Geology 3130

Spring 2006


Course Syllabus and Schedule


Instructor:  Dr. Mari Vice, office 240 Gardner Hall, phone 342-1055, e-mail

Office Hours: M 1100-1200, 200-400; T 200-300; W 1100-1200, 200-300; R 1000-1200; F 900-1000, 1100-1200.           

Other hours by appointment only.

Lecture:  Boebel 205 TTh 900-952.                      Lab: Boebel 205 T 300-452.

Textbooks: 1) Geology for Engineers Environmental Scientists, 2nd ed, by Alan E. Kehew (1995).

2) Engineering Geology, 2nd ed., by Perry Rahn (1996).

Course Objectives: The primary purpose of this course is to give advanced students in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Reclamation an understanding of earth materials and their properties, and the natural processes that act on those materials and affect manmade structures.  This knowledge will be applied to various examples from Civil Engineering and Reclamation.  A secondary course goal is based upon the assumption that most of you in this class will deal professionally with geologists in your careers.  Thus an understanding of the terms and methods used by geologists will better enable you to better communicate with geoscientists and to properly interpret problems encountered in your fields. 


Grading:  About 620 points is possible in this course, and the letter grade you receive at the end will depend upon the number of points you earn.


Quizzes: Six 11-point quizzes over lectures and text are scheduled; Quiz 6 will be extra credit.  These quizzes will be ten minutes in length and will start promptly at 9:00 a.m.  They are designed to familiarize you with the type of questions that may be asked on the hour exams.


Assignments: One case study is planned and it will be worth 50 points.  Technical content and grammar/spelling will be graded. This semester, the short assignments will be reviews of two articles.  By the end of the semester, the total points* for these may differ from the points below. 


All quizzes, exams and assignments must be completed or you will receive a grade of “F”.

Points can be earned as follows:

3 lecture exams @ 100 points                     300 points

            5 lecture quizzes @ 10 points                       50 points

Case Study    due April 20                             50 points     

Short Assignments*                                        50 points

Rock & Mineral Identification Test               70 points

            Mineral Quiz                                                     30 points

            Lab Final (Maps, Field Trip)                                                                    70 points           


Grades will be assigned via a broken curve.  Fall Semester (2005) the following scale was used: A=89.7% to 99.7% (13); B=79.5% to 88.5%(13); C= 72.0-76.8%(4); D 59.5-65.8(3); F (0). 


Labs:  As a lab science course, lab attendance is mandatory.  No cuts are allowed on lab days and any missed lab must be made up or completed.  You are expected to remain in lab or until the assigned material is completed.  Lab is worth about 1/3 of your final grade.

      The field trip will be April 11 during lab time.


Exams: Approximate exam dates are shown on the schedule.  If a change in date is necessary, it will be announced in class at least one week prior to the exam date.  Exams, other than “make-ups” will consist of a variety of objective type questions – multiple choice, true/false, fill-ins or blanks, and will probably include a few short answer, identification and brief essay questions.

        Exam 1 will cover introductory material, minerals and igneous rocks.  Exam 2 will cover sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, mechanics and structure & tectonics.  Exam 3 (Final) will cover earthquakes, mass movements, water resources, and anything else covered since the previous exam.

        The Final Exam is scheduled for Tuesday, May 16 at 10:00 a.m.  This is the only time the final will be offered.   It will be a typical hour exam.  It will not test material from previous exams but it may require you to remember general facts to use in answering questions, particularly the short essay-type questions.  Do not assume that you can take it at any other time when you make travel plans.  I do not waive the final for graduating seniors. You must take the final or you will receive an “F”. 

        Most semesters I have excused the top 1 to 3 students from the final; they have earned this privilege by having an average on both exams of 89 or higher, doing “A” work on assignments/tests/quizzes and having good attendance. I make this decision on the last day of class.



Week 1 Jan. 23 Classes start; Introduction; Lab- Rock-forming Minerals.

Week 2 Jan. 30 Basic Concepts, Mineralogy; Quiz 1, Mineral Classification, Clay Minerals; Lab - Economic Minerals

Week 3 Feb. 6 Clay Minerals, Rock Cycle; Igneous Rocks & Magmas; Lab - Mineral Quiz

Week 4 Feb. 13 Quiz 2, Igneous Processes; Volcanic Hazards; Lab - Igneous Rocks

Week 5 Feb. 20 Weathering & Erosion, Sedimentary Rocks; Exam I thru Igneous Rocks; Lab - Sedimentary & Metamorphic Rocks

Week 6 Feb. 27 Karst, Engineering in Sedimentary Rocks; Metamorphic Rocks; Lab – Review & Video

Week 7 March 6 Metamorphism, Mechanics; Quiz 3, TBA; Lab - Rock & Mineral Test


Week 8 March 20 Mechanics, Geophysics; Geophysics & Earth's Interior; Lab - Topographic Maps

Last day to drop or withdraw from classes is Friday, March 24.

