This Course and Program Catalogue is effective from May 2016 to April 2017.

Not all courses described in the Course and Program Catalogue are offered each year. For a list of course offerings in 2016-2017, please consult the class search website.

For general registration information, please visit students.usask.ca.

As of 2005-2006, certain course abbreviations have changed. Students with credit for a course under its former label may not take the relabeled course for credit.

The following conventions are used for course numbering:

  • 010-099 represent non-degree level courses
  • 100-699 represent undergraduate degree level courses
  • 700-999 represent graduate degree level courses

The following term designations are used:

  • 1 - Term 1 only
  • 2 - Term 2 only
  • 3 - Term 3 only
  • 1&2 - Term 1 and 2
  • 1/2 - Either Term 1 or Term 2
  • P - Phases (Medicine and Dentistry)
  • Q - Quarters (Veterinary Medicine)

The following instructional code designations are used:

  • L - Lecture
  • P - Practicum/Lab
  • S - Seminar/Discussion
  • C - Clinical Service
  • R - Reading
  • T - Tutorial

Please use the following form to look up courses and find detailed information on course prerequisites, corequisites, and other special notes. To view all 100-level courses in a subject, select a Subject Code and type 1% in the Course Number field. (200-level = 2%, etc.)


Results

GEOL 002.0
MITACS Globalink Undergraduate Visiting Research

GEOL 108.3 — 1/2(3L)
The Earth and How It Works

Exploration of the global and local-scale physical processes that have shaped our planet. Strong emphasis is on interrelationships of geological processes and humans. Topics for discussion include volcanoes, earthquakes, pollution, and the origin and exploitation of energy, mineral and water resources.

Note: May be used toward the Natural Science requirement for Programs Type A, B, and D (B.A. programs). Students with credit for GEOL 103, 105, 110, or 121 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 109.3 — 2(3L)
The Earth and Life through Time

A consideration of the evolution of our earth, from its origin to the present. Emphasis is placed on the evolution of life, and on the interpretation of the rock and fossil record. Special consideration is given to major events in the history of our planet and of animals and plants.

Note: May be used toward the Natural Science requirement for Programs Type A, B, and D (B.A. programs). Students with credit for GEOL 103, 105, 110, or 122 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 121.3 — 1/2(3L-3P)
Earth Processes

Follows the same lectures as GEOL 108. The laboratory component satisfies the requirements of students in Program Type C (B.Sc. programs). Students in the College of Education who wish to take a course in Earth Science and require a laboratory component are advised take this course.

Note: Students with credit for GEOE 118, GEOL 103, 105, 108, or 110 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 122.3 — 2(3L-3P)
Earth History

Follows the same lectures as GEOL 109. The laboratory component satisfies the requirements of students in Program Type C (B.Sc. programs). Students in the College of Education who wish to take a course in Earth Science and require a laboratory component are advised to take this course.

Note: Students with credit for GEOL 103, 105, 109, or 110 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 206.3 — 1(3L)
Earth Systems

An introduction to Earth System Science, a concept that demonstrates the interrelationships between the Earth's landmasses, atmosphere, oceans and biosphere, and the role of humans in their interaction. Topics discussed will include geochemical cycles and environmental change, both natural and anthropogenic.

Prerequisite(s): One course from GEOL 121, 122, GEOG 120 (formerly 111 or 112), BIOL 108, 120, 121, ARCH 112, CHEM 112, or PHYS 111 or 115, or permission of the department.


GEOL 224.3 — 1(3L-3P)
Mineralogy

Crystalline materials and their properties; crystal chemistry and chemical equilibria in natural systems; mineral properties and classification, and particularly rock-forming mineral groups; mineral genesis.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 121; and PHYS 115 or PHYS 155; and CHEM 112 or CHEM 114; and MATH 110 or MATH 123.
Note: Students with GEOG 112 or 120 instead of GEOL 121 may take this course with permission of the department. Students with credit for GEOL 221 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 226.3 — 2(3L-3P)
Introductory Petrology

Provides the basics of optical mineralogy, with specific reference to mineral assemblages in igneous and metamorphic rocks. The classification, field relationships, textures, geochemistry, and tectonic setting of igneous and metamorphic rocks will be introduced.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 224.
Note: Students with credit for GEOL 225 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 229.3 — 2(3L)
Introductory Geochemistry

