Professor Robert Gregory, Department Chair
Professors: David Blackwell, Eugene Herrin, Louis Jacobs, Lee McAlester, Brian Stump, John Walther, Crayton Yapp; Associate Professor: Bonnie Jacobs; Assistant Professor: Neil Tabor; Research Associate Professors: Steven Bergman, Anthony Fiorillo, John Wagner, Alisa Winkler, Dale Winkler; Research Assistant Professors: Jason McKenna, H. Troy Stuckey, Xinlin Du, Mihan House McKenna.
The minimum requirements for admission to graduate work in the geological sciences are those now in effect for admission to the graduate programs of SMU. The candidate is required to submit scores on a recent Graduate Record Examination aptitude test. International students applying from countries where English is not the native language are required to submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination.
To qualify for the M.S. degree in the geological sciences, the student must have (1) successfully completed a minimum of 30 hours of graduate study acceptable to the departmental faculty, including graduate core courses GEOL 5320, 6321 and thesis hours GEOL 6398, 6399, (2) passed a general qualifying examination and (3) written and successfully defended a thesis.
This degree plan is specifically developed for students interested in a career in exploration in the petroleum industry. To qualify for the M.S. degree in applied geophysics, the student must have (1) successfully completed a minimum of 33 hours of graduate study as specified in the curriculum or acceptable to the departmental faculty, (2) passed a general qualifying examination and (3) completed and successfully defended a project related to some facet of applied geophysics.
To qualify for the Ph.D. degree in the geological sciences, the student must have (1) satisfied all curricular requirements as specified by the departmental faculty, including graduate core courses GEOL 5320, 6321, (2) successfully passed a general qualifying examination, (3) completed a minimum of three years of graduate academic work, at least two of which are in full-time residence on the SMU campus or at a research facility approved by the departmental faculty and the dean of graduate studies and (4) written and made a successful public defense of a dissertation. See the “Degree Requirements” section of this catalog for general requirements for the Ph.D. degree.
5110, 5210, 5310. Independent Study in Geoscience. Independent study of a selected topic in geoscience. Individual study under direction of a faculty member allowed for 5110 or 5210; group projects allowed for 5310. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
5199, 5299, 5399. Special Topics in Geological Sciences. Topics of special interest not covered by the curriculum, taught by visiting scientists and those with temporary appointments at SMU. Can be co-taught together with faculty of the department. Prerequisite: GEOL 3340 or permission of the instructor.
5320. Dynamic Earth I. Physical and chemical structure of the earth and its evolution through geologic time. Dynamic processes in the mantle and crust. Development of the theory of plate tectonics as a unifying mechanism for large-scale geologic processes. Implications of plate tectonics and contemporary applications to geological and geophysical problems. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
5366 (BIOL 5366). Vertebrate Origins and Evolution. An introduction to biological and geological processes that have affected the diversity of vertebrate organisms throughout the earth’s history, including origination, biogeography, adaptation and extinction. Strong emphasis on vertebrate anatomy. Prerequisite: GEOL 1308 or permission of the instructor. The accompanying laboratory is strongly recommended.
5166 (BIOL 5166). Vertebrate Anatomy and Origins Laboratory. A laboratory course to accompany GEOL 5366. Exercises include basic anatomy, dissections and examination of fossil skeletons. Corequisite: GEOL 5366.
5261. Mineral Chemistry. A study of the major rock-forming minerals with emphasis on solid solution, chemistry in relation to crystal structure, conditions of occurrence and stability relations.
5368. Paleoecology. Interactions between the living world and the earth’s changing environments through geologic time. Prerequisite: GEOL 3369 or permission of the instructor.
5369. Introduction to Palynology. An overview of palynology concepts and uses. Taphonomic processes and applications in paleoecology, paleoclimatology, archeology, plant taxonomy and plant evolution. One field trip.
5370. Global Change. An introduction to relatively short-term geologic changes in the earth’s environments. Tempo and mode in the three principal sources of such changes – extraterrestrial events, variations in the earth’s internal dynamo and the evolving ocean-atmosphere-biosphere system. Prerequisites: GEOL 3340 and permission of the instructor.
