Geosciences Course Descriptions

General Courses

GEOS 5300 Cooperative Geosciences (3 semester hours) An industrial internship in which a student gains real-world industry experience through temporary employment at a geoscience company or government agency. The activity may be in any area of geosciences, and must have a faculty monitor to receive UTD credit. The topic must be approved in advance by the faculty monitor. The student is required to provide regular updates on progress and a final project report for evaluation. Grading is P/F. Designed as an Individual Instruction Course. May be repeated for credit. (3-0) R
GEOS 5301 Geology of the Metroplex (3 semester hours) Lithologic constituents, stratigraphic history, and geologic environments of the greater Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Special emphasis is given to the Cretaceous sediments that underlie Tarrant and Dallas Counties, with a secondary focus on the broader geologic environment.  Three to four 1-day (Saturday) field trips. (3-0) T
GEOS 5302 Ocean Science (3 semester hours) Overview of geological, chemical, physical and biological aspects of oceanography, marine resources and environmental concerns. This course is for students seeking the M.A.T. degree. This course cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements of geosciences majors. Cross-listed with ISNS 3367 The Oceans. (3-0) R
GEOS 5303 Computing for Geoscientists (3 semester hours) Application of computer techniques in solving geological problems. Includes instruction in the MATLAB â software, plotting facilities, introductory matrix theory, and statistics. Students will examine problems in basic statistical analysis, graphics, and mapping of geological and geophysical data. Development of programming skills in areas directly related to thesis and dissertation research is encouraged. Serves as introduction to UNIX and the U.T. Dallas computing facility. Laboratory sessions are included. (2-3) Y
GEOS 5304 Geosciences Field Trip (3 semester hours) A study of the geology of a selected region within North America and the Caribbean followed by a field trip to the selected region in order to study the relationships of geologic features within that region. This course can only be used to partially satisfy the field experience requirement and breadth requirement for geosciences majors. Field trip course. (May be repeated for credit.) (3-0) Y
GEOS 5305 Petroleum Geosciences (3 semester hours) Survey of geological and geophysical methods used to find and produce oil and gas, and to perform economic and risk analyses that are crucial in reserve estimates and prospect evaluation. The course is designed to provide the student with the necessary knowledge to become an effective contributor in the oil and gas industry. Students are expected to have the equivalent of a BS or BA degree in Geosciences. (3-0) R
GEOS 5306 Data Analysis for Geoscientists (3 semester hours) Advanced statistical techniques with important applications in Earth science, beyond the level of GEOS 5303. Topics include robust statistics, exploratory data analysis, surface modeling and contouring, Kriging, analysis of point patterns and directional data. Factor, cluster and time series analysis may also be considered. Emphasis will be on application and theoretical understanding. Prerequisite: GEOS 5303 or equivalent. (3-0) R
GEOS 5307 Well Log Interpretation (3 semester hours) The principles and operational limitations of spontaneous potential (SP), normal (16'’ and 64'’), lateral microcaliper, resistivity, induction, gamma-ray, neutron, density, sonic, dipmeter, and temperature logs will be discussed. Geologic examples will be used to explain the application of these logging tools. The effects of porosity, permeability, mineral, and fluid content to log response in various types of reservoirs will be developed. (3-0) R
GEOS 5319 Principles of Environmental Health (3 semester hour) Introduction to epidemiology and biostatistics. U.S. regulatory agencies. Ethics, risk assessment and public policy. Diseases spread by food and water. Lung diseases associated with particles and fibers. Health significance of exposures to arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury compounds and to chemical substances — solvents, PCBs, PBBs, dioxins, and dibenzofurans. Ionizing radiation. Health implications of global warming (3-0) T
GEOS 5400 Earth Science (4 semester hours) A review of Earth processes as a whole: time and geology; igneous and sedimentary processes and products; metamorphism; structure; evolution of continents and oceans. This course is open only to those students whose major undergraduate study was in subjects other than geology. Laboratory and field trip course. (3-3) R
GEOS 5407 Instrumental Techniques in Geosciences (4 semester hours) An introduction to modern instrumental techniques, including inductively coupled plasma spectrophotometry, scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, electron microprobe techniques, stable isotope mass spectrometry, and thermal ionization mass spectrometry. Sample preparation, mineral separation, and lab safety. Laboratory course. (2-6) R
GEOS 5V08 Special Topics in Geosciences (1-4 semester hours) Courses dealing with a variety of topics including new techniques and specific problems in rapidly developing areas of the science. Hours vary depending on course requirements. ([1-3]-[0-3]) R
GEOS 5409 M.A.T. Field Trip (4 semester hours) Designed for students in the M.A.T. program to gain relevant field geological experience. (May be repeated for credit.) (4-0) R
GEOS 6205 Geoscience Presentations (2 semester hours) Students prepare oral and written presentations based on literature review or research interests and on critiquing oral presentations. Required of all Geosciences graduate students. (2-0) S
7V00 Research and Literature Seminar (1 or 2 semester hours) Presentations and critical analysis of independent work and of the recent literature. (May be repeated for credit.) ([1-2]-0) Y