An overview of geochemical theory and problem-solving techniques used by Earth Scientists to elucidate Earth system processes. Topics of discussion will include the origin of elements, stable and radiogenic isotopes, geochronology, thermodynamics, trace element partitioning in mineral fluid systems, weathering and aqueous geochemistry.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 121; and CHEM 112; and MATH 110 or MATH 123.
Note: Students with GEOG 120 or 112 instead of GEOL 121 may take this course with permission of the department. Students with credit for GEOL 428 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 245.3 — 1(3L-2P)
Introduction to Sedimentary Rocks

Provides a general introduction to sedimentary rocks, sedimentary processes, and the depositional environments in which these rocks form. Stratigraphic concepts are introduced with specific reference to the relationship between sedimentary rock units. Laboratories focus on the identification of sedimentary rocks and structures in hand specimen.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 121; and PHYS 115 or PHYS 155; and CHEM 112 or CHEM 114; and MATH 110 or MATH 123.
Note: Students with GEOG 120 or 112 instead of GEOL 121 may take this course with permission of the department. Students with credit for GEOL 243 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 247.3 — 2(3L-3P)
Palaeontology

Ancient life on earth will be explored via the principles and concepts of invertebrate paleontology, paleoecology, paleobiology and evolution. The basic morphology and systematics of the main fossil invertebrate groups will be covered in the laboratory sessions, when fossil specimens will be studied.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 122 and 245.
Note: Students with credit for GEOL 246 or 332 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 258.3 — 1(3L-3P)
Structural Geology

An introduction to the structural features of rocks; including discussions of their origin and use. The description of folds, faults, and joints are emphasized, along with outcrop relationships of intrusive bodies. Other topics will include tectonics, orogeny, stratigraphic facing, and non-orogenic process, such as salt doming and glacial thrusting. Laboratories will introduce mapping techniques and the analysis of geological maps.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 121; and PHYS 115 or PHYS 155; and CHEM 112 or CHEM 114; and MATH 110 or MATH 123
Note: Students with GEOG 120 or 112 instead of GEOL 121 may take this course with permission of the department.

GEOL 282.3 — 2(3L)
Earth Physics

Physical processes in the origin of the Earth and Moon, and in the subsequent development of internal structure. The generation of the geomagnetic field by dynamo action, and the use of magnetics and gravity in geophysics. Earthquakes and global seismology. The use of satellite data in geophysics.

Formerly: GEOL 382
Prerequisite(s): MATH 112 or 116 or 124; PHYS 115 (PHYS 111, 121) or GE 124; PHYS 117 or 125 (PHYS 111, 121, 128) or PHYS 155 (EP 155).


GEOL 298.3 — 1/2(3L)
Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations. Students interested in these courses should contact the department for more information

GEOL 299.6 — 1&2(3L)
Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations. Students interested in these courses should contact the department for more information.

GEOL 308.3 — 1(P)
Field School Sedimentary Rocks

A field course in a location with good outcrops of sedimentary rocks. Emphasis will be given to mapping and interpreting sedimentary rocks and the use of stratigraphic principles.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 226, GEOL 247, GEOL 258 and permission of the department.
Note: There will be costs in addition to tuition fees.


GEOL 324.3 — 1(3L-3P)
Igneous Petrology

Mineralogy, phase relations, origin, and occurrence of igneous rocks. Geological processes that tend to produce and modify a magma, will be interpreted in the light of chemical equilibria and kinetics. The laboratory will involve the study of igneous rocks in thin section.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 226, GEOL 229, and CHEM 115.


GEOL 325.3 — 1(3L-3P)
Metamorphic Petrology

The mineralogy, phase relations, possible equilibration temperatures and pressures, and occurrence of metamorphic rocks. Geological processes that tend to produce geothermal and geobarometric gradients and modify rocks will be interpreted using chemical equilibria and chemical-thermal kinetics. The laboratory will involve the study of metamorphic rocks in thin section.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 226, GEOL 229, CHEM 115.


GEOL 330.3 — 2(3L)
Climate History

Explores the record of climate variations preserved in recent earth materials, and the influence of these variations on contemporary societies. The focus will be on extreme periods, e.g., Pleistocene deglaciation, the Younger Dryas, 8.2ka event, Piorra Oscillation, Roman Warm Period, Dark Ages, Medieval Optimum, Little Ice Age, and 20th century warming.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 206 or 229 or GEOG 233 or permission of the department.
Note: Students with credit for GEOL 398 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 334.3 — 1(3L-3P)
Gravity Magnetics Electromagnetic and Radiation Methods

Basic theory of gravity, magnetic, electromagnetic and radiation methods and the application of these methods in exploration and environmental problems.

