Major Earth and Planetary Sciences (66 credits)

Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences     Degree: Bachelor of Science

Program Requirements

* Please note this program’s name is changing to B.Sc. in Geology. The program will also have some required and complementary course changes. These changes will appear in the eCalendar by the end of August. Until then, please consult the program adviser, Professor Jeanne Paquette (Jeanne.paquette [at] mcgill.ca) for any questions about the new program requirements.

The program curriculum is designed to provide a rigorous foundation in physical sciences and the flexibility to create an individualized program in preparation for careers in industry, teaching, and research. The program is accepted for professional qualification in most Canadian provinces.

U1 Required Courses (21 credits)

  • EPSC 203 Structural Geology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Primary igneous and sedimentary structures, attitudes of planes and lines, stress and strain, fracturing of rocks, faulting, homogeneous strain, description and classification of folds, foliation and lineation, orthographic and stereographic projections.

    Terms: Winter 2016

    Instructors: James Kirkpatrick (Winter)

    • Winter

    • 2 hours lectures, 3 hours laboratory

  • EPSC 210 Introductory Mineralogy (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Elementary crystallography, chemistry and identification of the principal rock-forming and ore minerals, in hand specimens and using optical microscopy. Demonstrations of other techniques applied to the identification of minerals and to the analysis of their composition and structure. Optional 2-day field trip.

    Terms: Fall 2015

    Instructors: Jeanne Paquette (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 2 hours lectures, 3 hours laboratory

    • Corequisite: EPSC 201 or EPSC 233

    • A nominal fee is charged to cover expenses of materials and supplies for identification kits (pen magnet, streak plate, hand lens and acid bottle) used to identify minerals during laboratory exercises.

    • Des frais seront prelevés pour couvrir l'usage des collections d'enseignement et les accessoires (loupe, aimant, bouteille d'acide chlorhydrique dilué, plaque de porcelaine) essentiels à l'identification des minéraux pendant les travaux pratiques.

  • EPSC 212 Introductory Petrology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : A survey of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks and the processes responsible for their formation. The laboratory will emphasize the recognition of rocks in both hand-specimen and thin section using optical microscopes.

    Terms: Winter 2016

    Instructors: Kim Berlo (Winter)

    • Winter

    • 2 hours lectures, 3 hours laboratory

    • Prerequisite: EPSC 210

  • EPSC 220 Principles of Geochemistry (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Basic concepts in geochemistry and the application of geochemical principles of chemistry to geological subdisciplines. Particular emphasis on origin of elements, controls on their distribution in Earth and cosmos, isotopes, organic geochemistry and water chemistry. Application of phase diagrams to geology.

    Terms: Fall 2015

    Instructors: Don Baker (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory

  • EPSC 231 Field School 1 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Geological mapping of selected areas, preparation of maps, reports from field notes, aerial photographs, etc.

    Terms: Summer 2016

    Instructors: Christen Danielle Rowe (Summer)

    • Prerequisite: EPSC 203, EPSC 212, or equivalent

    • This course, given in Sutton, has an additional fee of $554.95 to cover the costs of transportation, meals and accommodation as well as other field expenses. The fee is only refundable prior to the deadline to withdraw with full refund. The department of Earth and Planetary Science subsidizes a portion of the cost for this activity.

  • MATH 222 Calculus 3 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Mathematics and Statistics (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Mathematics & Statistics (Sci) : Taylor series, Taylor's theorem in one and several variables. Review of vector geometry. Partial differentiation, directional derivative. Extreme of functions of 2 or 3 variables. Parametric curves and arc length. Polar and spherical coordinates. Multiple integrals.

    Terms: Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Summer 2016

    Instructors: Stephen W Drury, Jingyin Huang (Fall) Stephen W Drury (Winter) Geoffrey McGregor (Summer)

U1 Complementary Course (3 credits)

3 credits, one of:

  • EPSC 201 Understanding Planet Earth (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Learn about Earth's origin, its place in the solar system, its internal structure, rocks and minerals, the formation of metal and fossil fuel deposits, and the extinction of dinosaurs. Discover the impact of the volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and mountain chains on Earth's past, present and future. Explore 125 million-year-old Mount Royal.

    Terms: Fall 2015, Winter 2016

    Instructors: Olivia Jensen (Fall) Natalya Gomez (Winter)

    • Fall or Winter

    • 3 hours lectures; afternoon field trips

    • Restriction: Not open to students who have taken or are taking EPSC 233.

  • EPSC 233 Earth and Life History (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Interpretation of stratified rocks; history of Earth with special emphasis on the regions of North America; outline of the history of life recorded in fossils.

