School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering

Some of the courses listed below are offered each year, some are offered either in alternating years, or on demand, and depend partly on student enrolment. Please check the Departmental website for further information. The cost of field trips, including transportation, accommodation and food (when it is supplied), will be borne by the student. Subsidies will be provided by the Department when funding permits. A list of the estimated field trip fees for each course is provided on the departmental web page. These fees are subject to change, and will be finalized by June 1 each year. Field trip fees will be payable by the due dates listed in the table.

APSC- 896* Engineering Leadership and Innovation
This course is designed to develop a range of skills essential for engineering professional practice in both the public and private sectors. The course will focus on; Engineering Leadership and Innovation including its application in project management. The course content will be presented through lectures, case studies, panel discussions and an interactive serious game.

GEOL-800*     Foundations of Geosciences     
The course will consist of three, seminar-based sections, each worth 1/3 of 1.5 credit units:  (1) Principles of scientific methodology in the Geosciences: will provide an overview of the scientific method and tools for effective scientific communication. Professional practice and ethical aspects will also be discussed. (2) Mathematical methods for Geosciences: will provide a foundation in numerical methods and mathematical analysis. Topics include spatial statistics, probability, linear regression, and an introduction to numerical modeling techniques. (3) Experimental/Analytical Techniques in Geosciences: will provide an overview of analytical techniques and equipment available to geoscientists. Intended as an introduction to more advanced “methods” modules, this last section will provide a fundamental knowledge of the theory and operation of instruments and techniques available to members of our department. Staff.

GEOL-802*     Graduate Field School      
Graduate field school held in several regions of the world consisting of field trips to selected areas of geological interest, emphasizing relationships between local and regional geological environments and their natural resources and hazards, in the context of the tectonic evolution of the area visited. Students are expected to research background on areas to be visited and must produce one or more substantial reports and present one or more seminars. Extra fees may apply to cover the cost of travel. Field excursions in the fall, winter and/or beginning of summer term. Field trip costs will be finalized by September, when the detailed trip plan is presented to interested students. In previous years, the maximum cost of the trip has been $3000 / student. Funding from thesis supervisors may be available to help offset these costs. Staff.

GEOL-803     Basin Analysis and Economics Deposits     
A review of the tectonic origin and filling of various types of sedimentary basins, followed by an examination of the diagenesis of siliciclastic, carbonate and organic sediments, and the implications for the occurrence of hydrocarbons and mineral deposits. (1.5 credit units). PREREQUISITE: GEOL 238* or equivalent; GEOL 365* or equivalent

GEOL-804     Focused Topics in Geological Engineering     
This course consists of a short and focused exploration of a pre-approved topic in engineering geology removed from the thesis research. The course may be hosted at Queen’s or offsite under the co-supervision of the designated departmental instructor. Course delivery may vary from special lecture series to supervised field/lab course.Deliverables would include a self-directed report and presentation. Field trip fee may apply. (1.5 credit units). PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor.

GEOL-805     Focused Topics in Applied Geology     
This course consists of a short and focused exploration of a pre-approved topic in applied geology removed from the thesis research.The course may be hosted at Queen’s or offsite under the co-supervision of the designated departmental instructor. Course delivery may vary from special lecture series to supervised field/lab course.Deliverables would include a self-directed report and presentation. Field trip fee may apply. (1.5 credit units) PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor.

GEOL-806     Applications of Scanning Electron Microscopy and Microprobe Analysis     
The theory and practical aspects of the techniques of Scanning Electron Microscopy and the Electron microprobe. A project is required where the student employs these techniques to study a material of their choice. (1.5 credit units) PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor.
EXCLUSION: GEOL 452  

GEOL-807     Applications of X-ray Powder Diffraction and Mineral Spectroscopy     
The theory and practical aspects of the techniques of X-ray powder diffraction and mineral spectroscopy. Techniques include Vis-infra-red spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and Mossbauer spectroscopy. A project is required where the student employs these techniques to study a material of their choice. (1.5 credit units) PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor.
EXCLUSION: GEOL 452

GEOL-808     Visualization in the Geosciences     
An introduction to 3d visualization of natural sciences data with a focus on methods relevant to geological engineering, mineral exploration, and geoscience research. Perception, representation, and analytical methods. Design tools and data integration methods. Temporal analysis of natural sciences data. LiDAR data analysis. Global and local models. Virtual worlds. (1.5 credit units) PREREQUISITE: GEOL/GEOE 463 or GEOL 855 or Permission of the instructor