Prerequisite(s): CMPT 116 or 111 or 141; MATH 223 or 225 or 276; MATH 224 or 226 or 238; (PHYS 115 and PHYS 117) or (PHYS 115 and 125) or PHYS 155.
Note: Students with credit for GEOE 333 or 334 may not take this course for credit. These courses have not been offered for more than ten years as of 2012. *Geophysics students intending to take CMPT 116 must contact the geophysics program advisor before they will be allowed to register.


GEOL 335.3 — 2(3L-3P)
Seismology and Ground Penetrating Radar Methods

Introduction to seismological and ground penetrating radar methods; their integration with other geophysical techniques. Application of geophysical measurements to geological engineering, groundwater, and prospecting problems.

Prerequisite(s): CMPT 116 or 111 or 141; MATH 223 or 225 or 276; MATH 224 or 226 or 238; (PHYS 115 and PHYS 117) or (PHYS 115 and 125) or PHYS 155.
Note: Students with credit for GEOE 333 or 335 may not take this course for credit. These courses have not been offered for more than ten years as of 2012. *Geophysics students intending to take CMPT 116 must contact the geophysics program advisor before they will be allowed to register.


GEOL 343.3 — 1(3L-3P)
Sedimentary Environments

The history of the facies concept; sedimentary environments and facies; techniques of facies analysis; modern environments of deposition; interpretation of ancient sedimentary environments; sedimentary facies through geological time; sedimentary facies, sea level, and tectonics.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 247.
Prerequisite(s) or Corequisite(s): GEOL 308.
Note: This course may be taught as a field course, and thus will be costs additional to tuition fees.


GEOL 358.3 — 2(3L-3P)
Structural Geology II

The geometry, character, and origin of folds, faults and rock cleavage: their inter-relationships and analysis. The analysis of complex geological maps. Ductile strain, strain analysis, deformation fabrics, ductile faulting, shear-sense indicators and the brittle/ductile transition will be discussed. The analysis of polyphase deformation, interference structures, and sequential deformation fabrics.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 258.


GEOL 384.3 — 2(3L-3P)
Introduction to Applied Geophysics

Principles and methods of geophysics; their use in the interpretation of crustal structures of both tectonic and stratigraphic origin; their role in locating probable centres of mineral concentration; their application to problems in engineering geology.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 258; MATH 110, and (MATH 112 or 116); PHYS 155 or (PHYS 115 and (PHYS 117 or 125)). (Students other than Geology majors who do not have all of the prerequisites may be accepted on written approval of the Geology Department).
Note: Students with credit for GEOE 333, 334 or 335 or GEOL 334 or 335 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 398.3 — 1/2(3S)
Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.

GEOL 399.6 — 1&2(3S)
Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.

GEOL 406.3 — 1(3L)
Global Considerations in Geology

Origin of the universe and the solar system; the early earth and the origin and evolution of its core, mantle, crust, oceans, and atmosphere. The Archaean-Proterozoic contrasts; plate tectonics; geochemical cycles and budgets; climatic, atmospheric, hydrospheric and biospheric change; limits on resource exploitation; occurrence, distribution and retardation of radionuclides.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 226, 229, 247, and 258.
Note: Students with credit for GEOL 409 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 408.3 — 1(P)
Field School Crystalline Rocks

A field course where deformed and metamorphosed volcanic, sedimentary and intrusive igneous rocks will be mapped and interpreted. Fieldwork results will be presented as a map and in a report.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 226, GEOL 258, GEOL 247, and GEOL 229.
Note: There will be costs additional to tuition fees. Normally held in late August.


GEOL 413.3 — 2(3L)
Aqueous Geochemistry

An overview of the controls on the quality of pristine and polluted subsurface waters. Topics will include sampling and analyses of water samples, biogeochemical processes controlling water quality and techniques to characterize and quantify the controlling processes.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 229, CHEM 115, and MATH 110; or permission of the department.
Note: Students are strongly recommended to take GEOE 475 prior to taking GEOL 413. Students who completed GEOL 498 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 429.3 — 2(3L)
Isotope Geochemistry

An overview of theory and applications of stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry including the use of isotopes as geotracers, geochronometers and geothermometers.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 224, 229.


GEOL 446.3 — 1(3L-3P)
Advanced Sedimentology

Chemical, biochemical and physical processes in the formation of sedimentary rocks; origin, diagenesis and petrography of carbonates, evaporites and cherts. Major topics of current sedimentological interest may also be discussed.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 224, 229 and 247.