    Terms: Fall 2015

    Instructors: William Minarik (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lectures

U2 and/or U3 Required Courses (24 credits)

  • EPSC 320 Elementary Earth Physics (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Physical properties of Earth and the processes associated with its existence as inferred from astronomy, geodesy, seismology, geology, terrestrial magnetism and thermal evolution.

    Terms: Fall 2015

    Instructors: Yajing Liu (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lectures

    • Prerequisite: MATH 133 and MATH 222 or their equivalent.

  • EPSC 334 Invertebrate Paleontology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Preservation of fossils; the fossil record of invertebrates; use of fossils in stratigraphy and paleoecology; fossils in evolutionary studies. Fossils of invertebrates are studied in the laboratory.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    • Winter

    • 2 hours lectures and one laboratory period

    • Prerequisite: EPSC 201 or EPSC 233 or ENVR 202 or permission of instructor

  • EPSC 340 Earth and Planetary Inference (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Introduction to modern techniques for combining geological, geophysical, and geochemical measurements with theoretical knowledge about Earth and other planets. Use of tools from time series analysis and inverse methods to build models and test hypotheses within the Earth and Planetary Sciences.

    Terms: Fall 2015

    Instructors: Boswell Wing (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 2 hours lectures, 3 hours laboratory

    • Prerequisites: Completion of U1 year in Earth & Planetary Sciences or permission of instructor

  • EPSC 350 Tectonics (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Rheology of the Earth, mechanics of the crust and mantle and core, convection in the mantle, evolution and kinematics and deformations of the oceanic and continental plates, thermal evolution of the Earth, the unifying theory of plate tectonics.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    • Winter

    • 3 hours lectures

    • Prerequisite(s): EPSC 320

  • EPSC 355 Sedimentary Geology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : The origin, classification, diagenesis and economic importance of sedimentary rocks. The physical properties of sedimentary rocks, the processes by which sediments are transported and deposited, and the environments in which they accumulate. Introduction to techniques for describing and analyzing sedimentary rocks in thin section, hand specimen, and on the outcrop.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2015-2016 academic year.

  • EPSC 423 Igneous Petrology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Physical properties, nucleation, crystallization, differentiation and emplacement of magmas. Integrated studies on various rock suites.

    Terms: Winter 2016

    Instructors: Kim Berlo (Winter)

    • Fall

    • 2 hours lectures, 3 hours laboratory

    • Prerequisites: EPSC 212, and enrolment in U2 or U3 EPS program.

  • EPSC 445 Metamorphic Petrology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : The origin, classification and petrological significance of metamorphic rocks, from the point of view of theory, experiment and field observations.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    • Winter

    • 2 hours lectures, 3 hours laboratory

    • Prerequisite(s): EPSC 212, enrolment in U2 or U3 EPS program.

  • EPSC 452 Mineral Deposits (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : A systematic review of the nature and origin of the major types of metallic and non-metallic mineral deposits; typical occurrences; geographic distribution; applications to exploration. Emphasis on magmatic ores, massive sulfides, iron formations.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    • Fall

    • 2 hours lectures, 3 hours laboratory

    • Prerequisite: EPSC 220, enrolment in U2 or U3 EPS program

Complementary Courses (18 credits)

3 credits, one of:

  • EPSC 331 Field School 2 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Two week field studies in selected branches of the geosciences.

    Terms: Summer 2016

    Instructors: Vincent Johan van Hinsberg, Yajing Liu (Summer)

    • Two-week intensive field school to a range of national and international locations.

    • Prerequisites: EPSC 240, enrolment in U2 or U3 EPS program, and permission of the instructor.

    • Alternates years with EPSC 341.

    • The field school will be based around the Bay of Fundy, and central Nova Scotia and has an additional fee of $554.95 to cover the costs of transportation and accommodation as well as other field expenses. Six days will be spent around the Chignecto peninsula, including visits to Parrsboro, Joggins, and Cape Chignecto park. The remaining time will be spent between Pictou, Wolfville and the Annapolis valley, and the coast south of Halifax.

  • EPSC 341 Field School 3 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Two week field studies in selected branches of the geosciences to examine processes in geology.

    Terms: Summer 2016

    Instructors: Vincent Johan van Hinsberg, Yajing Liu (Summer)

    • Two week intensive field school to a range of national and international locations.

    • Prerequisites: EPSC 240, enrolment in U2 or U3 EPS program and permission of the instructor.

    • Alternates years with EPSC 331.

    • This course, given every alternate year, has an additional fee of $554 95 to cover the costs of airfare, meals and accommodation as well as other field expenses. The fee is only refundable prior to the deadline to withdraw with full refund. The department of Earth and Planetary Science subsidizes a portion of the cost for this activity.

plus 15 credits (five courses) chosen from the following:

Note: Other courses at the 300 level or higher in Earth and Planetary Sciences and in other departments in the Faculties of Science and Engineering may also be used as complementary credits with the permission of the Director of undergraduate studies.