GEOL-809     Mine Waste Geochemistry     
This course will expose students to the concepts and the current practice of mine waste management including acid mine drainage, neutral-pH metal leaching, secondary mineral precipitates, prediction and permitting, site remediation, etc. Those who complete this course will have a comprehensive understanding of the nature of mining environmental impact, the scientific principles behind the interaction between mine waste and the surface environment, and the tools (including speciation software) that professionals use to predict, control, remediate and regulate metal mining activities. (1.5 credit units) PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor.
EXCLUSION: GEOL-835

GEOL-810     Microtectonics and orogenic systems     
Mechanisms of brittle and ductile deformation, strain, rheology, and deformation mechanisms applied to geological structures and rock fabrics, with an emphasis on microstructural development of fabrics, flow paths and vorticity analysis. Applications to problems in continental tectonics studies.(1.5 credit units) PREREQUISITE : Permission of the instructor.
EXCLUSION: GEOL 481,  GEOL-816.

GEOL-811     Introduction to GIScience     
An overview of the major themes, approaches, and methods of geographic information science and related GIS software tools. Spatial analysis, fundamentals of cartography, and fundamentals of data management. Students will gain exposure at a level appropriate for effectively managing and using spatial data for graduate level projects.(1.5 credit units) PREREQUISITE : Permission of the instructor.
EXCLUSION: GEOL 463, GPHY 243

GEOL-812     Resources and Sustainability     
This course addresses the major challenges of mineral exploration and mining industries in providing well-being for people and ecosystems; includes discussions of the global distribution of, and demand for, water, energy and mineral resources, and the major geological, technological,economic, environmental, social and governance issues. It involves 20 h of lectures and discussion of papers and it culminates with the presentation of comprehensive seminar and report by the participants. (1.5 credit units)

GEOL-813*     Rock Engineering- Concepts and Case Histories     
Overview of development of rock engineering; discussion of acceptability criteria for engineering design; site characterization techniques and objectives; rockmass classification methodology and property determination; analysis of structural instability; assessment of stress; design of underground structures in weak rock; rock support design; risk management for rock engineering. Three hour lecture, two hours tutorial. Fall. Instructor: D. Jean Hutchinson.  PREREQUISITE:  Rock Mechanics course or permission of the instructor.

GEOL-815*     Topics in Tectonics      
A seminar-based course focussing on advanced concepts in structural geology and Tectonics. Topics may include flow concepts applied to ductile deformation, description and interpretation of microstructural fabrics, subduction processes, fluid and faulting, modelling approaches to Tectonic problems, and exhumation processes of metamorphic rocks. Far field effects such as lithosphere rheology, climate, and erosion will also be discussed. Three hour lectures; Winter. L. Godin.
PREREQUISITE:  Permission of the instructor.

GEOL-816*     Structural Analysis     
Mechanisms of brittle and ductile deformation applied to geological structures and rock fabrics. Emphasis is on structures in fold and thrust belts, fracture and vein analysis, and studies of superposed deformation. (Offered jointly with GEOL-481*, but extra assignments are given.) Two hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial; 2 hours lab; Winter. L. Godin.

GEOL-817     Presenting Science     
This course covers key theoretical principles and practical applications for presenting science. Students will learn about different types of presentations and means for presenting scientific data based on their target audience. It should be emphasized that the “science” component of this course is also critically important and therefore students are expected to select their presentation topics according to their scientific discipline. (1.5 credit units) PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor.

†GEOL-822*     Metallogeny in Mineral Exploration     
The major geological environments considered from a plate tectonic perspective, and their associated ore deposits: approaches to the definition of the characteristics of ore deposit types, with particular emphasis on the role of theories of ore genesis in defining geological criteria for area selection in mineral exploration. (May be offered jointly with GEOL-422*, depending on enrolment.) Three hours lecture, three hours seminar, seminar/laboratory; Fall. G.R. Olivo, Coordinator.

GEOL-835*     The Environmental Impact of Mining     
This course will expose students to the concepts and the current practice of mine waste management including acid mine drainage, neutral-pH metal leaching, secondary mineral precipitates, prediction and permitting, site remediation, etc. Students who complete this course will have a comprehensive understanding of the nature of the environmental impact of mining on ecological and human health, the scientific principles behind the interaction between mine waste and the surface environment, and the tools that professionals use to predict, control, remediate and regulate metal mining activities. Offered as full course or module. The course includes a three-day workshop, six 2-hour laboratory sessions and a three-day field trip. Winter. H. Jamieson. Field trip fees are approximately $100.

