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updated 11/12/2008

Geological Sciences

Venkataraman Lakshmi, Chair

Professors
Arthur D. Cohen, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 1968
James N. Kellogg, Ph.D., Princeton University, 1981
James H. Knapp, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1989
Venkataraman Lakshmi, Ph.D., Princeton University, 1995
Thomas J. Owens, Ph.D., University of Utah, 1984
Pradeep Talwani, Ph.D., Stanford University, 1973
, Associate Chair
Robert C. Thunell, Ph.D., University of Rhode Island, 1978, Carolina Distinguished Professor
Douglas F. Williams, Ph.D., University of Rhode Island, 1976

Associate Professors
Claudia Benitez-Nelson, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, 1999
Raymond Torres, Ph.D., University of California-Berkeley, 1998
, Graduate Director
George Voulgaris, Ph.D., University of Southampton, 1992
Alicia Wilson, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1999
Gene M. Yogodzinski, Ph.D., Cornell University, 1993

Assistant Professors
David Barbeau, Ph.D., University of Arizona, 2003
Subrahmanyam Bulusu, Ph.D., University of Southampton, 1998
Camelia C. Knapp, Ph.D., Cornell University, 2000, Undergraduate Director
Richard Styles, Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1998
Scott White, Ph.D., University of California-Santa Barbara, 2001
Alexander Yankovsky, Ph.D., Marine Hydrophysical Institute, 1991

Research Professor
Philip M. Astwood, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1975

Research Associate Professor
Eugene Karabanov, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1997

Research Assistant Professor
Robert Trenkamp, University of South Carolina, 2003

Professors Emeriti
John R. Carpenter, Ph.D., Florida State University, 1964
Frank T. Caruccio, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 1967
Leonard R. Gardner, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 1968
William H. Kanes, Ph.D., University of West Virginia, 1965
Christopher G. St.C. Kendall, Ph.D., Imperial College, London, 1966
Ian Lerche, Ph.D., University of Manchester, 1965
Willard Moore, Ph.D., State University of New York-Stony Brook, 1969
Donald T. Secor Jr., Ph.D., Stanford University, 1963
W. Edwin Sharp, Ph.D., University of California-Los Angeles, 1964


Overview

The Department of Geological Sciences currently offers a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in geology and geophysics. The intensive and geophysics majors are designed for students planning to pursue graduate study in geology, geophysics, or the related sciences; the general major is not recommended for these students. Those students requiring professional certification are advised to pursue the intensive major.

Degree Requirements

(128 hours)

1. General Education Requirements (43-54 hours)

Geology Major: The following courses fulfill some of the general education requirements and must be completed for a major or intensive major in geology: GEOL 101 or 201, 202, CHEM 111, 112, PHYS 201/201L or 211/211L, 202/202L or 212/212L, MATH 141, 142.

Geophysics Major: The following courses fulfill some of the general education requirements and some cognates, and must be completed for a major in geophysics: GEOL 101 or 103 or 201, 202, CHEM 111, 112, PHYS 211/211L, 212/212L, MATH 141, 142, 241, 242, 527, and 526 or 544, CSCE 206 or 207.

For an outline of other general education requirements, see "College of Arts and Sciences."

2. Major Requirements

General Major in Geology: GEOL 305, 315, 325, 335, 345, 355, and 5 credits of senior capstone experience (GEOL 500, 561, 699, or a field course at an approved university) (29 hours)

Intensive Major in Geology: Same course requirements as the general major plus 9 credits of GEOL courses numbered 399 or higher (38 hours)

Intensive Major in Geology with Concentration in Environmental Geosciences: GEOL 305, 315, 325, 335, 355, and 5 credits of senior capstone experience (GEOL 561, 699, or a field course at an approved university) plus 12 credits from the following: GEOL 371, 501, 508, 510, 518, 520, 521, 536, 557, 560, 570, 571, 575, 583, 498/499 (limit 3 credits on approved research topics, not including Senior Thesis, GEOL 699) (37 hours).

