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Official NMT Course Catalog


New Courses Offered Fall 2015:

Earth Resources and Environmental Issues (ERTH 360)

Petroleum Exploration Geophysics (ERTH 445/545)

Geodetic methods to study Earth's surface deformation (ERTH 491/572)

Advanced Ore Deposits (ERTH 572)

Subduction Zone Processes (GEOP 572)

Hydrology and Geochemistry: Mine- Waste material (GEOC 572)

Mine-Pit Lake Geochemistry (GEOC 571)

Reactive Transport Modeling (GEOC 572/472)

Environmental Geochemistry of Mining Activities (GEOC 589)


Overview of Regular E&ES Courses:


ERTH 101

 Earth Processes

Offered every fall semester

A study of the physical processes that operate on and within the Earth and determine its evolution through geologic time. Students are encouraged to enroll concurrently in ERTH 101L or ERTH 103L

ERTH 120

Introduction to Oceanography

Offered spring semester, odd-numbered years

An introduction to the oceans, including aspects of physical, geological, and biological oceanography.

Focus is on presentation of science in a social context. Topics include: origin and evolution of ocean basins and marine sediments; ocean currents, waves, tides, and sea level; beaches, shorelines, and coastal processes; marine life; climate; marine resources, pollution, and human impacts on the ocean.

ERTH 130

Spaceship Earth

Offered fall semester, even-numbered years

Study of Earth as an immense system composed of a gigantic rocky mass, a planet‐dominating ocean, an

active atmosphere, and an abundance of life. Consideration of subsystems interacting across time

and space. Discussion of possible mechanisms that may control this megasystem including controversial

topics, e.g. co‐evolution, homeostatic feedback mechanisms, and the Gaia Hypothesis.

ERTH 140

Water in the Rise and Fall of Civilization

Offered on demand

A survey of how water resources have nurtured the rise of civilizations and how changes in, or misuse of,

these resources have led to their demise. The impact of hydrologic extremes such as floods and droughts on

social sustainability will also be examined. Case studies from the ancient to the modern world will be

considered in the context of the underlying hydrological processes and their environmental and

social ramifications.

ERTH 150

The Catastrophic Earth

Offered spring semester, even-numbered years

A survey of natural hazards—such as earthquakes, volcanoes, slope failures, severe weather, asteroid

impacts, and fire—and their societal implications. Scientific principles such as plate tectonics, volcanology, weather, space science, and statistics ofhazard occurrences, as well as topical discussions of natural hazards in the news.

ERTH 200

Introduction to Mineralogy

Offered every spring semester

  An introduction to minerals, including identification in hand samples and thin sections, crystal structures, physical properties, chemical compositions, occurrences, and uses. Lab will focus on mineral identification by physical and optical properties.

ERTH 201


Offered spring semester, odd numbered years

Consideration of life and its impact on the Earth System over the course of Earth history including its

preserved geochemical and fossil remains, study of the observable geological effects of life processes and in turn the impact of geological, hydrological, and atmospheric effects on the origins and subsequent evolution of life. Field trips.

ERTH 202

Earth surface processes and landforms

Offered fall semester, odd-numbered years

A study of the interactions between the atmosphere and the internal heat of the Earth which results in the development of landscapes observable at the Earth's surface today. Topics will include atmospheric circulation, climate, fluvial processes, and the record of paleoclimate contained in the landscape. Field trips.

ERTH 203

Earth's Crust

Offered every spring semester

Overview of the evolution of the crust of the Earth, the major rock types and processes that form it, and the

main methods used to study it. Topics include: mineralogy, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic

petrology, structural geology, subsurface fluid flow, and petroleum geology. Field trips.

ERTH 204

Introduction to Whole Earth Structure and Composition

Offered fall semester, even-numbered years

Introduction to geophysical and geochemical methods used to study the deep Earth. Formation, composition, and internal structure of the Earth, plate tectonics, gravitational and magnetic fields, heat flow and thermal history, earthquakes, and interaction of Earth systems with emphasis on the crust, mantle and core. Introduction to mantle convection, geochemical reservoirs, and mantle plumes. Field trips.