GEOL-838     Basin Analysis and Economic Deposits     
A review of the tectonic origin and filling of various types of sedimentary basins, followed by an examination of the diagenesis of siliciclastic, carbonate and organic sediments, and the implications for the occurrence of hydrocarbons and mineral deposits. (1.5 credit units) PREREQUISITE: GEOL 238* or equivalent; GEOL 365* or equivalent

GEOL-839*     The Geochemistry of Fluids Associated With Economic Ore Deposits     
Basic principles of litho- and aqueous-geochemistry. New principles involving stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry will follow. The hydrologic cycle will be examined from a geochemical perspective, leading to discussion of hydrothermal fluids and ore deposits associated with hydrothermal alteration. Phase equilibrium, mineral stability, oxidation-reduction reactions, isotope geochemistry, and other characteristics of hydrothermal fluids. The origin and chemical compositions of magmatic and metamorphic fluids. (Portions of the course are given jointly with GEOL-465*.) Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory. Winter. T.K. Kyser.

GEOL-840*     Problems in Geology     
An investigation of selected geological problems. Staff.  Offered on demand.

GEOL-841*     Special Topics in Geology & Geological Engineering I     
A course unit composed of two modules on topics in the geological sciences and geological engineering. Each module will consist of a workshop, short course or extended field trip, as approved by the Department. The unit will be completed within two years. Specific modules offered during each academic year will be announced on the department's web site in September or, in exceptional circumstances, as opportunities arise. Modules taken for GEOL-851* are not eligible. Staff.

GEOL-843*     Problems in Geological Engineering     
An investigation of selected geological engineering problems. Staff. Offered on demand.

GEOL-847*     Topics in Paleontology     
An investigation of selected paleontological problems. Seminar weekly plus a project and a major essay. G.M. Narbonne. Offered on demand.

GEOL-849*     Economic Guidelines for Exploration Planning     
The course develops those evaluation skills which enable exploration geologists and engineers to translate their technical knowledge and expertise into economic planning criteria. Cost, risk, and return characteristics of mineral exploration; introduction to economic evaluation; cash flow and time value concepts; discounted cash flow methods; mining taxation considerations; sensitivity and risk analysis techniques; exploration economics and strategies; evaluation of exploration projects; exploration planning issues, financial statement analysis. Lectures in the fall term and in December during the intensive course on Economic Guidelines for Mineral Exploration.  Fall. M. Doggett.

GEOL-851*     Special Topics in Geology & Geological Engineering II     
A course unit composed of two modules on topics in the geological sciences and geological engineering. Each module will consist of a workshop, short course or extended field trip, as approved by the Department. The unit will be completed within two years. Specific modules offered during each academic year will be announced on the department's web site in September or, in exceptional circumstances, as opportunities arise. Modules taken for GEOL-841* are not eligible. Staff.

GEOL-853*     Methods of Geological Data Analysis     
A broad base of digital and analog methods will be used to examine the collection, correction, and analysis of geologic data. Field data collection using GPS and handheld computers will lead to a discussion of field data semantics, Geographic Information Systems technology, and the acquisition and distribution of data across the Internet. Manipulation of air photo and remotely sensed imagery will lead to a discussion of state of the art geologic sensing systems including Radar and Hyperspectral methods. The underlying theme of the labs and assignments will be the application of these techniques to resource and environmental assessment. (Offered jointly with GEOL-463*.) Two hours lecture, three hours laboratory; Fall. R.M. Harrap.

GEOL-862*     Resources and Sustainability     
This course addresses the role of mineral exploration and mining industries in providing wellbeing for people and ecosystems; includes discussions of the global distribution of, and demand for, water, energy and mineral resources, and the major geological, technological, economic, environmental, social and governance issues. It culminates with the design of solutions based on sustainable management. 3 hours, 1 hour tutorial: including lectures, panel discussions and seminars. Winter. G.R. Olivo.

GEOL-866*     Isotopes and the Environment     
A course for advanced students in the fields of biology, chemistry, geography or geology in the principles of stable isotope and radiogenic isotope systematics in natural processes. Emphasis will be placed on the use of isotopes in tracing elemental cycles, biological cycles and hydrologic cycles and how some isotopes can be used to place constraints on the timing of specific events within these cycles. (Offered jointly with GEOL-466*.)   Three hours lecture, two hours laboratory; Winter. T.K. Kyser.
PREREQUISITE: CHEM-112 (or equivalent), or permission of instructor.

