Geological field techniques including the use of field instruments and the preparation of geologic maps. Written and oral reports required.
Graduation with Leadership Distinction: GLD: Research
The process of earth denudation with emphasis on chemistry of weathering, stream and erosion hydraulics, quantitative analysis of land form evolution.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 501
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.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 502
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.
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.
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.
Systematic, ecologic, biogeographic, and evolutionary aspects of paleontology; lectures, practical exercises, field trips.
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.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 515
Modern concepts of sediment composition, sedimentary facies, depositional environments, and stratigraphy. Includes laboratory.
Surface to subsurface stratigraphic interpretation and techniques; litho- and biostratigraphy; geophysical log interpretation and subsurface presentation.
Dating techniques for Pleistocene deposits, sediments, archaeological materials, igneous and metamorphic rocks.
Investigation of low temperature chemical reactions controlling the geochemistry of the earth’s surface. Emphasis on CO2, carbonates, oxidation-reduction, thermodynamics, isotopes, biogeochemistry.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 521
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.
Petrography and petrogenesis of igneous rocks; evolution of contrasting petrotectonic terranes. Three lectures and three laboratory hours per week.
Petrography and petrogenesis of metamorphic rocks in orogenic belts. Three lectures and three laboratory hours per week.
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.
Application of two or more geophysical field methods to a current geological problem. Independent study contract required.
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 PhD. programs in geology.
Cross-listed course: EDSE 548
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 MS or PhD programs in geology.
Cross-listed course: EDSE 549
Introduction to methods used in discipline-based education research and their application to research questions in the geosciences.
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.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 545
Introduction to the nature and structure of the ocean floor as revealed by geophysical techniques. Two hours lecture and three hours laboratory.
Practical geophysical techniques for exploring the shallow subsurface. Seismic, resistivity, well log, gravity, magnetic method. Includes lectures and field exercises to collect and analyze data.
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.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 550
Theory of seismic wave propagation. Seismic reflection data acquisition, processing, and interpretation.
Basic elements of seismology. Mathematical development of seismic wave equations; measurement, description, and interpretation of seismic data.
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.
Physical and geological processes controlling the formation and evolution of beach, barrier, and nearshore environments, including discussion of coastal management issues.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 557
An approach to problems of resource management by lecture and seminar using case studies in mineral, energy, hydrogeological, and environmental science.
Graduation with Leadership Distinction: GLD: Research
Experiential Learning: Experiential Learning Opportunity
An introduction to field methods in sedimentology, structural geology, hydrogeology and geophysics with special reference to geological hazards and environmental problems.
Climatic changes of the past and their impact on the physical landscape, with an emphasis on the Quaternary period.
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.
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.
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.
Finite difference and finite element methods for solving the diffusion equation and advection-dispersion equation, with applications in hydrogeology, geophysics, geology, and marine science.
The physical mechanism responsible for interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere and the influence of air-sea interaction on atmospheric and oceanic dynamics and thermodynamics on a wide variety of spatial/temporal scales.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 579
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.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 580
Estuarine kinematics and dynamics; classification of estuaries; estuarine circulation and mixing. Scheduled field trips are required.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 581
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.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 582
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.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 583
Advanced research topics in geology and geophysics; critical reading of literature, technical presentations, and written reports. Senior standing.
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.
Senior capstone experience, research on a problem on fundamental significance, supervised by faculty member; must include field study component, written final project report, and oral presentation at departmental seminar.
Survey of the surficial, coastal, and bedrock geology of South Carolina, its regional physiographic and tectonic setting, and the natural resources of the state.
The hydrologic cycle in geologic settings of this region, and the effects of urbanization and industrialization on groundwater, rivers, and coasts. The vulnerability of urban and industrial systems to natural geologic processes. Two lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Not available for graduate credit for students in M.S. or Ph.D. programs in geological sciences.
Two weekend field courses dealing with Pleistocene and Holocene coastal geology, plate tectonics, sea-level change, global circulation patterns, shoreline change since 1850, and nearshore processes.
Two weekend field courses dealing with barrier island and associated marsh environments, marsh productivity, the dune-beach-bar system, shoreline stabilization, and nearshore processes on natural and armored shorelines.
An overview of Earth’s climate history during Cenozoic. Emphasis will be placed on Pleistocene glacial-interglacial climate variability and understanding the proxies used to reconstruct past climate changes.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 711
Introduction to the analysis of stable isotopes of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur using mass spectrometry. Emphasis will be on the use of these isotopes in geological problems.
Relationship of sequence stratigraphy to sea level variations, tectonics and sedimentation. Construction and analyses of paleogeographic maps, regional cross-sections, and chronostratigraphic charts.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 716
Principles of atomic structure and chemical variation of minerals.