ERTH 205

Earth Science Practicum

Offered every fall semester

Instruction and practice into computational methods used to solve Earth Science problems. Simple ways to describe physical processes mathematically, then approximate them numerically. Introduction to spreadsheets and graphics programs. Review of math and statistics. 

ERTH 325

Near Surface Geophysics

Offered fall semester, even-numbered years

Theory and practice of geophysical methods for exploring the shallow subsurface, with emphasis on electromagnetic methods including resistivity, EM conductivity, ground-penetrating radar, and magnetic field strength. Application to environmental hazards, hydrogeological features, and/or archeology are emphsized in a hands-on, field-oriented approach.

ERTH 340

Global Change Hydrology

Offered spring semester, even numbered years

How is global warming affecting the occurrence of floods and droughts, and human development influencing their severity and extent? This class will provide an introduction to the global hydrologic cycle and the potential changes caused by global climate change in the presence of a growing human population.Examples of recent research pointing to an accelerated hydrologic cycle will be discussed, including remote sensing and numerical modeling studies. Implications for sustainable human development and ecosystems will be explored, especially for the semiarid Southwest.

ERTH 380

Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology

Offered spring semester, odd-numbered years

Origin, occurence, identification and description of  igneous and metamorphic rocks. Topics include fractional crystallization and melting processes, physical and chemical properties of magmas, granitic batholiths, metamorphic facies and their key mineral assemblages, metamorphic rock fabrics, a qualitative determination of P-T-t paths recorded by metamorphic rocks. Binary and ternary phase diagrams will be introduced and used. Examination and identification of igneous and metamorphic rocks and minerals and their salient textures in thin section and hand samples. 

ERTH 384


Offered spring semester, odd-numbered years

Survey of lithostratigraphic, biostratigraphic and chronostratigraphic principles. Topics include seismic and sequence stratigraphy and stratigraphic modeling. Weekend field trip required. Meets with Erth 385 for the first third of the semester.

ERTH 385

Stratigraphy and Paleontology

Offered spring semester, odd-numbered years

Continuation of paleontologic and stratigraphic principles; survey of geologically important invertebrate biota preserved as fossils; their modes of preservation, collection techniques, taxonomy, evolution, paleobiology and paleoecology; overview of the late Precambrian and Phanerozoic biotic and stratigraphic histories in the context of North America tectonics. Weekend field trips required.

ERTH 390

Principles of Geochemistry

Offered fall semester, even-numbered years

Application of chemical principles to geologic processes. Topics include mineral and rock chemistry, aqueous geochemistry and geochronology.

ERTH 405

Introduction to Soils

Offered every spring semester

Introduction to soil formation, pedogenic processes, and soil description and mapping techniques. Meets

with GEOL 503.

ERTH 407


Offered every fall semester

The thermodynamics and aqueous chemistry of natural waters, with emphasis on groundwater. Chemical equilibrium concepts, surface chemistry, redox reactions, and biochemistry. The interaction of water with the atmosphere and geologic materials. Basic concepts applied to problems of groundwater quality evolution, water use, and groundwater contamination.

ERTH 409

Soil Geomorphology

Offered on demand

Discussion of the use of soils to interpret the rate and timing of geomorphic processes and changing environmental parameters.

ERTH 412

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Offered on demand

An introduction to the concepts of geographic information systems (GIS). Theoretical background to GIS, introduction to the nature and analysis of spatial data. Arcview/ArcGIS.

ERTH 424

Sedimentary Petrography

Offered alternate years

Petrographic analysis and interpretation of sedimentary rocks, with emphasis on siliciclastics. Topics include: grain identification and provenance, identification of diagenetic minerals and textures, and interpretation of porosity and permeability characteristics.

ERTH 425

Carbonate Sedimentology & Diagenesis

Offered fall semester, alternate years

This class covers the basics of carbonate sedimentation and diagenesis and looks at the evolution of carbonate sediments through geologic time (from Precambrian to recent). Included in the class are discussions of the impact of diagenesis on petroleum reservoir and aquifer potential.

ERTH 431

Exploration Geochemistry

Offered spring semester on demand

An introduction to the generation, evaluation, and interpretation of geochemical datasets used in mineral exploration. Overview of trace element behavior in geologi environments. Sampling methodology and media, analytical techniques, data quality evaluation, and report writing.