Hydrogeology-Environmental Geosciences Courses

GEOS 5310 Hydrogeology (3 semester hours) Introduction to the principles and practice of ground- and surface-water hydrology. Study of the principles of occurrence and geologic controls of groundwater, physical flow, and geochemistry of waters. Design and use of procedures for typical hydrologic investigations. (3-0) Y
GEOS 5311 Applied Groundwater Modeling (3 semester hours) This course is designed to provide students with hands-on experience using the most commonly-applied groundwater flow and transport models (e.g. modflow/modpath, MT3D/RT3D, GMS). Practical application of the models and design of modeling studies is emphasized, modeling theory and mathematics is de-emphasized.(3-0) Y
GEOS 5312 Contaminant Transport (3 semester hours) A study of physical and chemical processes of contaminant transport in ground-and surface-water, and approaches toward observing, monitoring and modeling these processes. Current site remediation practices are also reviewed. Prerequisites: GEOS 5310 or instructor’s permission. (3-0) T
GEOS 5313 Applied Surface Water Modeling (3 semester hours) The development and application of watershed models emphasizing runoff, stormflow and stormwater management design. This class combines aspects of GIS, remote sensing and surface water hydrology from an applied modeling perspective, using commonly applied computer models (e.g. Rational Method, TR-20, HEC-1) to address drainage problems related to urbanization and land-use changes. (3-0) T
GEOS 7110 Workshop in Environmental Geosciences (1 semester hour) Discussion of current topics in environmental geoscience, including student and faculty research, scientific literature, and advanced techniques in environmental geosciences.
(1-0) R
GEOS 8V10 Research in Hydrogeology-Environmental Geosciences (1-9 semester hours) May repeat for credit. ([1-9]-0) S