Week 9 March 27 Quiz 4, Structure; Structure & Tectonics; Lab - Dickeyville Geological Quadrangle Map

Week 10 April 3 Tectonics, Earthquakes; Exam II thru Tectonics; Lab – Craig G.Q. Map

Week 11 April 10 Earthquakes; Earthquakes, Mass Movements; Lab - Hoadley Hill Field Trip

APRIL BREAK April 14-17

Week 12 April 17 Mass Movements; Water Cycle; Lab - Craig G.Q. Map

Week 13 April 24 Quiz 5, Water Cycle; Rivers; Lab – Review & Video  

Week 14 May 1 Fluvial Processes; Ground Water; Lab - Lab Final (Maps, Field Trip)   

Week 15 May 8  Extra Credit Quiz 6, Ground Water; TBA;  Lab - TBA

Week 16 May 15 FINALS WEEK Extra-Credit REVIEW Thursday Dec. 16 at noon

FINAL EXAM Dec. 21 at 10 a.m. in Boebel 205.

Spring 2006                        CASE STUDY


One relatively short case study will be required this semester.  It will be graded on: Technical Content (TC), Grammar and Spelling (G&S), References (R) and following Instructions (I).  In writing this paper, be sure to apply the geology that has been taught in this course.


As college students, particularly juniors and seniors, you have no excuses for writing run-on and incomplete sentences, other grammatical errors and misspellings.  Get help from the Writing Center!   You will not have the opportunity to rewrite the paper.


The topic is: Why is GEOLOGY important for a civil engineer or an environmental

scientist?  Select ONE case study and examine the role of geology in that example. This is not to be a general paper with the case study in a subsidiary role.

Length of paper: minimum of 900 words, not including tables, diagrams, citations and references.  Maximum length about 2200 words.


Total Points = 50: TC 30, G&S 10, References 5 and Instructions 5.


The due date is: April 20 (Thursday).  Penalty for late papers: 2 points per day for one week including weekends.  The paper will not be accepted after April 27.


REFERENCES: A minimum of five references is required and at least four of these must be from journals and books; only ONE web-based reference will count toward the minimum.  The main textbook (Kehew) and lab manual will NOT count toward the minimum.  These references should be cited in the text of the paper and listed as “REFERENCES CITED” (see next page) at the end of the paper. 


Geology books are located in “QE” section of the library stacks.  Dictionaries and general encyclopedias (regular or on-line) are not acceptable references for college science papers; these may be cited and referenced but will not count toward references.  Subject encyclopedias (such as the Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series) are acceptable references.  Even though the main textbook and lab manual for this course do not count as references for this paper, they may be cited and included in the “Reference List”. 


The acceptable formats for citations in the text are either: (Author’s surname, date, page) OR number your references in the alphabetized reference list and cite this number (reference number, p. 52-55).  Select one of these and use it throughout the paper.  Note that the citation is placed in parentheses and the period follows the last parenthesis.


For example:  Kaolinite is by far the most common kandite clay mineral in the rock record and occurs as a residual weathering product, in hydrothermal alteration zones and in sedimentary rocks (Murray, 1988, p. 192-193). 


Kaolinite is by far the most common kandite clay mineral in the rock record and occurs as a residual weathering product, in hydrothermal alteration zones and in sedimentary rocks (6, p. 192-193).


The acceptable formats for “References Cited” are listed below.  The references should be listed in alphabetical order using the author’s surname.  They may be numbered in sequence to make citations easier.  The reference list at the end of the paper is to be single spaced and the second, third, etc., lines indented so that the author’s name is emphasized and the remaining lines are indented.  Refer to the field trip and maps sections of the lab manual for examples of references, citations and references to illustrations.



The REQUIRED format for Books is as follows:

            Author’s surname, initials, date, title: publisher, page numbers.


For example:

Chamley, H., 1989, Clay sedimentology: Berlin, Springer-Verlag, p.10-25.


Kahle, C.F., 1987, Surface and subsurface paleokarst, Silurian Lockport, and Peebles Dolomites,

western Ohio, in N.P. James and P.W. Choquette (eds.), Paleokarst: Springer-Verlag, pp. 229-255. (for a chapter in a book).


The REQUIRED format for journals is as follows:

Last name of author, date, title: publication, volume, page numbers.


For example:

Storr, M. and Murray, H.H., 1986, Well-ordered kaolinite in siderite concretions from the Brazil

Formation, western Indiana: Clays and Clay Mineralogy, vol. 34, no. 6, p. 689-691.


