal migration, climate records, or contaminant sources.
  • Have experience in at least one aspect of isotopic analysis (sample preparation, elemental extraction, mass spectrometry, etc.) and can describe some of the sources of error in different types of isotopic measurement.
  • Participate in group research projects and can formulate and test hypotheses.

Learner Outcomes Approval Date:

Anticipated Course Offering Terms and Locations:

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