Intensive Major in Geology with Concentration in Marine Geology: Same course requirements as the general major plus 9 credits from the following: GEOL 511, 515, 516, 517, 521, 531, 545, 546, 553, 557, 581, 582, 583, 498/499 (limit 3 credits on approved research topics) (38 hours)

Geophysics Major: GEOL 345, 355, 531, 554, 555, 556, 575, 582, and 6 credits of senior capstone experience (GEOL 548 and 3 hours of GEOL 699 or approved field course) (32 hours)

3. Cognates

Geology: see "College of Arts and Sciences," excepting geological science courses; additional restrictions apply (12 hours)

Intensive Major in Geology: see "College of Arts and Sciences," excepting geological science courses; additional restrictions apply (12 hours)

Intensive Major in Geology with Concentration in Environmental Geosciences: cognate must include 3 credits of MATH 241 or higher, or STAT 515 or 516. Additional courses should be chosen from the following list: CHEM 321, 331, 332, 521, 541, 542, 550; BIOL 541, 570; PHYS 301, 351; MATH 241, 242, 511, 520, 521; STAT 509, 510, 511, 512, 515, 516; GEOG 343, 345, 346, 347, 363, 543, 547, 551, 563 (12 hours)

Intensive Major in Geology with Concentration in Marine Geology: see "College of Arts and Sciences," excepting geological science courses. Cognate must include 3 credits of MATH 241 (or higher); STAT 509, 510, 511, 512, 515, 516 (12 hours)

Geophysics: MATH 241, 242, 527, and 526 or 544 (13 hours)

4. Electives, see "College of Arts and Sciences"

Interdepartmental Majors

Specific programs for students who wish to develop interdepartmental majors will be determined after consultation between the student and faculty representatives of the departments involved.


Course Descriptions (GEOL)