Remote Sensing, GIS, and GPS Courses

GEOS 5325 Introduction to Remote Sensing (3 semester hours) Application of airborne and satellite remote sensing for understanding the surface of the earth. Focus on interpretation of images obtained by passive and active imaging systems using electromagnetic radiation, especially visible, infra-red, and radar. Laboratory course. (2-3) T
GEOS 5326 Remote Sensing Digital Image Processing (3 semester hours) Techniques of digital image processing for a variety of remote sensing data sets and their applications for environmental and geoscientific issues. Extraction of statistical data from remote sensing imagery, radiometric and geometric correction, image enhancement and classification, and techniques for utilizing digital remote sensing data for change detection of the earth’s surface. Use of different image processing software to manipulate digital remote sensing data and extract thematic information. Introduction to Remote Sensing (GEOS 5325) is a prerequisite for this course. Laboratory course. (2-3) T
GEOS 5328 Radar Remote Sensing (3 semester hours) Principles and applications of orbital and airborne radar remote sensing, including real and synthetic aperture radar systems. Principles of Radargrammetry, and single-path and repeat-path interferometry. Applications of radar remote sensing in geosciences, land use and land cover mapping, forestry and agriculture, urban analysis. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: Principles of Remote Sensing (GEOS 5325) (2-3) T
GEOS 5329 Applied Remote Sensing (3 semester hours) Methods for using optical and radar remote sensing data and techniques for study of issues related to physical and social sciences, including geological, environmental, and geomorphological studies, forestry, agriculture, and issues related to urban development and planning. Use of a variety of remote sensing data and software to address societal and scientific problems. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: Principles of Remote Sensing (GEOS 5325). Cross-listed with GISC 7366 Applied Remote Sensing. (2-3) T
GEOS 5422 GPS (Global Positioning System) Satellite Surveying Techniques (4 semester hours) The theory and application of satellite positioning utilizing the Global Positioning System Code and phase methodology in field observations, data processing and analysis of Differential GPS, high accuracy static and other rapid measurements, in real time and with post-processing. (3-3) Y
GEOS 5423 GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Applications to Geosciences (4 semester hours) The application of GIS to geologic, geophysical and environmental problems. Emphasis on hands-on digital geologic mapping and analysis with Arc/Info software package. Laboratory course. (3-3) T

GEOS 5424  3D Data Capture and Ground Lidar (3 semester hours) The theory and applications of 3D data acquisition in the field for geosciences and non-geosciences studies.  The basics and applications of field digital mapping with emphasis on RTK GPS, laser range finder, and terrestrial scanners (ground lidar).  3D digital photorealistic modeling with field photogrammetry and digital cameras. (3-3) T
GEOS 7327 Remote Sensing Workshop (3 semester hours) An independent project designed and conducted by the student. The project develops and demonstrates student’s competence in using remote sensing techniques in a substantive application to his/her field of interest. Projects may be developed in coordination with a local government, utility, business or other entity which uses remote sensing in operations and research. Formal presentation and a project report are required. Prerequisites: GISC 6381 and GISC 7365 Cross-listed with GISC 7367 Remote Sensing Workshop. (3-0) Y
GEOS 8V21 Research in Remote Sensing, GIS and GPS (1-9 semester hours) May repeat for credit. ([1-9]-0) S

Sedimentology Courses

GEOS 5347 Sequence Stratigraphy (3 semester hours) Origin of stratigraphic sequences and systems tracts, especially tectonic versus eustatic controls. Topics include lithostratigraphy, seismic stratigraphy, chronostratigraphy, and allostratigraphy, with an emphasis on high resolution subsurface sequence stratigraphic methods. Prerequisite: GEOS 3421 or equivalent. (3-0) Y
GEOS 5441 Stratigraphy and Sedimentology (4 semester hours) Origin and classification of sedimentary rocks, reconstruction of ancient environments, and basic principles of modern stratigraphic nomenclature.
Concepts of space and time in the rock record and methods of stratigraphic correlation. Integrated stratigraphic techniques. Study of sedimentary rocks in hand specimen and outcrop. Laboratory course. Field trips. Course is directed to graduate students not majoring in geology and is meant to provide a practical overview of sedimentary geology. Permission of instructor is required to take this course. (3-3) Y
GEOS 5443 Carbonate Sedimentary Environments (4 semester hours) Description and classification of carbonate sediments and carbonate rocks. Aspects of carbonate geochemistry will be covered. The course will emphasize recent carbonate depositional environments and facies models for use as analogs for interpreting ancient sequences. Laboratory will stress identification and classification of carbonate sediments and rocks in hand sample and thin-section. Laboratory and field trip course. Prerequisite: GEOS 3421. (3-3) T or R