5371. Paleontology of Quaternary Vertebrates. The history of vertebrate life in North America during the last three million years, with special emphasis on mammals. Origins, distribution, distinctions, environmental interpretations and faunal analysis. Prerequisite: GEOL 3369 and consent of the instructor.
5372. Principles of Sedimentation. Study of the origin and evolution of sedimentary rocks in terms of interpretation of marine and non-marine sedimentary record.
5374. Petroleum Geology. Application of geologic principles to the location and recovery of hydrocarbon resources in the crust of the earth. Prerequisites: GEOL 3340 and CHEM 1304.
5380. Principles of Stratigraphy. Evolution and application of modern stratigraphic concepts and the development of stratigraphic nomenclature. Emphasis on the integration of physical, biological and chemical parameters in interpretation of the rock record. Prerequisites: GEOL 3340 and CHEM 1304 or permission of the instructor.
5481. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology. The origin, occurrence and classification of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Problems of genesis in light of chemical equilibria and features of geological occurrence. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: GEOL 3452 or permission of the instructor.
5382. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology. The origin, occurrence and classification of igneous and metamorhpic rocks. Problems of genesis in light of chemical equilibria and features of geological occurrence. Lecture, no lab. Prerequisite: GEOL 3452 or permission of the instructor.
5384. Hydrogeology. An introduction to the chemical and physical behavior of natural waters and the role of fluids in geologic processes. The application of thermodynamics, kinetics and fluid mechanics to understand such geologic processes as ore formation, sediment diagenesis, isograd formation, acid rain, global warming and groundwater contamination. Prerequisites: MATH 1338 and CHEM 1304 or permission of the instructor.
5386. Geochemistry. A survey of geochemical processes within the earth and at its surface, emphasizing mineral water interactions and application of the principles of chemical equilibrium to solution of geochemical problems. Prerequisite: GEOL 3452 or permission of the instructor.
5389. Theory of Digital Data Processing in Geophysics. Linear transform theory, convolution, correlation, linear systems, Shannon sampling theorem, discrete Fourier transform, Fast Fourier transform, Z transform, inverse filtering, recursive filtering, optimum filtering, deconvolution and power spectrum analysis. Prerequisite: Math 2343 and permission of the instructor.
5391. Potential Field Methods in Geophysical Exploration. Introduction to potential theory in geophysics. Emphasis on gravity and magnetic techniques with a brief introduction to heat flow and electrical methods. Basic concepts and their application to hard and soft rock exploration.
5392. Introduction to Seismology. Basic principles of seismology. Prerequisites: Math 2343 andpermission of the instructor.
5394. Geophysical Problem Solving. Approaches to problem solving in geophysics. “Back-of-the-envelope” approximations and dimensional analysis. Analytical solutions and numerical techniques on the computer. Inverse theory and error propagation. Using models in the real world. Term project. Prerequisites: MATH 2343, 5353 and knowledge of a programming language.
5398. Geomorphology. Analysis of endogenic and exogenic processes that influence the origin or development of planet surfaces, with an emphasis on the earth’s large-scale processes and phenomena. Prerequisite: GEOL 3452 or permission of the instructor.
6107. Departmental Seminars. Students attend and critically evaluate departmental lectures given by visiting scientists, visiting engineers, faculty and fellow students. Required of all graduate students who have not yet passed their degree qualifying exam.
6110, 6210, 6310. Independent Study in Geoscience. Independent study of a selected topic in geoscience. Individual study under direction of a faculty member allowed for 6110 or 6210; group projects allowed for 6310. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
6209, 6309. Special Topics in Geological Sciences.
6301. Sedimentology: Carbonate Environments. Carbonate depositional models from modern arid and humid areas as keys to the interpretation of ancient carbonate rocks. Analysis of fauna, texture, classification, sedimentary structures and primary geochemistry.
6302. Sedimentology: Clastic Environments. Description and classification of terrigenous clastic sediments and sedimentary structures. Principal emphasis on analysis of modern and ancient siliciclastic depositional systems.