The REQUIRED format for websites is as follows: complete address.


For example: Accessed Sept. 10, 2002.

The citation in the paper would be either (USGS landslides website) or (the number of the reference in the list of references), depending upon the format you use.  Do not put the entire website address in the citation.



GENERAL GUIDELINES for Papers in My Classes


            Scientific writing is a skill that must be developed through experience and constructive criticism.  All of you will probably be writing reports for your employers and need to be aware of what is acceptable for technical reports.   If you have questions regarding punctuation and style, ask the Writing Center and/or me for help. 


The paragraph is the basic unit of a report and is composed of a group of sentences related to the main topic of the paragraph.  A topic sentence is necessary and introduces the subject of the paragraph.  It usually is the first sentence.  The other sentences expand and clarify the main idea.  A single-sentence paragraph is not acceptable.


The sentence is the basic unit of a paragraph.  A sentence must have at least a subject and a verb, and generally a predicate.  Check your sentence structure to be sure you are not mistaking phrases and dependent clauses for complete sentences.


            Homophones are words that have the same pronunciation but different meanings.  High school students are expected to use these correctly; therefore, I expect you to use the correct words as well.  The following is a partial list of homonyms that are commonly used incorrectly in papers from this and other geology courses: access, excess; bare, bear; capital, capitol; cite, site, sight; coarse, course; dam, damn; device, devise; dew, do, due; feat, feet; fishers, fissures; foul, fowl; fury, furry; granite, granted; its, it’s; knew, new; led, lead; levee, levy; lie, lye; load, lode; miner, minor; morning, mourning; or, ore; passed, past; plain, plane; poor, pore, pour; prey, pray; right, rite, wright, write; road, rode; sea, see; seam, seem; soar, sore; steal, steel; there, their, there’re; to, too, two; vary, very; vice, vise; weather, whether; were, where; which, witch; you, yew, ewe.                The list is endless.


Listed below are requirements for papers to be submitted in my classes:


1.      All papers (including take-home exams) are to be typed using Arial, Helvetica or Times New Roman fonts or equivalents, size 10 or 11.  Do not use the fancy fonts, because these are unacceptable for formal technical reports.


2.      Double space the lines and use standard margins (no wider than 1.25 inches).


3.      Write formally which means in the 3rd person. Do not use “I/we”, “me/my” “you/your”, etc.


4.      Write concisely as if the paper is being prepared for a journal that will set a maximum number of words.  So do not use phrases such as “it is/was …” and “there is/are/was/were …” when not referring to the subject or topic of the preceding sentence.  These vague phrases waste space and can be eliminated by thinking about the topic and selecting the true subject of the sentence.  Examples: It is a beautiful day or There are a dozen ways of doing this. Rewritten: Today is a beautiful day or Several approaches can be used to accomplish the task at hand.


5.      Another pet peeve that should be avoided in papers submitted to me: using since rather than because. Since is an adverb denoting TIME.  For example: “They had not seen each other since 1990.”  Because [not since] the rain was heavy, the flashy stream flooded the pasture.”


6.      Use spell and grammar checkers provided in the software; then use technical books to check the spelling of scientific terminology.


7.      Include an alphabetized list of References Cited.  See formats pp. 113-114.  “Bibliography” implies a relatively complete list of sources about a topic.  


8.      Put ideas into your own words and then cite the reference for the information.  This is also a good check to see if you really understand the information.   The citation should include the author’s surname, date of publication and page number.


9.      Copying verbatim from a book without giving credit to the author(s) is academic misconduct known as plagiarism and can result in stiff academic penalties.


         It will result in a “zero” grade for the paper and you will not have the opportunity to rewrite the paper.


Web page: http://

         Read this web page so you are familiar with this topic and possible penalties.


Lecture Topics and Reading Assignments: Kehew; Rahn

I. Course Introduction

A. The importance of context – Earth History 1;14

B. The Rock Cycle

II. Minerals and Mineral Properties 2;

III. Igneous Rocks and Processes

IV. Sedimentary Rocks and Weathering 4,9;

A. Physical and Chemical Weathering 9; 3

B. Solution Weathering and related hazards

V. Metamorphic Rocks 5;

VI. Mechanics of Rock Materials 6; 4

VII. Tectonics and Structure 7;

VIII. Earthquakes 8; 11

IX. Soils and Soil Hazards 10; 5

X. Mass Movement and Slope Stability 12; 6

XI. Rivers 13; 8

XII. Groundwater 11; 7

XIII. Subsurface Contamination 16;

XIV. Glacial Processes and Permafrost 15; 6.2

XV. Oceans and Coasts 14; 10

Course Policies: