Course Descriptions - Undergraduate Calendar 2016-2017

University of Waterloo Home | Undergraduate Calendar | Course Description Index | Contact Us | Privacy
University of Waterloo
E A R T H   S C I E N C E S 


EARTH 10 SEM 0.00Course ID: 009240
Enhancing Communications Skills for Earth Sciences Students
The course develops communication skills to prepare Earth students for assignments, group work, oral presentations, and eventual thesis writing. The course combines Earth Science content and approaches to problem solving with specific learning objectives for written and spoken communication. Activities include a field trip and a tour of department laboratories.
Prereq: All Earth plans including Environmental Science/Geoscience; Not open to fourth year students

EARTH 100s

EARTH 121 LEC 0.50Course ID: 004819
Introductory Earth Sciences
This course explores the geological processes of the Earth's interior and surface. These include volcanism, earthquakes, mountain building, glaciation and weathering. Students will gain an appreciation of how these processes have controlled the evolution of our planet and the role of geology in meeting society's current and future demand for sustainable energy and mineral resources.
[Note: EARTH 121L is recommended. Offered: F]
Antireq: CIVE 153, EARTH 153, ENVE 153, GEOE 153
Also offered Online

EARTH 121L LAB 0.25Course ID: 004820
Introductory Earth Sciences Laboratory
For students taking EARTH 121. Laboratory exercises on selected topics from EARTH 121 lectures. [Offered: F]

EARTH 122 LEC 0.50Course ID: 004821
Introductory Environmental Sciences
This course presents a broad overview of earth system processes and their influence on humans. Course emphasis is placed on anthropogenic impacts on natural systems, the impacts of geologic, biologic, and atmospheric processes on humans, and the effects of human activities on the environment. Course topics include sustainable development and the availability and use of natural resources, principles of ecology and environmental science, biogeochemical cycles, climate and climate change, soils and food supply, energy systems, surface water and groundwater, waste generation and management, pollution, and catastrophic natural processes.
[Note: EARTH 122L is recommended. Offered: W]
Antireq: ENVS 195

EARTH 122L LAB 0.25Course ID: 004822
Introductory Environmental Sciences Laboratory
For students taking EARTH 122. Laboratory exercises on selected topics from EARTH 122 lectures. [Offered: W]

EARTH 123 LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 004823
Introductory Hydrology
Introduction to the main components of the hydrologic cycle including precipitation processes, evapotranspiration, soil water and groundwater flow, and surface water features. Emphasis will be placed on the atmospheric and geologic processes controlling water movement in the cycle at the global and local scales. Examples related to environmental impacts of urbanization and land-use management will be stressed. [Offered: F]

EARTH 123L LAB,TUT 0.25Course ID: 004824
Field Methods in Hydrology
This course consists of outdoor field exercises designed to provide students with hands-on experience with a variety of hydrological monitoring techniques. Emphasis will be on the practical aspects of collecting, interpreting, and reporting of groundwater, surface water, meterological, and water quality data within a watershed. Tutorials will be used to evaluate and interpret the data collected and discuss the accuracy and limitations of the different techniques.
[Note: This course is meant to complement EARTH 123 but enrolment in EARTH 123L is optional. Additional field trip fees will apply. Offered: F]
Coreq: EARTH 123

EARTH 153 LAB,LEC,TST,TUT 0.50Course ID: 011496
Earth Engineering
This course studies earth materials and processes from an engineering point of view through case histories and problem sets. The course develops a geological knowledge for applications to any physical environment and provides an appreciation of the impact of engineering work on the environment. Topics include: mineral and rock identification, the rock cycle, structural geology and tectonics, geology of Canada, effects of water, ice and wind. Students are also introduced to the concept of geologic time, topographic and geologic maps, and the basic principles and tools used to determine geologic history. [Offered: S; Offered as: CIVE 153 (W), ENVE 153 (S), GEOE 153 (S)]
Antireq: EARTH 121
(Cross-listed with CIVE 153, ENVE 153, GEOE 153)

EARTH 200s

EARTH 221 LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 004826
Geochemistry 1
Origin, abundance and geochemistry of elements. Introduction to stable isotope geology and radiometric dating. Basic aqueous geochemistry. [Offered: W,S]
Prereq: CHEM 123 or 125

EARTH 231 LAB,LEC 0.50Course ID: 004828
Systematic mineralogy: study of the physical properties of the major rock-forming minerals; their identification, classification and occurrence. Introduction to crystallography; elements of symmetry and the interrelationship of crystal structure to the physical and chemical properties of minerals. Elementary petrology of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks in hand specimen.
[Note: Additional field trip fees will apply. Offered: F]
Prereq: EARTH 121, 121L or EARTH 153 or CIVE 153 or CIVE 253 or GEOE 153 or ENVE 153

EARTH 232 LAB,LEC 0.50Course ID: 004829
An introduction to optical mineralogy. Basic theory of the behaviour of light through minerals; concept of indicatrices; understanding relief, retardation, birefringence, interference figures and other optical properties of minerals. Microscopic examination of important rock forming minerals and the identification of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. Introduction to silicate phase equilibria; use of mineral stability diagrams to understand igneous and metamorphic petrogenesis. [Offered: W,S]
Prereq: EARTH 231

EARTH 235 LAB,LEC 0.50Course ID: 004830
Stratigraphic Approaches to Understanding Earth's History
An introduction to stratigraphic principles and methods used in deciphering geological history. The development of stratigraphic sequences as controlled by global and regional tectonics and sea level fluctuations. Interrelating aspects of Earth's physical, chemical and biological history. Examples are drawn primarily from Canadian geology. Laboratory work will include construction and interpretation of various types of maps and cross sections. [Offered: F]
Prereq: EARTH 121, 121L or 122, 122L or 153 or CIVE 153 or CIVE 253 or GEOE 153 or ENVE 153

EARTH 238 LAB,LEC 0.50Course ID: 004832
Introductory Structural Geology
Concepts of stress and strain; elementary rock mechanics; description and classification of folds, faults, foliations, lineations and joints; use of primary structures; introduction to geometrical analysis. Labs will emphasize geometrical problems, including geological maps and cross sections, and stereographic projection. [Offered: W]
Prereq: EARTH 121, 121L or 122, 122L or 153 or CIVE 153 or CIVE 253 or GEOE 153 or ENVE 153

EARTH 260 FLD,LEC 0.50Course ID: 004833
Applied Geophysics 1
An introduction to seismic, gravity, electric, electromagnetic and magnetic methods of exploration geophysics. [Offered: F]
Prereq: PHYS 112 or 122 or 125

EARTH 270 LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 012741
Disasters and Natural Hazards
The course will examine the physical causes and affects of natural disasters including landslides, snow avalanches, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, subsidence, volcanic eruptions and asteroid impacts. Illustrated by case histories, the course will analyse the factors that lead to disasters. The effect of climate change, human activity, and population growth on the magnitude and frequency of disasters will be explored. The course will introduce the basic principles of Geo-Risk management and its applications in natural hazards engineering, in the development of mitigation strategies and in the re-insurance industry. [Offered: W]

EARTH 281 LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 011909
Geological Impacts on Human Health
The importance of geology to health. This includes examining the effects of volcanic gases and dust and other aerosols; tracing the sources and impacts of metals and other naturally occurring geological materials in the Earth's hydrosphere and crust; geology and the bioaccumulation of metals; and distinguishing natural versus anthropogenic processes on the geochemical distribution of toxic material in the near-surface environment. [Offered: W]

EARTH 300s

EARTH 321 LEC 0.50Course ID: 014937
Introduction to Geomicrobiology
This course will provide an overview of how microbial life has affected Earth's environment through time. Emphasis will be on geomicrobial processes in the lithosphere and hydrosphere. Geomicrobial interactions with key elements will be discussed. [Instructor consent required for students lacking EARTH 221 prerequisite; Offered: W]
Prereq: EARTH 221

EARTH 331 LAB,LEC 0.50Course ID: 004835
Volcanology and Igneous Petrology
The principles and theories of the origins of volcanic and plutonic igneous rocks. Physics and chemistry of magma; controls of volcanic eruptions, magmatic differentiation and the distribution and occurrence of magma types. [Offered: F]
Prereq: EARTH 231 and EARTH 232