ERTH 434

Introduction to Remote Sensing

Offered on demand

Introduction to the theory and practical use of remotely sensed satellite images. Principles of radiation physics, sensor systems, data acquisition, image analysis, classification schemes. Remote sensing application to atmospheric sciences, hydrology, mineral and oil exploration, natural hazards monitoring, and land and resource management. Become familiar with ERDAS Imagine remote sensing software.

ERTH 440

Hydro Theory & Field Methods (Distance Ed)

Offered fall semester

Fundamentals of hydrological flow and transport will be presented. Precipitation, runoff processes, and flood generation. Capillarity, unsaturated flow, and infiltration. Laws of flow in porous media, hydraulic storage, and flow to wells. Laboratory and field exercises that demonstrate and implement fundamental concepts of the hydrological cycle.

ERTH 441


Offered spring semester

Hydrogeologic controls on the occurrence, movement, and chemical and isotopic composition of ground water. Hydrogeologic properties. Groundwater recharge and stream/acquifer interaction. Groundwater in different geological, climate and physiographic regimes.

ERTH 442

Vadose Zone Processes

Offered every spring semester

Physics of unsaturated flow in porous media, multiphase flow, potentials and water retention, unsaturated hydraulic conductivity, transient flow problems.

ERTH 443

Atmospheric Dynamics and Rainfall and Evaporation Processes

Offered every spring semester

Principles of atmospheric processes with an emphasis on rainfall generation and evaporation at the Earth's surface. Warm and cloud convection, orographic controls on precipitation, cyclogenesis and frontal storms. Particular attention paid to the measurement and assessment of rainfall and evaporation in space and time.

ERTH 444

Principles of Isotope Geochemistry

Offered every spring semester

Principles of radiogenic isotope geochemistry and applications to geologic dating and to the petrogenesis of rock suites.

ERTH 445

Petroleum Exploration Geophysics

Offered fall semester, odd‐numbered years

An introductory course on seismic refraction and reflection imaging of the subsurface, including methods of data acquisition, processing, and interpretation in two and three dimensions. Designed for students with a range of Earth science and engineering backgrounds.

ERTH 447

Depositional Systems and Basin Analysis

Offered every fall semester

Discussion of the spectrum of modern and ancient depositional environments and their relationships to tectonic settings.

ERTH 448

General Geophysics

Offered fall semester, even-numbered years

An introduction to the general field of solid Earth geophysics. Subjects covered are the origin of the Earth;

structure and internal properties of the Earth; gravity, magnetic, and temperature fields of the Earth; origin of the Earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere, and surface features.

ERTH 449


Offered spring semesters, even-numbered years

An in-depth and interdisciplinary study of astrobiology, including interactions between living and non-living systems at multiple scales: stellar, planetary, meso, and microscopic. Addresses fundamental questions regarding the origin of life, and the possible extent and distribution of life in the universe. Combines principles of astrophysics, geosciences, planetray science, chemistry, and biology.

ERTH 450

Cave and Karst Systems

Offered spring semester, even years

A system‐based study of caves and karstic terrains over time including formation mechanisms (speleogenesis), hydrology, geochemistry, mineralogy, and geomicrobiology. Emphasis on caves as

interactive microcosms cross‐cutting many disciplines. Shares lecture with GEOL 550, but is graded separately.

ERTH 453

Intermediate Structural Geology

Offered fall semesters, odd-numbered years

Elements of fault, fold and rock mechanics, strain analysis and inference of stress in Earth's crust, construction of balanced, kinemtatically viable cross sections, brittle and ductile shear-sense indicators in faults and shear zones.

ERTH 459


Offered spring semester, even-numbered years

How does Earth deform? Theory of mantle convection, rheology of mantle and lithosphere, lithosphere deformation, heat transport in the Earth, and melting. Emphasis is on current controversies in geodynamics, and the formulation of mathematical models that explain the physical observations.