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Examination of the structure and dynamics of the Earth’s interior combining perspectives from geophysics and geochemistry. Focus on the lithospheric cycle.
An investigation of igneous processes and their role in crustal genesis and evolution.
A study of the deformation of the earth’s crust including mechanics of folding, faulting, jointing, and cleavage formation. Consideration of current theories of orogenesis in relation to geophysical evidence for the structure of the earth’s crust, mantle, and core.
Behavior of rocks and minerals up to 10kb, 8000°C. Role of internal pore pressure and time. Interplay of theory and empiricism.
Integrated analysis (from both model and case history approaches) of the regional structural geology of selected classic areas and analysis of the interaction of tectonic and sedimentary processes in the production of the sedimentary sequences of selected geosynclines and basins. Weekend field trips.
Environmental project planning and management. Types and magnitudes of environmental problems; environmental pathways; environmental data acquisition and analysis; protection versus restoration; risk assessment; site assessment.
An integrative seminar for science managers. Consideration of the technical, managerial, and financial aspects of decision making in geologic enterprises, with emphasis on hydrocarbon exploration.
An introduction to exploring for oil and natural gas; concentration on specific regions with energy resources.
Development of the stratigraphic systems; detailed analysis of the aims, working methods, and relations between litho-, bio-, and chronostratigraphy. Three lecture hours per week with occasional field trips.
Detailed analysis of the processes and products of carbonate sedimentation, diagenesis, and lithification, with special emphasis upon the role of organisms in forming carbonate sediments and sedimentary rocks. Three lecture hours per week with occasional field trips.
Sandstone properties as a response to geologic processes. Relationships between the porous microstructure of sandstones and fluid transport. Automated petrography using image analysis and pattern recognition procedures.
Shipboard experience with basic techniques used by geological, physical, chemical, and biological oceanographers.
Cross-listed course: BIOL 754
A field and laboratory course designed to acquaint students with basic techniques needed to measure and analyze various biotic and abiotic environmental parameters in estuarine and shallow water habitats. One lecture and six laboratory hours per week.
Principles used in processing, smoothing, correlating and contouring geological data and simulating geologic processes.
The interpretation of regional stratigraphy and structure using seismic sections. Recognition of stratigraphic sequences, sedimentary facies, and extensional and compressional structures. Application to hydrocarbon exploration.
Seismic refraction and reflection methods including sources, instrumentation, data processing, velocity analysis, seismic modeling, and interpretation.
Advanced treatment of elastic wave propagation, ray theory, normal modes, and free oscillations; applications to determine earth structure, modeling of earthquakes.
The evaluation of aquifer characteristics by flow nets, Theis equation and graphic solution technique for water table and artesian conditions. Methodology of pumping tests and data collection. Prediction of aquifer response through time. Analog and computer analysis and interpretation of data.
Selected topics germane to the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the hydrologic cycle.
Survey of the origin and development of geologic principles.
The nature of water; physical, chemical, and biological quality parameters. Techniques of quantitative analysis, methods of water quality control, and pollution abatement. Hydrogeochemical interactions and effects on water quality and waste disposal.
Formation of groundwater flow and solute transport problems, theory and practice, numerical methods, solution techniques.
Cross-listed course: ECIV 761
Geographic and hydrodynamic aspects of oceanography, with emphasis on estuaries. Physical properties of sea water and theories and methods involved in ocean currents, air-sea interaction, waves, and tides.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 781
Chemical characteristics of sea water, distribution of properties, and chemical processes in the oceans, with emphasis on estuaries.
Techniques in the analysis of oceanographic data sequences, including filtering techniques, fast Fourier transforms, and empirical orthogonal functions.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 783
Equations governing the large-scale dynamics of the atmosphere and ocean, rotational influence, shallow water equations, vorticity, quasi-geostrophic dynamics, Rossby waves, energy and enstrophy, and geostrophic turbulence.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 784
Elementary applications of the basic equations, scale analysis, planetary boundary layer, atmospheric oscillations, synoptic and mesoscale systems, hydrodynamic instability, cyclogenesis, frontogenesis, energy cycle, momentum budget, and tropical motion systems.
Cross-listed course: MSCI 785
Directed research topics to be individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.
Required of all graduate students.
Readings and discussions on current topics.
Critical analysis of recent papers dealing with the reconstruction of marine paleoenvironments based on deep sea sediments. Emphasis will be placed on specific intervals of geologic time. Two discussion hours per week.
Interactive community outreach and middle school geoscience education for graduate students interested in outreach at the K-12 level. Pass/fail grading.
Seminar related to current topics in geophysics.
Readings and discussion on current tectonophysical problems.
Preparation and presentation, oral and written, of geological data, discussed via examples from students’ own work and from published material.