EASC Graduate Course Descriptions

EASC 600-0 Introduction to Graduate Studies

Introduction to Graduate Studies

EASC 600

A required course designed to acquaint new graduate students with the research strengths of the program, research facilities in the University, and its vicinity. Procedures and policies relating to preparation, conduct and presentation of thesis research will be discussed. Graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory.

EASC 601-3 Advanced Groundwater Geochemistry

Advanced Groundwater Geochemistry

EASC 601

Advanced topics in understanding water-rock interactions and the geochemistry of groundwater during processes such as weathering and recharge, acid mine drainage, diagenesis and hydrothermal ore deposit formation. The course focuses on the physical and chemical principles that govern the geochemistry of groundwater with emphasis on water sample collection and analysis, chemical thermodynamics, gas-water-rock interactions and geochemical modeling. Prerequisite: Undergraduate course in hydrogeology recommended (or permission of instructor).

EASC 602-3 Environmental Isotopes

Environmental Isotopes

EASC 602

This course reviews the principles of isotope geochemistry and examines case studies on the application of isotopes to hydrogeology and hydrogeochemistry. Problems in groundwater quality/resource evaluation including the origin of recharge, identifying and quantifying evaporation and water balance, ground water/surface water interactions and groundwater mixing will be addressed. Isotope methods in groundwater age dating will be discussed as well as the use of environmental isotopes in understanding water-rock interactions and groundwater flow paths. Prerequisite: Undergraduate courses in hydrogeology and ground water geochemistry recommended (or permission of instructor).

EASC 603-3 Field and LabTechniques in Hydrogeology

Field and Lab Techniques in Hydrogeology

EASC 603

Theoretical and applied aspects of physical hydrogeology and aqueous geochemistry are linked by providing students with hands-on experience using hydrogeological equipment (data loggers, pumps, chemical sampling equipment), implementing sampling and testing protocols, and using state-of-the-art laboratory analytical facilities. Weekly field and lab based exercises are required. Prerequisite: Undergraduate courses in physical and chemical hydrogeology (or equivalent) and consent of the department.

EASC 604-3 Deformation Mechanisms and Continental Tectonics

Deformation Mechanisms and Continental Tectonics

EASC 604

This course will focus on increasing the level of understanding of the mechanisms by which rocks deform and the effect of environmental variables (effective pressure, temperature, strain rale, chemical environment, etc.) on these deformation mechanisms. Lectures will cover flow concepts applied to ductile deformation, grain-scale to crustal-scale strain partitioning, and models of exhumation of metamorphic rocks. The link between far-field effects such as lithosphere rheology, climate and erosion, and orogenic style will also be discussed. There will also be a 2-day field trip associated with this class. Prerequisite: Undergraduate level courses in structural geology and global tectonics, equivalent to EASC 204 and 309 (or permission of the instructor).

EASC 605-3 Advanced Glaciology

Advanced Glaciology

EASC 605

An advanced introduction to theoretical glaciology within a continuum mechanical framework. The course focuses on fundamentals of glacier and ice-sheet flow and the key surface and subsurface processes that drive them, Course content includes a brief review of tensor analysis and continuum mechanics, glacier mass and energy balance, the material properties and rheology of ice, the basic equations of glacier deformation, ice-sheet and shelf flow, basal processes, glacier hydrology, and unstable modes of flow. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

EASC 606-3 Advanced Field Methods in Earth Sciences

Advanced Field Methods in Earth Sciences

EASC 606

Focuses mainly on the field description, measurement and interpretation of geological, geochemical and geophysical features, and may concentrate on certain aspects of bedrock or surficial geology. Includes methods of data acquisition, display and modeling. Field exercises may be augmented by directed readings and laboratory studies. Course costs depend on the location and duration of field work and the nature of related investigations. Prerequisite: Permission of the Instructor.

EASC 607-3 Exploration Seismology

Exploration Seismology

EASC 607

Application of seismic methods of the delineation of hydrocarbon deposits and crustal structure. Travel time expressions for a layered Earth; Zoeppritz' equations; 2-D and 3-D seismic surveying methods; reflection data processing, including deconvolution and migration; amplitude versus offset methods and direct hydrocarbon detection; seismic wave propagation in Earth's crust; refraction inversion; principles of seismic interpretation. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

EASC 608-3 Advanced Metamorphic Petrology

Advanced Metamorphic Petrology

EASC 608

Field relations, nature and origin of metamorphic and metsomatic rocks, graphical treatment and interpretation of mineral assemblages and heat-flow regimes in the framework of global tectonics, with special emphasis on derivation of pressure-temperature-fluid conditions ranging from low-grade rocks through granulites to partial melts. Laboratory: petrographic techniques applied to the study of rock suites. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

EASC 609-3 Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar Remote Sensing Applicationsy

Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar Remote Sensing Applications

EASC 609

Principles of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar Remote Sensing and its Applications. An overview of the basic theory is presented to understand the capabilities and limitations of complex SAR data and their key land and marine applications. Learning outcomes for the course include proficiency with applications of interferometric SAR (InSAR) to Geosciences, including generation of topographic maps as well as advanced time series analysis for measuring ground surface motion associated with seismic displacement, compaction related subsidence volcanic inflate and landslides. Prerequisite: Recommended: undergraduate courses in advanced mathematics, remote sensing, geophysics, natural hazards (or permission of instructor).