  • 101 -- Introduction to the Earth. (4) Origin and nature of the earth with emphasis on internal processes and phenomena such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain building; surface processes, including landform evolution. Three lectures and three laboratory hours each week.
  • 102 -- Fossils and the Evolution of Life on Earth. (4) Basic overview of fossils, including dinosaurs, and their importance for understanding earth history and the evolution of life. Three lectures and three laboratory hours each week.
  • 103 -- Environment of the Earth. (4) Analysis of basic energy cycles of the earth. Interaction of human activity with earth processes to affect the environment. Three lectures and three laboratory hours each week. Field trips required.
  • 110 -- Cultural Geology. (3) The growth of geological concepts, scientific and non-scientific. The impact of geological factors on human affairs. The role of time and evolution (biological and physical). Restricted to non-science majors. Two lectures and one two-hour recitation.
  • 201 -- Observing the Earth. (4) An introduction to study of the earth through observation of ancient and modern earth systems in a field setting. Field trips required.
  • 202 -- Rocks and Minerals. (4) (Prereq: GEOL 101 or 103 or 201, CHEM 111 or consent of instructor) Introduction to rock-forming minerals and an overview of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Includes laboratory. Field trips required.
  • 205 -- Earth Resources. (3) Mineral, energy, and water resources with emphasis on geological processes governing their distribution. Intended for non-science majors. Three lecture hours each week with occasional field trips.
  • 209 -- Use and Misuse of the Earth's Resources. (3) Integration of the geological, spatial, and hydro-environmental issues arising from extraction, use, and disposal of selected mineral, energy, and water resources.
  • 215 -- Coastal Environments of the Southeastern U.S. {=MSCI 215} (3) Coastal zones of South Carolina and neighboring states, including geologic history, geomorphology, stratigraphy, hydrogeology, shoreline processes, environmental issues, and effects of man. Three lecture hours each week plus optional field trips. Not available for geology major credit.
  • 215L -- Coastal Environments of the Southeastern U.S. (Laboratory). {=MSCI 215L} (1) Exercises examining coastal ecology, geomorphology, hydrogeology, shoreline processes, environmental issues, and human impact. Two laboratory hours per week. Scheduled field trips required. Not available for marine science major credit.
  • 220 -- Real Estate Geology. (3) Application of geologic concepts to land development. Recognition of hazards related to the hydrologic cycle, land stability, soils, coastal environment, and earthquakes. Intended for nonscience majors. Three lecture hours and two laboratory hours each week.
  • 230 -- Geology of the National Parks. (3) An examination of the geologic setting and scientific significance of selected National Parks. Three lecture hours.
  • 250 -- Continental Drift and Ice Ages. (3) An introduction to geology and geophysics. The structure of the earth, core, mantle, and crust; problems of facies, plate motions, and their probable influence on climate and evolution. Future prospects.
  • 305 -- Earth Systems through Time. (4) Survey of earth history, the evolution of continents and oceans, the history of life, and geological dating methods. Includes laboratory and recitation. Required field trips. Taught alternate years.
  • 315 -- Surface and Near Surface Processes. (4) (Prereq: PHYS 201 or 211 or consent of instructor) Overview of groundwater, surface water hydrology, sediment transport, river systems, and coastal processes. Includes laboratory and recitation. Required field trips. Taught alternate years.
  • 318 -- Field Studies in Geology. (1) (Prereq: GEOL 101, 103, or 201 and consent of instructor) Directed field studies of extraordinary geological locations in North America. Requires a seven- to nine-day field trip during spring break.
  • 325 -- Stratigraphy and Sedimentary Basins. (4) (Prereq: GEOL 202) Overview of sedimentary basins, sediment transport, sedimentation, depositional environments, stratigraphy, seismic stratigraphy, eustacy, and sedimentary petrology. Includes laboratory and recitation. Required field trips. Taught alternate years.
  • 335 -- Processes of Global Environmental Change. (4) The science of global change, its relation to the hydrosphere, atmosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere. Global system science, biogeochemical cycles, paleoclimatology, glaciation, and eustacy. Includes laboratory and recitation. Taught alternate years.
  • 345 -- Internal Earth. (4) (Prereq: GEOL 202; MATH 141; CHEM 111, PHYS 201 or 211 recommended) Internal structure and composition of the earth and its relation to tectonic processes. Seismology, igneous rocks, volcanoes, plate tectonics, isostasy. Includes laboratory and recitation. Required field trips. Taught alternate years.
  • 355 -- Mountain Building: Structure and Tectonics. (4) (Prereq: GEOL 202; PHYS 201 or 211) Mountain building and crustal deformation. Stress and strain, P-T-t paths in mountain belts, role of mountain building in plate tectonics. Includes laboratory and recitation. Required field trips. Taught alternate years.
  • 371 -- A View of the River. (3) (Prereq: GEOL 101 or 103 or 201) Introduction to terrestrial and tidal river morphology and processes, with case studies of South Carolina. Field trips required.
  • 399 -- Independent Study. (1-6) Contract approved by instructor, advisor, and department chair is required for undergraduate students.
  • 498 -- Undergraduate Research. (3 each) (Prereq: consent of instructor) Student research on problems of regional and fundamental significance, supervised by a faculty member of the student's choice. Emphasis is on the development of critical thinking and lucid scientific report writing.