EARTH 332 LAB,LEC 0.50Course ID: 004836
Metamorphic Petrology
Principles and theories of metamorphic rock genesis. Static, dynamic and polyphasal crystalloblastic growth. Processes of solid-state crystallization in metamorphic environments. Zonal and facies classifications; facies series and the place of metamorphism in global tectonics. Introduction to metasomatism. [Offered: W]
Prereq: EARTH 231 and EARTH 232

EARTH 333 LAB,LEC 0.50Course ID: 004837
Introductory Sedimentology
The origin and physical properties of sediments. Fluid flow, glacier motion and sediment transport processes. Mechanical and chemical erosion rates, sediment fluxes and budget. Facies models of the major depositional environments. Diagenetic processes. Laboratories focussed on the description and interpretation of sediments and sedimentary rocks. [Offered: W]
Prereq: EARTH 231, 232, 235

EARTH 336 LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 004838
Evolution 2: Fossil Record
An overview of the origin of life, how it evolved and diversified, modern principles of paleontology with particular emphasis on analytical tools to interpret ancient life forms. Patterns, processes of evolution and paleoecology of key groups of microfossils, invertebrates, plants, vertebrates and their trace fossils. [Offered: W]
Prereq: EARTH 121 or EARTH 153 or BIOL 359
(Cross-listed with BIOL 360)

EARTH 342 LAB,LEC 0.50Course ID: 004839
Geomorphology and GIS Applications
Physical processes, environmental impact and remediation; Development, erosion and engineering capabilities of soils and glacial drift. Fluvial processes; Floods; Glacial deposits; Landslides. Application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Earth Sciences. Laboratory work involves air photo interpretation and spatial analysis using GIS. [Offered: F, W]
Prereq: EARTH 121 or 122 or 153 or CIVE 153 or 253 or ENVE 153 or GEOE 153

EARTH 358 LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 004842
Earth System Science
Study of the Earth as a system, with a focus on global climate history and dynamics, biogeochemical cycling, and the impacts of human activity. Critical analysis and synthesis are emphasized in the context of group presentations and discussions. [Offered: W]
Prereq: One of (EARTH 121, 121L, or 122, 122L or EARTH 126 or 153 or GEOE 126 or CIVE 153 or CIVE 253 or GEOE 153 or ENVE 153) and (CHEM 123 or 125) and (EARTH 221 or EARTH 231).
Antireq: SCI 201

EARTH 359 LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 004843
Flow Through Porous Media
Quantitative introduction to the physical principles that govern the flow of fluids through porous and fractured geologic materials. Physical properties of fluids and porous media will be presented and conservation, flux and state equations will be developed. Physics of flow of immiscible fluids, including air-water and oil-water combinations will be included. [ Offered: F]
Prereq: One of MATH 116, 117, 127, 137, 147; One of MATH 118, 119, 128, 138, 148; (EARTH 121, 121L or 122, 122L or CIVE 153 or 253 or GEOE 153 or ENVE 153)
Also offered Online

EARTH 390 LAB 0.50Course ID: 004848
Methods in Geological Mapping
Field study in Sudbury and Whitefish Falls areas. Held for at least 9 days at end of the Winter term. Geological and geotechnical field techniques, map construction, report writing.
[Note: Additional field trip fees will apply to all students. Depending on availability of space, EARTH 390 is also open to students who do not require this course in their plan. There will be an additional fee for such students. Offered: W]
Coreq: EARTH 235, 238

EARTH 400s

EARTH 421 LAB,LEC 0.50Course ID: 004849
Geochemistry 2
The application of chemical thermodynamics to geochemical problems. Development of the three laws of Thermodynamics; Gibbs free energy and equilibria constants. Introduction to various topics in aqueous geochemistry such as mineral equilibria, ion exchange and redox equilibria. Laboratory session will involve various experiments related to mineral solubility, chemical kinetics, acid-base equilibria and chemical modelling. [Offered: F]
Prereq: EARTH 221 and CHEM 123

EARTH 435 LAB,LEC 0.50Course ID: 004854
Advanced Structural Geology
Stress and strain; deformational behaviour of rocks; origin of folds, foliations, lineations, joints and faults; geometrical and kinematic analysis; relationships of structures from the microscopic to the megascopic scale. Labs will include simple experiments, advanced geometrical problems and observation and measurement of microstructure and fabric.
[Note: EARTH 332 is recommended as a prerequisite. Offered: W]
Prereq: EARTH 238