GEOL 447.3 — 1/2(3L-3P)
Ichnology Animal Substrate Interactions in the Stratigraphic Record

Ichnology is the study of biogenic structures and animal-substrate relations. Biogenic structures comprise burrows, trails, trackways and borings. They record the behavior of the tracemakers in response to the prevailing environmental conditions and therefore they supply valuable information in paleoecology, paleobiology, facies analysis, and sequence stratigraphy.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 247.


GEOL 448.3 — 1/2(3L-3P)
Sequence Stratigraphy

Sequence stratigraphy is a new approach to understanding the stratigraphic record. It helps to integrate different datasets, including sedimentology, paleontology and the various fields involved in petroleum geology. It is particularly valuable as a tool in oil and gas exploration and production.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 247.


GEOL 450.3 — 1(3L)
Limnogeology

An introduction to the geology of lake basins and lacustrine rocks, emphasizing paleoenvironmental analysis of lacustrine sediments and rocks from Precambrian to Recent.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 247.
Note: Students with credit for GEOL 498 Special Topics Limnogeology may not take GEOL 450 for credit. GEOL 450 will be offered biennially.


GEOL 451.3 — 1/2(3L)
Synchrotron Xray Absorption Spectroscopy

X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), a primary technique of the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, provides local molecular and electronic structure of specific chemical elements in any matrix. XAS can be applied with little pre-treatment of the sample and can be used to answer fundamental chemical questions about almost any sample or system, from soils and rocks to intact biological tissues to purified proteins or chemicals. The course will include a description of the physical principals underlying XAS, practical aspects of experimental technique, details of data analysis and some common pitfalls and difficulties. This course will equip students with a practical working knowledge of the technique and its capabilities, with examples drawn from the chemical, biomedical and environmental sciences.

Prerequisite(s): 15 credit units in Geology, Physics, or Chemistry.
Note: Students cannot receive credit for both GEOL 451 and GEOL 851.


GEOL 463.3 — 2(3L-3P)
Petroleum Geology

The composition and physical properties of petroleum. Organic matter evolution, maturation, and migration of hydrocarbons from source rock to reservoir. Introduction to petroleum exploration, development and recovery methods, and the main types of reservoirs and traps.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 224, 245, and GEOL 258.


GEOL 465.3 — 2(3L-3P)
Mineral Deposits

Examines the geology and genesis of the principal types of magmatic and hydrothermal mineral deposits, with an emphasis on the deposits of the Canadian Shield. The criteria used for exploring for these deposits and the analytical techniques used to unravel their origin will be emphasized.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 226, GEOL 245, and GEOL 258.


GEOL 481.3 — 1(3L-3P)
Potential Field Methods

The theory of interpretation of gravity and magnetic fields in geophysical exploration. Elements of potential theory, mathematical models, Fourier methods and interpretation procedure will be discussed.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 334 and 335.


GEOL 482.3 — 2(3L-3P)
Electrical Methods in Geophysical Prospecting

The fundamental principles underlying electrical methods; instrumentation, field procedures, and the computation and interpretation of data; application of the methods in geophysical exploration.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 334 and 335.


GEOL 483.3 — 2(3L-3P)
Seismology

Theory of elasticity; energy sources; refraction and reflection methods; instrumentation and interpretation, including the fundamentals of digital processing.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 334 and 335.


GEOL 485.6 — 1/2(P)
Geophysics Field Camp

Practical experience in conduct of geophysical surveys; operation of equipment, data manipulation, computer processing and interpretation, preparation of reports. Normally held in late August, two weeks prior to the beginning of on-campus classes.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 334 and 335.


GEOL 487.3 — 1(P)
Geophysical Field Methods

A course in geophysical field methods for students who are not geophysics majors but who require some experience with field techniques. Gravity, magnetic, electro-magnetic and seismic surveys will be performed over appropriate targets. The course is normally conducted in the two weeks immediately preceding the fall regular session. Interested students should contact the department for further details.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 384 or (GEOL 334 and 335).
Note: Students with credit for GEOL 485 or GEOE 473 may not take this course for credit.


GEOL 490.3 — 1/2(3P)
Geological Sciences Research

Students will work on theoretical or practical research projects under the guidance and supervision of a faculty member. An outline of the project must be submitted to the course co-ordinator in the term preceding registration and be approved before Departmental permission will be granted. An oral presentation and written report submitted at the end of the project will be evaluated by a faculty committee.

Permission of the department required.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in geological sciences at the 300-level or above.


GEOL 492.6 — 1&2(3P)
Geological Sciences Research

Students will work on theoretical or practical research projects under the guidance and supervision of a faculty member. An outline of the project must be submitted to the course co-ordinator in the term preceding registration and be approved before Departmental permission will be granted. An oral presentation and written report submitted at the end of the project will be evaluated by a faculty committee.