  • 499 -- Undergraduate Research. (3 each) (Prereq: consent of instructor) Student research on problems of regional and fundamental significance, supervised by a faculty member of the student's choice. Emphasis is on the development of critical thinking and lucid scientific report writing.
  • 500 -- Field Geology. (6) (Prereq: GEOL 202, senior standing in geology or geophysics, and consent of instructor) Geological field techniques including the use of field instruments and the preparation of geologic maps. Written and oral reports required.
  • 501 -- Principles of Geomorphology. {=MSCI 501} (3) (Prereq: GEOL 101 and 102) The process of earth denudation with emphasis on chemistry of weathering, stream and erosion hydraulics, quantitative analysis of land form evolution.
  • 502 -- Principles of Coastal Geomorphology. {=MSCI 502} (4) (Prereq: MATH 122 or 141 [concurrent enrollment acceptable]) Geological and physical controls on the morphology, development, and stability of coastlines. Analysis of waves and erosional processes, and coastal zone morphodynamics. Several required field trips.
  • 503 -- Regional Stratigraphy and Biostratigraphy of North America. (3) (Prereq: senior standing) Sedimentologic, biostratigraphic, and tectonic history of North America, approached from paleogeographic considerations with emphasis on the Atlantic Coastal Plain and Continental Margin. Three hours lecture and three hours recitation per week. Required field trips.
  • 508 -- Palynology. (3) (Prereq: consent of instructor) Fundamentals of pollen analysis including morphology of modern and fossil forms, use of pollen and spores for correlation, dating, establishing phylogenetic trends, and reconstruction of ancient environments. Two lectures plus one two-hour lab per week.
  • 510 -- Organic Sedimentation and Coal Genesis. (3) Theories of origin of coal deposits and coal-forming ingredients. Basic concepts of coal composition and classification. Practical applications of coal petrographic techniques. Two lectures plus one two-hour lab. Two optional field trips.
  • 511 -- Advanced Paleontology. {=MSCI 511} (3) (Prereq: GEOL 305) Systematic, ecologic, biogeographic, and evolutionary aspects of paleontology; lectures, practical exercises, field trips.
  • 515 -- Marine Micropaleontology. {=MSCI 515} (4) (Prereq: consent of instructor) Marine microfossils; distribution, ecology, paleoecology, and biostratigraphy; use of microfossils in marine sediments to study oceanographic history. Three lectures and two laboratory hours per week.
  • 516 -- Sedimentology. (4) (Prereq: GEOL 325, 522 or the consent of instructor) Modern concepts of sediment composition, sedimentary facies, depositional environments, and stratigraphy. Includes laboratory.
  • 518 -- Surface to Subsurface Stratigraphy. (3) (Prereq: consent of instructor) Surface to subsurface stratigraphic interpretation and techniques; litho- and biostratigraphy; geophysical log interpretation and subsurface presentation.
  • 520 -- Isotope Geology and Geochronology. (3) (Prereq: consent of instructor) Dating techniques for Pleistocene deposits, sediments, archaeological materials, igneous and metamorphic rocks.
  • 521 -- Introduction to Geochemistry. {=MSCI 521} (3) Investigation of low temperature chemical reactions controlling the geochemistry of the earth's surface. Emphasis on CO2, carbonates, oxidation-reduction, thermodynamics, isotopes, biogeochemistry.
  • 524 -- Environmental Radioisotope Geochemistry. {=MSCI 524} (3) (Prereq: CHEM 111, CHEM 112, MATH 141) Introduction to radioactivity and the use of radionuclides to study environmental processes, including age-dating and biogeochemical cycling in aquatic systems. Two lectures per week.
  • 526 -- Igneous Petrology. (4) (Prereq: GEOL 202) Petrography and petrogenesis of igneous rocks; evolution of contrasting petrotectonic terranes. Three lectures and three laboratory hours per week.
  • 527 -- Metamorphic Petrology. (4) (Prereq: GEOL 202) Petrography and petrogenesis of metamorphic rocks in orogenic belts. Three lectures and three laboratory hours per week.
  • 531 -- Plate Tectonics. (3) Geological and geophysical evidence for plate tectonics, detailed development of the plate tectonics model, and present areas of research, including measurements of plate motion using satellite geodesy. Three lecture-discussion hours per week.
  • 537 -- Field Methods in Geophysics. (3) (Prereq: GEOL 536) Application of two or more geophysical field methods to a current geological problem. Independent study contract required.
  • 540 -- Earth Science for Teachers I. {=EDSE 548} (3) Survey of topics related to the origin, internal structure, and internal processes of the earth, including plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain building. Required field trips, two lectures, and three lab hours per week. Cannot be used in M.S. or Ph.D. programs in geology.
  • 541 -- Earth Science for Teachers II. {=EDSE 549} (3) (Prereq: EDSE 548/GEOL 540) Surface processes acting on the earth; introduction to weather and climate, weathering, erosion, and sedimentary processes; landform evolution; ocean currents and tides, near-shore geologic processes. Required field trips, two lecture and three lab hours per week. Cannot be used in M.S. or Ph.D. programs in geology.
  • 545 -- Geological Oceanography. {=MSCI 545} (3) (Prereq: consent of instructor required for undergraduates only) A comprehensive study of the origin and development of the major structural features of the ocean basins and the continental margins. Discussion of the techniques used in obtaining geologic data and the interpretation of sedimentary processes, vulcanism, and the stratigraphy of the ocean basins.
  • 546 -- Marine Geophysics. (3) Introduction to the nature and structure of the ocean floor as revealed by geophysical techniques. Two hours lecture and three hours laboratory.
  • 548 -- Environmental Geophysics. (3) (Prereq: MATH 141 and PHYS 201 or 211) Practical geophysical techniques for exploring the shallow subsurface. Seismic, resistivity, well log, gravity, magnetic methods. Field exercises to collect and analyze data. Two lectures and three laboratory hours per week.