EARTH 436A PRJ 0.50Course ID: 004855
Honours Thesis
The first term of a two-term research project in which students plan and conduct independent research. Under the supervision of a faculty member, students learn to gather and interpret data, and present their results orally in a formal seminar and in writing in the form of a bound thesis.
Prereq: Level at least 4A; Honours Earth Sciences, Environmental Science (Geosciences specialization) and Geochemistry students.
Antireq: EARTH 499

EARTH 436B PRJ 0.50Course ID: 004856
Honours Thesis
The second term of a two-term research project in which students plan and conduct independent research. Under the supervision of a faculty member, students learn to gather and interpret data, and present their results orally in a formal seminar and in writing in the form of a bound thesis.
Prereq: EARTH 436A

EARTH 437 LEC 0.50Course ID: 004857
Rock Mechanics
Stress, strain and strength in geomaterials. Origins of stress and stress measurement methods, including hydraulic fracture and strain relief. Rock Mechanics principles and design procedures in areas of mining, civil engineering and petroleum engineering. Monitoring methods, including introduction to microseismic surveillance. Course includes laboratory and project work. [Offered: W]
Prereq: CIVE 127 and CIVE 204 or ENVE 127/207 or ME 219; 3A or higher Geological or Civil Engineering

EARTH 438 LAB,LEC 0.50Course ID: 004858
Engineering Geology
Review of basic concepts in engineering geology as applied to rock and soil, including material properties, variability in properties, external factors such as stress, and evaluation of design adequacy. Site investigation and characterisation techniques used to define and characterise the properties of geological materials and their use in selected engineering geologic design and construction problems. Laboratory assignments will focus on the determination of physical properties and site assessment problems. [Offered: W]
Prereq: One of EARTH 121, 153, GEOE 153, CIVE 153, ENVE 153

EARTH 439 LEC 0.50Course ID: 004859
Flow and Transport Through Fractured Rocks
Fractures are ubiquitous in geologic media and important in disciplines such as physical and contaminant hydrogeology, geotechnical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, petroleum engineering among other areas. Despite the importance of fractures, its characterization and predictions of groundwater flow and contaminant transport are fraught with significant difficulties. Students are taught to deal with fractures in hydrogeology, to conceptualize them, and to build reliable models for predicting groundwater flow and contaminant transport. Offered [W]
Prereq: EARTH 359 or 458

EARTH 440 LAB,LEC 0.50Course ID: 004860
Quaternary Geology
Glacial-interglacial cycles and sub-Milankovitch oscillations from ocean sediments and ice cores. Quaternary geochronology. Glacial sediment-land systems. Mineral exploration techniques pertaining to glaciated terrains and hydrostratigraphic analyses of Quaternary basins. Local field trips. Laboratory studies on glacial sediments.
[Note: Additional field trip fees will apply. Offered: F]
Prereq: EARTH 333 or 342

EARTH 444 LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 012909
Applied Wetland Science
Advanced concepts on wetland ecosystems in the context of regional and global earth systems processes such as carbon and nitrogen cycling and climate change, applications of wetland paleoecology, use of isotopes and other geochemical tools in wetland science, and wetland engineering in landscape rehabilitation and ecotechnology. Current issues in Canada and abroad will be examined. [Offered: F]
Prereq: (One of BIOL 150/250, CIVE 153, EARTH 121, 153, ENVE 153, ENVS 200, GEOE 153) and (one of CHEM 120, 123, CHE 102) and (one of CIVE 224, ENVE 224, STAT 202).
Antireq: BIOL 453, GEOG 405
(Cross-listed with BIOL 462)

EARTH 456 LEC 0.50Course ID: 004862
Numerical Methods in Hydrogeology
An introduction to the theory and practice of groundwater flow and contaminant transport modeling. Topics related to variably-saturated flow will focus on: derivation of Richard's equation, a control volume finite difference discretization, assembly and solution of the flow equation, material balance error, truncation error analysis, stability and monotonicity. Topics related to contaminant transport will focus on: derivation of the contaminant transport equation, a control volume finite difference discretization along with various spatial and temporal weighting schemes and their associated accuracy, monotonicity, and material balance error. Hands on experience is provided using software applied to industry-standard variably-saturated flow and transport problems, with an emphasis on visualization and interpretation of results.
[Note: EARTH 458, a first year linear algebra and a second year calculus course are recommended. Offered: W]
Prereq: Not open to students in the Faculty of Mathematics