Permission of the department required.
Prerequisite(s): 6 credit units in geological sciences at the 300-level or above.


GEOL 498.3 — 1/2(3S)
Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.

GEOL 499.6 — 1&2(3S)
Special Topics

Offered occasionally by visiting faculty and in other special situations to cover, in depth, topics that are not thoroughly covered in regularly offered courses.

GEOL 822.6 — 1&2(2L-3P)
Analytical Geochemistry

Analytical techniques employed by earth scientists for determining the compositions, ages, and provenance of minerals and rocks. The theory, operation, and information that can be obtained from a variety of instruments will be studied. These instruments will include the X-ray diffractometer, the X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, the electron microprobe and scanning electron microscope (SEM), the atomic-absorption spectrometer, the gas chromatograph, and isotope ratio and solid source mass spectrometers.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 324, and 325.


GEOL 828.6 — 1&2(3L)
Geochemistry

The theory and application of instrumental techniques to the geochemistry of minerals and rocks. Topics include: terrestrial and cosmic abundance of elements; theory of element partitioning and its application to geothermometry and geobarometry; the behaviour of major and trace elements during partial melting and fractional crystallization; radiogenic and stable isotopic systems.

GEOL 829.6 — 1&2(3L)
Petrology

Dynamic and comprehensive treatment of important aspects of igneous and metamorphic petrology at an advanced level. Problems of current interest will be analyzed and discussed through integrated lectures, seminars, and laboratories.

GEOL 841.3 — 1/2(1.5L-1.5S)
Sedimentary Processes

Advanced-level consideration will be given to one or more of the following topics: fluid mechanics and its role in the interpretation of deposition of sediment; experiments in sedimentology and their role; biological and chemical processes and their influence on sedimentation; diagenesis of sediments.

GEOL 851.3 — 1/2(3L)
Synchrotron Hard X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy

X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), a primary technique of the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, provides local molecular and electronic structure of specific chemical elements in any matrix. XAS can be applied with little pre-treatment of the sample and can be used to answer fundamental chemical questions about almost any sample or system, from soils and rocks to intact biological tissues to purified proteins or chemicals. The course will include a description of the physical principals underlying XAS, practical aspects of experimental technique, details of data analysis and some common pitfalls and difficulties. This course will equip students with a practical working knowledge of the technique and its capabilities, with examples drawn from the chemical, biomedical and environmental sciences.

Permission of the instructor is required
Note: Students cannot receive credit for both GEOL 451 and GEOL 851.


GEOL 865.3 — 1/2(1.5L-1.5S)
Analysis of Mineral Deposits

Advanced level consideration of structural, magmatic, and hydrothermal processes involved in the formation and evolution of mineral deposits, and their relationship to the Earth and the environment. The application of petrological and geochemical techniques to mineral deposit research. Problems of current interest will be addressed through lectures, and student presentations.

Permission of the instructor required.


GEOL 880.3 — 1(3S)
Seismology

Topics selected from the theory of propagation of seismic waves in layered media; theory of reflection and refraction of spherical waves, present advances in numerical filtering; information theory as related to geophysics.

GEOL 882.3 — 1/2(3S)
Selected Topics in Geophysics

The detailed content may vary from year to year in accordance with the specific interests of students but will include some consideration of electrical methods, well-logging techniques, and other fields of applied geophysics.

GEOL 884.3 — 1/2(2L-2P)
Geophysical Inversion

A practical course on inversion techniques in geophysics. Linear discrete inverse problems will be discussed, and an appreciation for the concepts of non-uniqueness, determinacy, and the use of a priori information will be emphasized. Students will be encouraged to use the techniques discussed in class in a computer laboratory and will be required to complete a term project with a written report, and a seminar.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 226, 338, GEOL 483, GEOE 414; or permission of the instructor.


GEOL 898.3
Special Topics

Offered occasionally in special situations. Students interested in these courses should contact the department for more information.

GEOL 899.6
Special Topics

Offered occasionally in special situations. Students interested in these courses should contact the department for more information.

GEOL 990
Seminar

Presentation of papers by faculty, visiting scientists, and graduate students. Graduate students are required to attend and interested undergraduates may be invited to attend. Satisfactory participation in this course is required of all graduate students throughout their period of residence.

GEOL 994
Research

Students writing a Master's thesis must register for this course.

GEOL 996
Research

Students writing a Ph.D. thesis must register for this course.