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12.170 Essentials of Geology

Prereq: Physics II (GIR), Calculus II (GIR); or permission of instructor
U (Fall)
Not offered regularly; consult department

12 Units

Studies the geology of planetary interiors and surfaces, including plate tectonics, as a unifying theory of terrestrial geology, surface processes, and the Earth's interior. Covers igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary processes associated with tectonic settings and the typical rock suites created; mineral and rock identification; and causes of compositional differences on many scales (mineral grains, rocks, regions of the Earth, different planets). Also addresses conditions required for melting and melting processes; rock structure and field techniques; and Earth history. Treatment of these topics includes discussions of the geochemical, petrologic, geochronological, experimental, or field techniques used to investigate them; the limitations of current geological techniques and geological controversies; and major geological expeditions, experiments, and studies from the past, along with their premises and results. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

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Subject meets with 12.470