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Geology R1031 and R5061

Earth System Science
from the Perspective
of Minnesota Geology

Summer Session II, 1996



Paul W. Weiblen
Office Hours:
10:30 - 11:30 Monday through Friday
118 Pillsbury Hall, Tel: 625-3477


Tatiana Vislova
Office Hours:
10:30 - 11:30 Monday through Friday
125 Pillsbury Hall, Tel: 624-6860
email: visl0001@


The Blue Planet, Skinner B.J. and Porter, S.C., 1994, 493 pp., John Wiley

Supplementary Textbook:

Minnesota's Geology, Ojakangas, R.W. and Matsch, C.L., 1982, University of Minnesota Press, 255 pp.

Course Overview:

Initial lectures will provide an introduction into all the subfields of geology. This background will be used to explore the interactions of the Earth's lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and human activity. The study of these system interactions will focus on their role in production of the Earth's energy and mineral resources, and changes in the Earth's climate and global ecosystem. Reading assignments in Skinner and Porter have been schedulted to enable the student to read the entire text during the five week term. Material in the text that will be covered in the exams will be specified.


Date              Topics                              Reading Assignments
                                                      Skinner and Porter
7/18  Introduction and The Earth in the Solar System     1-67
7/19  Minerals and Rocks                                90-111
7/22  The Earth's Interior                              68-89
7/23  Volcanism                                        112-135 
7/24  The Earth's Evolving Crust                       158-191
7/25  The Principles of Plate Tectonics                136-157
7/26  The World Ocean                                  192-223 
7/29  Water on Land                                    224-249 
7/30  Snow and Ice                                     250-275 
7/31  Changes in the Earth's landscape                 276-309 
8/01  The Earth's Atmosphere                           310-335 
8/02  The Desert Environment                           336-359 
8/05  The Earth's Climate System                       360-387 
8/06  Dynamics of the Global Ecosystem                 388-413 
8/07  Evolution of the Biosphere                       414-441 
8/08  Review
8/09  Midterm Exam
8/12  Mineral Resources                                442-458 
8/13  Energy Resources                                 458-469 
8/14  The Ozone Shield                                 470-472 
8/15  Global Change                                    470-472 
8/16  Time Scales of Geologic Processes and            472-477 
      Human-Induced Changes 
8/19  Global Warming                                   477-493 
8/20  Review
8/21  Final Exam

Field Trips

The field trips are an integral part of the course. There will be lecture and discussion sessions on Friday and Saturday evenings on Minnesota Geology and how it illustrates the material presented in class lectures and the reading assignments in Skinner and Porter. Appropriate material in Ojakangas and Matsch will be assigned prior to each trip. Field exercises will be assigned at specific geologic sites. The exercises will be completed during the trip and will be comparable in scope to the laboratory requirements in the regular geology 1000 level courses. (Two Field Trips required; Third Trip optional (assigned exercises in lieu of trip)

lst Trip:

The Minnesota River Valley -July 20 and/or July 21
Pleistocene Glaciation, Cretaceous Weathering, Earth's Oldest Rocks
Ojakangas and Matsch, pp. 22-33 and 222-231
2nd Trip:
Lanesboro and Southeastern Minnesota - July 27-28.
Paleozoic Sedimentary Rocks, Karst Topography, Rivers and Streams
Ojakangas and Matsch, pp. 62-95 and 232-243
3rd Trip:
Northern Minnesota and the Iron Range - August 2-4
Early Continents and Oceans, Origin of Iron Formation
Ojakangas and Matsch, pp.34-45 and 176-197
4th Trip:
Duluth, North Shore, Gunflint Trail August 9-11
The Midcontinent Rift, Precambrian Iron Formations and fossil algae, ocean floor volcanism, and formation of granitic crust.
Ojaknagas and Matsch - pp. 34-61 and 159-176

Special Assignments for R.5061

A term paper or research project must be arranged with the instructor during the second week of class.

Tentative Grade Breakdown:

Comments to:
Department of Geology and Geophysics. All rights reserved.
©1996 Regents of the University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

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