Geochemistry Courses

GEOS 5352 Geochemistry of Igneous Rocks (3 semester hours) Chemical composition of igneous rocks and the major processes that control the distribution of the elements in silicate melts. Topics to be covered include the composition of the earth, the structure of silicate melts, trace element partitioning between crystals and melts, and the use of major and trace elements in deciphering the formation and evolution of silicate melts. (3-0) T
GEOS 5355 Low Temperature Geochemistry (3 semester hours) Low-temperature geochemistry including sedimentary systems, weathering, and aqueous geochemistry. Course will include discussion of thermodynamics of aqueous reactions, elemental speciation, activity diagrams, the carbonate system, water-rock reactions and stable isotopes. Lab work will include hands-on use of inductively-coupled plasma instrumentation and use of computer aqueous speciation/modeling software (The Geochemists Workbench, PHREEQC). Prerequisites: One year of chemistry or instructor’s permission. (2-3) R
GEOS 5356 Isotope Geochemistry (3 semester hours) Synthesis of the elements in stars and chronologies for the galaxy. Isotope systematics in meteorites, abundance anomalies, cosmogenic nuclides, and solar system chronologies. The development of the modern multi-collector mass spectrometer. Mass fractionation laws, double spiking techniques, and high precision isotope ratio measurements. Isotope geochemistry of noble gases and radiogenic nuclides as pertaining to the composition and history of the mantle and crust. Application of stable isotopes to studies of diagenesis and water-rock interaction, groundwater management, paleoceanography and secular variations in the isotopic composition of seawater. High-temperature and, where applicable, low-temperature water-rock interactions pertaining to the origin of igneous rocks. The evolution of radiogenic Sr in sea water. Radiometric age dating as applied to the solution of geologic problems. (3-0) R
GEOS 5359 Aqueous Geochemistry Modeling (3 semester hours). Quantitative modeling of water-water and water-rock chemical interactions using standard computer programs (e.g. PHREEQC, NETPATH, The Geochemists Workbench). Modeling of isotopic indicators of water-rock interaction and hydrologic processes; surface water chemistry. Prerequisites: One year of chemistry or instructor’s permission. (3-0) T
GEOS 5361 Low Temperature Isotopic Tracers (3 semester hours) Stable isotopes in low temperature systems. Oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, sulfur and nitrogen isotopes in aqueous systems. Isotopic fractionation. Stable isotopes in marine sediments. New areas of isotopic research including Li, B, Se, and Sr isotopes in aqueous and sedimentary environments. Prerequisites: One year of chemistry or instructor’s permission (3-0) T
GEOS 6455 Geochemical Exploration (4 semester hours) Origin, movement, and fate of elements in the natural environments. Geochemical methods in mineral and petroleum exploration including analytical techniques and studies of weathering, soil formation, primary and secondary dispersion patterns and anomalies. Case studies including environmental applications. Laboratory and field trip course. (3-3) T
GEOS 8V50 Research in Geochemistry (1-9 semester hours) (May repeat for credit.) ([1-9]-0) S

Mineral Resources-Petrology Courses

GEOS 5462 Rocks and Minerals (4 semester hours) Crystallography; identification of common rocks and minerals; origins and occurrences of rocks and minerals. Laboratory course. This course cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements for geosciences majors. (2-6) R
GEOS 5464 Mineral Resources (4 semester hours) Principles and relationships of economics and politics to the utilization of mineral and industrial deposits; ore mineralogy; classification of commercial Earth materials; geochemical cycle of various elements; geology, distribution, characteristics, formation, enrichment and localization of various economic mineral and industrial deposits. Relationship of mineral and industrial deposits to global tectonics. Laboratory and field trip course. (3-3) T
GEOS 5465 Ore Petrology (4 semester hours) Essentials of reflected light microscopy; mineralogy, textural relationships, paragenesis, phase chemistry, and origin of major ore minerals; detailed study of selected ore bodies. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: GEOS 5464 or consent of instructor. (2-6) T
GEOS 6462 Hydrothermal Ore Deposits (4 semester hours) Physical, chemical, and isotopic characteristics of hydrothermal ore deposits and enclosing rocks; properties of ore-forming solutions; solubilities of ore and non-ore minerals; characteristics of geothermal systems; mass transfer; isotopes; and thermal aspects of ore deposition. Laboratory and field trip course. Prerequisite: GEOS 5465 or consent of instructor. (3-3) T
GEOS 8V60 Research in Petrology (1-9 semester hours) (May repeat for credit.) ([1-9]-0) S