EARTH 458 LEC 0.50Course ID: 004863
Physical Hydrogeology
An introduction to physical hydrogeology, including Darcy's law, the groundwater flow equations for steady-state and transient conditions, applications to flow nets, aquifer testing, groundwater resources, and groundwater protection. The role of groundwater in the hydrologic cycle is explored with emphasis on natural groundwater flow systems and their influence on stream flow. Physical processes controlling groundwater contamination are introduced.
[Note: EARTH 123 is recommended as a prerequisite. Offered: F,S]
Prereq: EARTH 121, 121L or 122, 122L or CIVE 153 or 253 or ENVE 153 or GEOE 153

EARTH 458L LAB 0.25Course ID: 013108
Field Methods in Hydrogeology
This course exposes students to a wide variety of field and laboratory techniques for collecting hydrogeologic data and to gain experience in interpreting the data. Advantages and limitations of various measurement and data reduction techniques for evaluating groundwater flow systems are demonstrated in a set of field exercises carried out at the groundwater demonstration facility located on the university North Campus. These exercises illustrate the complexity of natural systems and the need for good data collection and interpretation skills when characterizing such systems . [Offered: F,S]
Coreq: EARTH 458

EARTH 459 LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 004864
Chemical Hydrogeology
An introduction to the chemical side of hydrogeology with emphasis on groundwater quality and contaminants in the groundwater zone, the geochemical origin of major ions in natural groundwater, causes of hardness, groundwater age determination using isotopes, common causes of groundwater contamination; processes governing contaminant behaviour including dispersion, diffusion and adsorption, hydrogeologic aspects of site selection for waste disposal. [Offered: W]
Prereq: EARTH 221, CIVE 375 or ENVE 375; and EARTH 458

EARTH 460 LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 004865
Applied Geophysics 2
A detailed examination of selected topics in exploration geophysics, with an emphasis on data processing, time series analysis and computer modelling of geophysical responses.
[Note: A full credit in first year Calculus is recommended as a prerequisite. Offered: W]
Prereq: EARTH 260

EARTH 461 LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 004866
Applied Geophysics 3
An application-oriented course emphasizing current methodology in near-surface geophysics, including electrical, electromagnetic, ground penetrating radar, seismic refraction and magnetic methods. The basic theory for geophysical data acquisition and interpretation is studied and applied to field data. The application of geophysical techniques to archeological, forensics, geotechnical and hydrogeological problems is discussed. [Offered: F]
Prereq: EARTH 260

EARTH 471 LAB,LEC 0.50Course ID: 004868
Mineral Deposits
The principles of metal concentration and deposition in magmatic and hydrothermal environments. Classic ore deposits are examined using these principles, including applications of fluid inclusion, stable isotope and mineral stability to ore-forming processes. Basic aspects of mineral exploration are also covered. Laboratories involve hand sample and ore petrology of suites from diverse deposits. [Offered: W]
Prereq: EARTH 221, 232

EARTH 490 LAB 0.00Course ID: 004869
Field Course
One or more trips that emphasize field observations. Specific trips may be organized to examine field aspects of any of the disciplines within Earth Sciences or Geological Engineering. Field exercises and reports may be part of the requirements. Additional field trip fees will apply.
Prereq: Level at least 3A; Honours Earth Sciences or Environmental Science (Geoscience Specialization) or Geological Engineering

EARTH 491 LEC 0.50Course ID: 014141
Special Topics in Earth and Environmental Sciences
A lecture course offered in a particular area of Earth and Environmental Sciences, subject to availablity of instructor.
Prereq: Earth and Environmental Sciences and Geological Engineering students.

EARTH 499 PRJ 0.50Course ID: 013756
Research Project
A one-term research project in which students explore a specific or general topic of interest in the area of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Students work under the supervision of a faculty member and a written report and a seminar presentation are required.
Prereq: Level at least 4A; Honours Earth Sciences or Environmental Science (Geoscience Specialization).
Antireq: EARTH 436A