GEOL-873*     Applied Numerical Analysis for Rock Engineering     
Course focuses on a comprehensive suite of numerical analysis techniques suited to geotechnical design of rock structures and analysis of rockmass stability in natural and engineered settings. Finite element, finite difference, discrete/distinct element and boundary element methods are all discussed with hands-on application workshops using state-of-the-art geomechanics software. Analytical models and pre- and post- processing techniques suited to typical rock engineering problems are developed through assignments. Strength criteria and non-linear inelastic constitutive models for continuum plasticity, brittle fracture and discontinuum deformation are explored in detail. Projects involving real case histories are undertaken to highlight the application of and engineering judgment associated with numerical analysis for problems involving rockmasses.  2 hours lecture, 2 hours lab; Winter. M.S. Diederichs.

GEOL-875*     Exploration and Environmental Geochemistry     
Principles of rock-water interaction and element migration in the near surface environment applied to environmental and exploration geochemistry. Students learn field and analytical techniques, evaluate and interpret geochemical data, and design solutions related to geochemical hazards to human health, environmental impacts of mining, and formulation of strategies for detecting mineral deposits. Field trip fee: $50 PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor
EXCLUSION: GEOL 475, GEOL- 865 and GEOL-885

GEOL-878*     Terrigenous Clastic Sedimentology     
Detailed examination of depositional processes and external controls on the facies organization and sequence stratigraphy of fluvial, coastal, shelf and deep-marine environments. Introduction to sedimentary basin types. Required extended field trip during term.  Three hours lecture, three hours lab; Fall. R.W. Dalrymple.
PREREQUISITE: GEOL-238* or permission of the instructor.

GEOL-879*     Satellite Geophysics and Applications     
Theory and application of observing geophysical fields from space-borne platforms. Orbital mechanics, signal propagation, uncertainty will be addressed. Current missions including radar and laser altimetry, gravimetry and magnetometry, and synthetic aperture radar. Applications in science and engineering (site investigation, geodynamics, ocean and ice, natural resources) through student projects.

GEOL-882*     Petrogenesis of Carbonate Rocks     
The alteration of carbonate sediments in different diagenetic environments leading to the formation of limestone and dolomite. Topics addressed will include biological and chemical modification, cementation, neomorphism, porosity evolution and karst. Emphasis to be on rock-water interactions as revealed through petrography as well as trace element and isotope geochemistry. Three hours; seminars, selected lectures and laboratories; Fall. N. James.
PREREQUISITE:  GEOL-368 or permission of instructor.

GEOL-883*     Carbonate Facies Dynamics     
Principles of carbonate facies models as derived from modern environments and ancient successions. Assessment of current trends in modelling and the temporal response of carbonate systems to intrinsic and extrinsic controls. Three hours, seminar; fall. N. James.
PREREQUISITE:  GEOL-368 or permission of instructor.

GEOL-884*     Satellite Positioning     
Principles and applications of space-based systems for geo-spatial data acquisition with particular focus on Global Navigation Satellite Systems and Geodetic Satellite Missions. Applications for small to mid-scale engineering problems and larger scale Earth monitoring systems. PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor.

GEOL-888*     Geological Evolution of North America     
An advanced course discussing the principles of earth evolution as exemplified by North America. The holistic approach illustrates the way in which geodynamics, geochemistry, sedimentation, paleo-biology and oceanography are used to unravel the history of the continent. (Offered jointly with GEOL-488*.) Three hours lecture; five day field trip; Fall. N. James, and  R. Harrap.
PREREQUISITE: A geology core program or permission of the instructor.

GEOL-889*     Exploration Seismology     
Theory of elastic waves and seismic processing methods. Application of seismic reflection and refraction methods to oil and gas exploration. Hands-on experience in seismic data processing using leading-edge software systems. PREREQUISITE: Permission of the instructor.

GEOL-898     Master's Project (Non-Research)     

GEOL-899     Master's Thesis Research     

GEOL-978*     Topics in Clastic Sedimentology     
An investigation of selected problems related to sediment transport and deposition, environmental dynamics, external controls on sedimentation, and sequence stratigraphy of clastic sediments. Seminar weekly.  R.W. Dalrymple. Offered on demand.

GEOL-999     Ph.D. Thesis Research