Structural Geology-Tectonics Courses

GEOS 5373 Physical Properties of Rocks (3 semester hours) This course provides an understanding of the physical phenomena and processes that determine properties of rocks and soils. Topics include porosity and permeability; surface energy, roughness, and absorption; percolation, fractures and heterogeneous media; problems of scale; mechanical behavior of dry and fluid saturated rocks; elasticity; viscoelasticity, and plasticity; acoustic, electric, dielectric, thermal, and magnetic properties. The approach is practical, with emphasis on understanding why rocks behave as they do, and how simple physical principles can be used to predict rock and soil properties under various conditions. Suitable for graduate students in any branch of geosciences who wish to obtain a broad introduction to physical properties as they pertain to lab and field measurements, and are applied to reservoir, engineering, and environmental problems. (3-0) R
GEOS 5375 Tectonics (3 semester hours) Study of the earth’s present tectonic environments, including geochemistry, sedimentology, and structure; application of present tectonic environments towards the reconstruction of ancient crustal events; consideration of temporal aspects of crustal evolution. Oral and written presentations required. Prerequisite: Structural geology. (3-0) T
GEOS 5470 Structural Geology (4 semester hours) Examination of stress and strain, failure criteria, fault analysis, rheologic properties of geologic materials, fold analysis, and a survey of major structural provinces in North America, with supplemental readings. Laboratory includes map interpretation, standard graphical techniques, and use of stereographic projections, oral presentations, and problem sets. Laboratory and field trip course. Prerequisite: PHYS 1301 or equivalent. Cross-listed with GEOS 3470 Structural Geology. (3-3) Y
GEOS 6476 Analysis of Geologic Structures (4 semester hours) Study of strain analysis and the origin of tectonic fabrics, including use of stereonet and petrographic microscope to outline deformational and metamorphic history. Laboratory and field trip course. Prerequisite: Structural geology and petrology, with sedimentology and linear algebra recommended. (3-3) R
GEOS 7170 Workshop in Structure/Tectonics (1 semester hour) Presentation and discussion of current research with emphasis on problems, techniques, and recent literature. (May be repeated for credit.) (1-0) Y
GEOS 8V70 Research in Structural Geology-Tectonics (1-9 semester hours) May be repeated for credit. ([1-9]-0) S

General Geophysics Courses

GEOS 5380 Seismic Interpretation (3 semester hours) Seismic reflection profiling as it is used to map the distribution of sedimentary layers and faults in the subsurface. Special emphasis is given to applications in hydrocarbon exploration. Extensive use is made of software processing packages. (3-0) T
GEOS 5389 Exploration Gravity (3 semester hours) The gravity method is studied in detail with regard to its application to exploration for hydrocarbons, minerals, geothermal sources, groundwater, and geotechnical studies, including surveying, processing, analysis, and modeling of gravity data. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.(3-0) T
GEOS 5481 Digital Geophysical Signal Processing (4 semester hours) Principles of the analysis of geophysical signals in both time and space. Includes integral transforms, spectral analysis, linear filter theory and deconvolution techniques. Computer applications are emphasized. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: GEOS 5303 or equivalent, may be taken concurrently. (3-3) R
GEOS 5483 Geophysical Techniques I (4 semester hours) Part one of a two-part course on the theoretical basis and practical aspects of geophysical data collection, processing and interpretation. The planning and execution of small scale surveys, of the type employed in engineering, groundwater and environmental site evaluations, is featured. Techniques include conventional and satellite (Global Positioning System) positioning and the potential field geophysical methods, including gravity, magnetic, and electric (resistivity and electromagnetic). The integrated interpretation of different data types is emphasized. A background in calculus and general physics is required. (3-3) T
GEOS 5484 Geophysical Techniques II (4 semester hours) Part two of a two-part course on the theoretical and practical aspects of geophysical data collection. The planning and execution of small scale surveys, of the type employed in engineering, groundwater and environmental site evaluations, is featured. Techniques covered include both refraction and reflection seismology and both low and high frequency, single and multi-channel ground-penetrating radar. Advantage is taken of both the similarities and complimentary behaviors of seismic and radar waves. An integration, of both seismic and radar data, as well as data from the methods covered in Geophysical Techniques I, is emphasized in interpretation. A background in calculus and general physics is required. Permission of instructor is required. (3-3) T
GEOS 6382 Geophysical Inversion Theory (3 semester hours) Theoretical and practical aspects of fitting mathematical models to data in geophysics. Topics covered include the inversion of both discrete systems and integral equations, for linear and non-linear relationships between data and parameters. Particular attention is paid to assessment of model accuracy and uniqueness. Prerequisites: Advanced calculus and linear algebra or equivalent. (3-0) R
GEOS 8V80 Research in Geophysics (1-9 semester hours) May be repeated for credit. ([1-9]-0) S