  • 550 -- Sedimentary Simulations and Sequence Stratigraphy. {=MSCI 550} (4) (Prereq: GEOL 325 or consent of the instructor) Problems of sequence stratigraphy resolved with graphic computer simulations. Sedimentary fill of basins by carbonates and/or clastics tracked as a function of rate of sediment accumulation, tectonic behavior, and sea level. Includes laboratory.
  • 553 -- Marine Sediments. {=MSCI 553} (3) (Prereq: GEOL 516 or consent of instructor) Marine sedimentary environments; physical/biological factors which control the formation and distribution of modern marine sediments.
  • 554 -- Applied Seismology. (3) Theory of subsurface and surface seismic wave behavior.
  • 555 -- Elementary Seismology. (3) (Prereq: MATH 142, 241 or equivalent; PHYS 201, 202 or equivalent; or consent of instructor) Basic elements of seismology. Mathematical development of seismic wave equations; measurement, description, and interpretation of seismic data.
  • 556 -- Seismic Reflection Interpretation. (3) The interpretation of geologic structure using seismic sections. Recognition of apparent structure caused by velocity anomalies, multiples, and complex reflector geometry. Application to hydrocarbon exploration.
  • 557 -- Coastal Processes. {=MSCI 557} (3) (Prereq: consent of instructor) Physical and geological processes controlling the formation and evolution of beach, barrier, and nearshore environments, including discussion of coastal management issues. Field trip(s) to coastal environments.
  • 560 -- Earth Resource Management. (3) An approach to problems of resource management by lecture and seminar using case studies in mineral, energy, hydrogeological, and environmental science.
  • 561 -- Environmental Field Geology. (6) An introduction to field methods in sedimentology, structural geology, hydrogeology and geophysics with special reference to geological hazards and environmental problems.
  • 567 -- Long Term Environmental Change. {=GEOG 567} (3) (Prereq: A 200-level course in physical geography or geology or equivalent) Climatic changes of the past and their impact on the physical landscape, with an emphasis on the Quaternary period.
  • 568 -- Introduction to Micrometerology. {=MSCI 568} (3) (Prereq: PHYS 201 and MATH 141, or consent of instructor) Small-scale processes in the atmospheric boundary layers, including energy budget, radiation, soil heat transfer, humidity, viscous flows, turbulence, momentum and heat exchanges, evaporation, and marine atmospheric boundary layer.
  • 570 -- Environmental Hydrogeology. (3) (Prereq: GEOL 101 and CHEM 111 or their equivalents) Environmental considerations of the hydrologic cycle, occurrence and movement of ground water, aquifer analysis, and water well emplacement and construction. Water quality, pollution parameters, and the geochemistry of selected natural systems. The effects of environmental problems, waste disposal, and urban development upon the aqueous geochemical regime.
  • 571 -- Soil Hydrology. (4) (Prereq: PHYS 202 and MATH 142 or consent of instructor) Saturated and unsaturated water flow through soils, pore pressure development, runoff generation, and watershed response to rainfall. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week.
  • 575 -- Introduction to Groundwater Modeling. (3) (Prereq: GEOL 570 or ECIV 563; or concurrent enrollment in GEOL 570) Mathematical and numerical models describing groundwater flow and contaminant transport; with application of numerical models.
  • 579 -- Air-Sea Interaction. {=MSCI 579} (3) (Prereq: consent of instructor) This course provides knowledge of the physical mechanism responsible for interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere and of the influence of air-sea interaction on atmospheric and oceanic dynamics and thermodynamics on a wide variety of spatial/temporal scales.
  • 580 -- Satellite Oceanography. {=MSCI 580} (3) This course provides knowledge of various techniques used in satellite remote sensing of the oceans. Key skills will be developed in satellite data processing, image analysis, and hands-on research.
  • 581 -- Estuarine Oceanography. {=MSCI 581} (3) (Prereq: MSCI 312 or consent of instructor) Estuarine kinematics and dynamics; classification of estuaries; estuarine circulation and mixing. Scheduled field trips are required.
  • 582 -- Marine Hydrodynamics. {=MSCI 582} (3) (Prereq: differential equations, PHYS 201 or 211, or consent of instructor) Basic principles of fluid statics and dynamics. Conservation of mass, momentum, and energy; viscosity, vorticity, and boundary layers with examples from the marine environment. Applications to and analysis of ocean currents and waves. Scheduled field trips are required.
  • 583 -- Geology and Geochemistry of Salt Marshes. {=MSCI 583} (3) (Prereq: consent of instructor) Geological and geochemical processes in salt marshes. Methods of geological research in marshes, including instrumental techniques, sampling design, and data analysis. Two lectures per week plus four weekends of project-oriented fieldwork and/or equivalent lab work. Scheduled field trips are required.
  • 600 -- Senior Seminar in Geology and Geophysics. (2) (Prereq: senior standing) Advanced research topics in geology and geophysics; critical reading of literature, technical presentations, and written reports.
  • 650 -- Electron Microscopy and Microanalysis. (4) (Prereq: CHEM 111 or equivalent or consent of instructor) SEM, ESEM, TEM, and EMPA, WDS quantitative analysis, EDS semi-quantitative analysis, EBSD, methods of sample preparation, and applications in varieties of disciplines. Two lecture and three laboratory hours per week.
  • 699 -- Senior Thesis. (3-6) (Prereq: senior standing and contract approved by instructor, advisor, and department chair) Senior capstone experience, research on problem of fundamental significance, supervised by faculty member; must include field study component, written final project report, and oral presentation at departmental seminar. May be repeated for up to 6 credit hours total.
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