  • EPSC 330 Earthquakes and Earth Structure (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Seismic wave theory; body waves, surface waves and free oscillations; seismicity and earthquakes; seismology and Earth's internal structure.

    Terms: Winter 2016

    Instructors: Olivia Jensen (Winter)

  • EPSC 425 Sediments to Sequences (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Advanced techniques for interrogating the stratigraphic record. Topics include cyclicity in the sedimentary record, sequence stratigraphy, chemostratigraphy, sedimentary control on the fossil record, and the record of deep sea sediment cores.

    Terms: Winter 2016

    Instructors: Galen Halverson (Winter)

    • Winter

    • 2 hours lectures, 3 hours laboratory

    • Prerequisites: EPSC 355 or ESYS 300 or permission of instructor.

  • EPSC 435 Applied Geophysics (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Methods in geophysical surveying including gravity, magnetism, electromagnetism, resistivity and seismology; application to exploration and near surface environmental and hydrological targets are included, along with field applications of techniques.

    Terms: Fall 2015

    Instructors: Rebecca Harrington (Fall)

    • Fall

    • Prerequisites: EPSC 231 or EPSC 320, or permission of instructor

    • 3 hours lectures

    • 2 hours lectures, 3 hours laboratory

    • The field component of the course will be held in all weather conditions. Appropriate clothing is required by the students.

  • EPSC 470D1 Undergraduate Thesis Research (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Research project, designed by a student in consultation with a departmental faculty member, leading to a thesis.

    Terms: Fall 2015

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    • Restriction: For Major students in 3rd year

    • Students must register for both EPSC 470D1 and EPSC 470D2

    • No credit will be given unless both EPSC 470D1 and EPSC 470D2 are successfully completed in consecutive terms

    • A statement of the proposed project and method of evaluation, signed by the student and supervisor, must be submitted to the departmental Director of Undergraduate Studies for approval by the add/drop deadline of the first semester in which the student registers for this course. The results of the research must be presented in the form of an undergraduate thesis.

  • EPSC 470D2 Undergraduate Thesis Research (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : See EPSC 470D1 for description.

    Terms: Winter 2016

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    • Prerequisite: EPSC 470D1

    • No credit will be given unless both EPSC 470D1 and EPSC 470D2 are successfully completed in consecutive terms

    • A statement of the proposed project and method of evaluation, signed by the student and supervisor, must be submitted to the departmental Director of Undergraduate Studies for approval by the add/drop deadline of the first semester in which the student registers for this course. The results of the research must be presented in the form of an undergraduate thesis.

    • For Major students in 3rd year.

  • EPSC 501 Crystal Chemistry (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Discussion of crystal structures and compositions of important mineral groups, especially oxides, sulphides and silicates. Solid solution. Relation of structure to morphology and to chemical and physical properties of the rock-forming minerals.

    Terms: Winter 2016

    Instructors: Jeanne Paquette (Winter)

    • Winter

    • 2 hours lectures, 1 hour seminar

    • Prerequisite(s): EPSC 210 (or equivalent) and at least one 300- or higher-level course in petrology, or permission of the instructor.

  • EPSC 519 Isotope Geology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Geochronology, the fractionation of the stable isotopes, and applications to petrology and mineral deposits.

    Terms: Fall 2015

    Instructors: Boswell Wing (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lectures

    • Prerequisites: equivalent of the U2 core program.

  • EPSC 530 Volcanology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : The physical mechanisms which drive volcanoes and volcanic activity are presented. Descriptive, practical and theoretical approaches to the study of volcanoes are discussed.

    Terms: Fall 2015

    Instructors: John Stix (Fall)

    • Winter

    • 2 hours lectures, 3 hours laboratory

    • Prerequisites: EPSC 212 or equivalent, or permission of instructor.

    • Prerequisites: Enrolment in U2 or U3 EPS program

  • EPSC 542 Chemical Oceanography (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : History of chemical oceanography. Seawater composition and definition of salinity/chlorinity. Minor and trace-element distribution in the ocean. Geochemical mass balance. Dissolved gases in sea water. CO2 and the carbonate system. Chemical speciation. Physical chemistry of seawater. Organic matter and the carbon cycle in the marine environment. Sediment geochemistry.

    Terms: Fall 2015

    Instructors: Alfonso Mucci (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lectures

    • Prerequisites: CHEM 213, CHEM 257 or equivalents, or registration in the Graduate Program in Oceanography.