Seismology Courses

GEOS 5392 Foundations of Seismology (3 semester hours) Introduction to the theory and mathematical methods of seismology. Tensor analysis of elasticity, and wave equation in terms of rays, waves and modal vibrations are covered. Analytical solutions of the elastic wave equation for layered media will be studied by a variety of methods. (3-0) R
GEOS 6391 Earthquake Seismology (3 semester hours) Near and far field representations of earthquake sources, engineering (strong motion) seismology, characteristics and interpretation of earthquake phases, use of earthquakes in determining Earth structure, risk and prediction, instrumentation. Includes a case study of a recent large earthquake. (3-0) R
GEOS 6392 Reflection Seismology (3 semester hours) Theoretical and practical aspects of seismic reflection data acquisition and processing. Includes the wave equation, the convolutional model, coded sources, the array response, velocity estimation, statics, filtering, pre- and post-stack migration, and direct and indirect detection of hydrocarbons, VSPs, AVO and 3-D processing. Prerequisites: GEOS 5481, and GEOS 5392 or equivalent. (3-0) R
GEOS 6393 Computational Seismology (3 semester hours) Principles of parallel computing with applications to seismology. Includes overviews of Intel and Sun E6000 architectures, writing and debugging parallel code, characterization of machine performance, fast Fourier transforms, Radon transforms, solution of matrix and wave equations. Laboratory course. Prerequisites: GEOS5303, GEOS5481, and any numerical analysis course. (2-3) R
GEOS 6395 Seismic Modeling (3 semester hours) Theory and application of the major techniques for computation of synthetic seismograms. Topics include asymptotic ray theory, spectral and slowness methods, finite differences, finite elements, Kirchhoff, and boundary integral methods. Readings will be drawn from the literature. Prerequisite: GEOS 5392 and any two graduate seismology courses. (3-0) R
GEOS 6396 Seismic Inversion (3 semester hours) Theory and application of the major techniques for inversion of seismic data. Topics include linear and nonlinear matrix methods, Wiechert-Herglotz integration, extremal inversion, migration, wavefield imaging of body and surface waves, and tomography, imaging of VSPs, and Born inversion. Readings will be drawn from the literature. Prerequisite: Any two graduate seismology courses. (3-0) R
GEOS 7190 Workshop in Seismology (1 semester hour) Informal presentation and discussion of current research of graduate students and faculty, of new computing equipment and software, and of current research literature.  (Pass/Fail grading only. May be repeated for credit.) (1-0) S
8V90 Research in Seismology (1-9 semester hours) May repeat for credit. ([1-9]-0) S

Thesis And Dissertation Courses

GEOS 8398 Thesis (3 semester hours) May repeat for credit. (3-0) S
GEOS 8399 Dissertation (3 semester hours) May repeat for credit. (3-0) S