ERTH 460

Subsurface and Petroleum Geology

Offered every spring semester

Principles of subsurface geology, geophysics, and basin analysis applied to petroleum systems. Topics include: composition, movement, and entrapment of petroleum, subsurface fluid pressure regimes (hydrostatic and dynamic), thermal evolution of sedimentary basins and source rock analysis, geodynamics of sedimentary basins and rock properties.

ERTH 461

Reservoir and Caprock analysis

Offered on demand

The class focuses on sedimentary and structural heterogeneities in controlling porosity, permeability, and fluid flow in the subsurface. Topics include control on conventional and unconventional reservoir quality and performance, evaluating caprock integrity, and the influence of faults and fracture networks on fluid flow. Applications to petroleum geology, petroleum engineering, carbon sequestration and hydrology. Mandatory fieldtrip.

ERTH 462

Mineral Deposits

Offered spring semester, alternate years

Geologic and geochemical characteristics of metallic mineral deposits, theories of origin and classification.

ERTH 468

Evolution of the Earth

Offered every spring semester

Origin of the solar system and of the Earth; the evolution of continents, atmosphere, and oceans; comparative planetary evolution; tectonic regimes in geologic history. Field trip required.

ERTH 480

Field Methods in Earth Science

Offered summers (6 weeks fieldcamp)

Collection, processing, and interpretation of field data developed by geologic mapping in sedimentary,

igneous, and metamorphic terrain. Presentation of geologic reports involving maps, cross sections, and

sample data.

ERTH 493


Offered all fall and spring semesters

Seminar presentations by outside speakers, faculty, and students.


Selection of Geology Graduate Courses

GEOL 503 Introduction to Soils

GEOL 507 Ore Deposit Seminar and Field Trip

GEOL 509 Soil Geomorphology

GEOL 512 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

GEOL 524 Sedimentary Petrography

GEOL 525 Carbonate Sedimentology and Diagenesis

GEOL 534 Introduction to Remote Sensing

GEOL 540 Clastic and Carbonate Diagenesis

GEOL 547 Depositional Systems and Basin Analysis

GEOL 549 Astrobiology

GEOL 550 Cave and Karst Systems

GEOL 551 Industrial Minerals

GEOL 553 Intermediate Structural Geology

GEOL 558 Mechanics of Earthquakes and Faulting

GEOL 559 Geodynamics

GEOL 561 Reservoir and Caprock Analysis

Geol 592 Graduate Seminar


Selection of Geochemistry Graduate Courses

 GEOC 507  Hydrogeochemistry

GEOC 516 40Ar/39Ar Geochronology

GEOC 531 Exploration Geochemistry

GEOC 544 Principles of Isotope Geochemistry

GEOC 546 Contaminant Hydrology

GEOC 549 Astrobiology

GEOC 550 Cave and Karst Systems

GEOC 565 Stable Isotope Geochemistry

GEOC 566 Practial Aspects of Mass Spectrometry

GEOC 567 Practical Aspects of Argon Mass Spectrometry

GEOC 575 Theory and Practice of Electron Microprobe Analysis

Selection of Geophysics Graduate Courses

GEOP 505 Analysis of Time Series and Spatial Data

GEOP 523 Theoretical Seismology

GEOP 524 Observational Seismology

GEOP 529 Geophysical Inverse Methods

GEOP 558 Mechanics of Earthquakes and Faulting

GEOP 559 Geodynamics

Selection of Hydrology Graduate Courses

HYD 507 Hydrogeochemistry

HYD 508 Flow and Transport in Hydrologic Systems

HYD 510 Quantitative Methods in Hydrology

HYD 532 Aquifer Mechanics

HYD 532 Vadose Zone Dynamics

HYD 533 Runoff and Flood Processes

HYD 534 Introduction to Remote Sensing

HYD 535 Engineering and Science Applications of Vadose Zone Modeling

HYD 541 Water Resources Management

HYD 542 Hillslope Hydrology

HYD 543 Ecohydrology

HYD 544 Groundwater Remediation

HYD 546 Contaminant Hydrology

HYD 552 Fluid/Surface Interactions

HYD 558 Environmental Tracers in Hydrology


Created: ( Friday, 11 March 2011 13:39 )
Last Updated: ( Thursday, 10 September 2015 13:54 )
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