  • EPSC 547 Modelling Geochemical Processes (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Advanced thermodynamics and kinetics will be applied to construct models that quantitatively investigate geochemical processes. Topics include, but are not restricted to: activity-composition relationships in solids, liquids and fluids, crystallization and melting, precipitation and dissolution, rates of geochemical processes, interaction of geological liquids and fluids with rocks and minerals.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lectures

    • Prerequisites: EPSC 220, MATH 222, or permission of instructor.

  • EPSC 548 Processes of Igneous Petrology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Investigation of the primary mechanisms causing the diversity of igneous rock compositions on the Earth, other planets, asteroids, and meteorite parent bodies.

    Terms: Fall 2015

    Instructors: Don Baker (Fall)

    • Winter

    • 2 hours lectures, 1 hour seminar

    • Prerequisite: EPSC 423

  • EPSC 549 Hydrogeology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Introduction to groundwater flow through porous media. Notions of fluid potential and hydraulic head. Darcy flux and Darcy's Law. Physical properties of porous media and their measurement. Equation of groundwater flow. Flow systems. Hydraulics of pumping and recharging wells. Notions of hydrology. Groundwater quality and contamination. Physical processes of contaminant transport.

    Terms: Fall 2015

    Instructors: Jeffrey McKenzie (Fall)

    • Winter

    • 3 hours lectures, 1-2 hours laboratory

    • Prerequisite: permission of the instructor

  • EPSC 550 Selected Topics 1 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Research seminar and/or lecture with readings in topics concerning aspects of current interests in Earth & Planetary Sciences.

    Terms: Fall 2015, Winter 2016

    Instructors: James Kirkpatrick (Fall) Boswell Wing (Winter)

    • Fall or Winter

    • 2 hours seminar, permission of department undergraduate advisor

  • EPSC 551 Selected Topics 2 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Research seminar and/or lecture with readings in topics concerning aspects of current interest in Earth & Planetary Sciences.

    Terms: Fall 2015, Winter 2016

    Instructors: Galen Halverson (Winter)

    • Fall or Winter

    • 2 hours seminar, permission of department undergraduate advisor

  • EPSC 552 Selected Topics 3 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Research seminar and/or lecture with readings in topics concerning aspects of current interest in Earth & Planetary Sciences.

    Terms: Fall 2015, Winter 2016

    Instructors: Vincent Johan van Hinsberg (Fall) Christen Danielle Rowe, Yajing Liu, James Kirkpatrick (Winter)

    • Fall or Winter

    • 2 hours seminar, permission of department undergraduate advisor

  • EPSC 561 Ore-forming Processes (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Physicochemical controls of hydrothermal mineral deposition. Discussion of fluid inclusion theory and application; stable isotope systematics, wall-rock alteration; ore mineral solubility and speciation; and mechanisms of mineral deposition.

    Terms: Winter 2016

    Instructors: Vincent Johan van Hinsberg (Winter)

    • Winter

    • 3 hours seminar

    • Prerequisite: One course in ore petrology (EPSC 451 or EPSC 452) or equivalent, or permission of instructor

  • EPSC 567 Advanced Volcanology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : An in-depth approach to physical and chemical processes associated with volcanic systems. Examination of magma chamber dynamics, magma behaviour in conduits, and eruption mechanisms. Study of eruptive products including pyroclastic deposits, lava flows and lava domes, and volcanic gases. Volcanic-tectonic and magma-hydrothermal interactions.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    • Prerequisite: EPSC 530 or permission of instructor

  • EPSC 570 Cosmochemistry (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Examines the implications of phase equilibria and the compositions of meteorites and the solar system for the formation and internal differentiation of the terrestrial planets and the nature of chemical fractionation processes in both planetary interiors and the solar system as a whole.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisites: EPSC 220, EPSC 210, or equivalent, or permission of instructor.

  • EPSC 580 Aqueous Geochemistry (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : The use of chemical thermodynamics to study fluid-rock interactions with an emphasis on the aqueous phase. The course will introduce basic concepts and will discuss aqueous complexation, mineral surface adsorption, and other controls on crustal fluid compositions. Applications will range from considering contaminated groundwater systems to metamorphic reactions.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lectures

    • Prerequisites: EPSC 210, EPSC 212, or equivalent, or permission of instructor.

  • EPSC 590 Applied Geochemistry Seminar (3 credits)

    Offered by: Earth & Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Earth & Planetary Sciences : Seminar course devoted to field case studies that illustrate the applications of geochemical principles to solving geologic problems. Each student will prepare and lead a class devoted to a geochemical subject of their own choosing.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    • Winter

    • 3 hours seminar

    • Prerequisite: permission of instructor

Faculty of Science—2015-2016 (last updated Aug. 20, 2015) (disclaimer)