6303. Sedimentology: Carbonate Diagenesis. Postdepositional alteration of carbonate strata with particular emphasis on the prediction of porosity. Field, petrographic and geochemical lines of evidence.
6304. Sedimentology: Clastic Diagenesis. Postdepositional alteration of sandstones and shales with emphasis on process-oriented controls on mineral reaction and porosity/permeability modification. Petrographic, petrophysical, stratigraphic and geochemical evidence.
6305. Sedimentary Geochemistry. Processes controlling the composition of natural waters and minerals in sedimentary realms with emphasis on subsurface environments. Interpretation of analytical data and theoretical treatments are used to understand geochemical cycling from weathering to precipitation of new minerals.
6306. Reservoir Facies Architecture. Description of clastic and carbonate reservoirs using sedimentological, petrological, petrophysical and petroleum engineering data to formulate realistic models for primary and enhanced recovery in various depositional systems that contain oil and gas reserves.
6308. Biostratigraphy and Biochronology of Mammals. The succession of mammalian faunas through time with emphasis on stratigraphic, chronological and zoogeographic principles and their application to geology.
6316. Advanced Structural Geology. Structural description, strain and displacement in orogenic belts. The theory, methodology, applications and limitations of modern structural analysis techniques. Incorporates these tools into understanding the evolution of major orogenic belts.
6317. Tectonic Analysis. A practical approach to the study of tectonics of Archean basement terrains, mountain belts and contemporary zones of plate convergence using primary geological and geophysical data.
6321. The Dynamic Earth II. Description of modern methods of measuring geologic time and the establishment of isotopic, biostratigraphic, paleomagnetic and geochemical stratigraphies. Examination of sedimentary, biological and geochemical cycles (sea level fluctuations, climatic variations, evolutionary patterns, atmospheric-oceanic compositions, continental positions, etc.) and their influence on the earth’s sedimentary record. A selected list of prerequisite readings is available from the departmental office.
6333. Advanced Igneous Petrology I. Theoretical and experimental aspects of igneous petrology. Thermodynamics and properties of silicate melts, crystallization and nucleation, trace element behavior and high- and low-pressure phase relations.
6334. Advanced Metamorphic Petrology. Study of metamorphic rocks as mineral assemblages. Mineral equilibria observed by comparison of field and experimental data. Prerequisite: GEOL 5481 or equivalent.
6335. Advanced Igneous Petrology II. Geochemistry and classification of igneous rocks, relationships between magnetism and tectonism, volcanology, emplacement of plutonic rocks and processes of magmatic differentiation.
6338. Thermodynamics of Geological Processes. Introduction to theoretical aspects of thermodynamics as they are applied in the earth sciences to igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary processes. Emphasis is on fundamental relationships in thermodynamics and mineral equilibria in aqueous solutions, solid rocks, silicate melts and isotopic systems.
6341. Basin Analysis. Description of modes of origin of sedimentary basins, their thermal and subsidence history and their patterns of sediment infill. Broad examination of modern concepts of thermal modeling, stratigraphy, sedimentology and hydrocarbon generation. Offered only upon request.
6363. Environmental Geology Seminar. Timely geoscience-based environmental problems and scientific, environmental, political, economic, legal and social aspects of potential “solutions.” Selected readings, seminars, guest speakers and research projects.
6369. Advanced Geochemistry. Low temperature aqueous geochemistry with emphasis on carbonate equilibria. The chemistry of natural waters. Application to sedimentary diagenesis and formation of ore deposits.
6370. Aquatic and Mineral-Water Interface Geochemistry. Chemical equilibria and kinetics in natural water and at the mineral-water interface to help understand the distributions of aqueous species at and near the earth’s surface and man’s influence on them. Prerequisite: GEOL 5338 or 5386 or permission of the instructor.
6371. Isotope Geochemistry and Geochronology. Geochemistry of radiogenic and stable isotopes; evolution of Pb, Sr and Nd isotope systems; application to problems in magma genesis, geothermal studies, tectonophysics and geochronology; and application of isotopes as natural tracers.
6375. Theory of Heat Flow and Diffusion. Heat transfer theory applied to the study of the thermal field of the earth and terrestrial planets. Convection and conduction in geologic systems. Geochemistry of the heat-producing elements uranium, thorium and potassium and their interrelationship with terrestrial heat flow.
6376. Application of Geophysical Techniques of Geothermal Exploration. A detailed study of geophysical techniques with applications to geothermal exploration. Prerequisite: GEOL 6375 or permission of the instructor.
6380. Geophysical Inverse Theory. Theoretical development and application of inversion theory to problems in geophysics. Prerequisites: MATH 5353 and permission of the instructor.
6381. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology. The origin, occurrence and classification of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Problems of genesis are considered in the light of chemical equilibria and features of geological occurrence. Lecture only.
6385. Electrical Methods in Geophysics. A study of electrical methods used in modern geophysical exploration. Prerequisites: PHYS 1304 and permission of the instructor.
6391. Theoretical Geophysics. Introduction to potential theory. The figures, gravitational and magnetic fields of the planets. Interpretation of field gravity, magnetic and electrical data. Prerequisite: MATH 5334.
6392. Interior of the Earth. Formation and thermal evolution of the earth, generation of the magnetic field, physical and chemical state of mantle and core, convection in the mantle and geochemical reservoirs, evolution of the crust, relationship of interior processes to lithospheric tectonics and comparison to the other terrestrial planets. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
6393. Geophysical Continuum Mechanics. Stress, strain and strain-rate tensors. Rheology of geological materials. Formulation and solutions of the equations describing the elastic, plastic, viscous and thermal behavior of the earth. Application to lithospheric flexure, plate tectonics, postglacial rebound, sedimentary basin evolution, convection in the mantle, interaction with the lithosphere and comparative planetary tectonics. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor and MATH 5334 or equivalent.
6394. Mathematical Methods of Geophysics and Theoretical Seismology I. Continuum mechanics including viscoelastic materials, reciprocity, representation theorem, moment tensors, kinematic and dynamic source models, Green’s functions and matrix methods, including Haskell-Thompson. Prerequisite: GEOL 6394 or permission of the instructor.
6395. Mathematical Methods of Geophysics and Theoretical Seismology II. Synthetic seismograms for layered materials, transform methods in the solution of the wave equation, Cagnaird do Hoop and the generalized ray solution, first motion approximation, WKBJ approximation, reflectivity and full way theory. Prerequisite: GEOL 6394 or permission of the instructor.
6396. Applied Seismology – Theory and Practice. Theoretical tools necessary for processing and interpreting of seismic reflection surveys. Exploration sources and receivers will be developed. Processing techniques including sampling theory, demultiplexing, normal move-out corrections, stacking, deconvolution and migration. Practical applications of techniques to observational data. Prerequisites: GEOL 5389, 5392.
6398, 6399. Thesis.
7000, 7100, 7300. Research.
7152, 7252, 7352. Seminar in Sedimentology.
7153, 7253, 7353. Seminar in Petrology.
7155, 7255, 7355, 7360. Seminar in Geophysics.
7158, 7258, 7358. Seminar in Sedimentology.
7201, 7301. Research in Sedimentology.
7202, 7302. Research in Sedimentology.
7203, 7303. Research in Stratigraphy.
7204, 7304. Research in Stratigraphy.
7205, 7305. Research in Paleontology.
7206, 7306. Research in Paleontology.
7209, 7309. Research in Mineralogy and Petrology.
7210, 7310. Research in Mineralogy and Petrology.
7213, 7313. Research in Geophysics.
7214, 7314. Research in Geophysics.
7215, 7315. Research in Geochemistry.
7216, 7316. Research in Geochemistry.
7250, 7350. Seminar in Paleontology.
7251, 7351. Seminar in Stratigraphy.
7254, 7354. Seminar in Geochemistry.
7257, 7357, 7359. Seminar in Structural Geology.
7317. Research in Geomorphology.
7370. Seminar in Paleontology.
7380. Research Project in Applied Geophysics. Graduate level research in applied geophysics, including interaction with ongoing programs in the industrial community.
8398, 8698, 8998. Dissertation.
8399, 8699, 8999. Dissertation.