EASC 610-3 Petroleum Geology

Petroleum Geology

EASC 610

An introduction to the practical application of geological and geophysical concepts in the petroleum industry. The course will focus on the use of facies models, porosity and permeability, geophysical logs, drillstem tests, drilling, and production strategies in petroleum exploration and exploitation. Particular emphasis is placed on the geologist's role in the industry, both in discovering new hydrocarbons, and in improving recovery (through waterflooding and carbon-dioxide flooding) from existing hydrocarbon reservoirs. Prerequisite: Knowledge and/or experience in sedimentary geology, stratigraphy, and facies models.

EASC 611-3 Sedimentology


EASC 611

An advanced treatment of topics which may include processes of sedimentation, facies model concepts, applications of ichnology, and depositional environments with an emphasis on siliciclastic successions. Course content will be tailored to student interest, but generally will include both non-marine and marine processes of sedimentation and resultant depositional systems. The development of effective field criteria for the interpretation of the sedimentary record will be emphasized.

EASC 612-3 Stratigraphy


EASC 612

Stratigraphic concepts of lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, chronostratigraphy and genetic stratigraphy. The course concentrates on genetic stratigraphy, with emphasis on allostratigraphy, genetic stratigraphic sequences and sequence stratigraphy. Students will critically assess each paradigm and its applicability to both the subdivision and the interpretation of the sedimentary record. Relative sea level changes and their effects on deposition will be discussed in relation to the preserved sedimentary record. Students will examine the utility of facies analysis in the various genetic stratigraphic frameworks and the viability of reconstructing the depositional history of sedimentary successions.

EASC 613-3 Groundwater Modeling

Groundwater Modelling

EASC 613

An introduction to groundwater modelling providing the relevant theory and practical experience to develop and test conceptual models, to recognize data requirements, and to identify the limitations of numerical models. State-of-the-art groundwater modelling software will be used. An emphasis is placed on modelling flow in the saturated zone, but unsaturated zone hydrology, solute transport, and density dependent flow are also covered.

EASC 617-3 Quaternary Geology

Quaternary Geology

EASC 617

Environments of glacial and proglacial deposits. Quaternary stratigraphy and dating methods with emphasis on the Cordillera. The course includes several 1-day trips and at least one 3-day trip.

EASC 619-3 Environmental Geoscience

Environmental Geoscience

EASC 619

An examination of the concepts, methods and techniques used in advanced case studies of environmental geology, in fields including forestry, environmental geochemistry, earthquake and volcanic hazard, and urban planning.

EASC 620-3 Volcanology


EASC 620

Physical, chemical and tectonic aspects of volcanology examined with emphasis on processes of magma generation and evolution, styles of eruption, environments of deposition, and interpretation of volcanic facies. Includes two to three weekend field trips. Prerequisite: Undergraduate course in petrology and structural geology.

EASC 621-3 Tectonics and Magmatism Convergent Plate Margins

Tectonics and Magmatism Convergent Plate Margins

EASC 621

Geological processes at convergent plate margins are considered in the context of plate tectonic principles. Topics to be addressed include: driving forces of tectonic plates, mantle convection, geometry of subducted slabs, ridge-trench intersections, generation of volcanic arcs, causes of anomalous magmatism, accretion of terranes, and transpression of orogenic float. Prerequisite: Undergraduate structural geology and petrology courses.

EASC 622-3 Principles of Ichnology

Principles of Ichnology

EASC 622

The conceptual framework of ichnology with particular emphasis on the ethological (behavioral) classification of biogenic structures, as well as its applications to the ichnofacies concept and paleoenvironmental interpretation of the sedimentary record. Environmental stresses and organism responses will be integrated with conventional sedimentology to highlight the complex inter-relationships between infauna and the environments they inhabit. The genetic stratigraphic applications of ichnology will also be addressed. Prerequisite: Advanced undergraduate sedimentology course.

EASC 623-3 Groundwater Resource Evaluation

Groundwater Resource Evaluation

EASC 623

In addition to examining groundwater resources (exploration, evaluation and management), this course expands upon the theory and use of aquifer tests and their respective methods of analysis for evaluating groundwater resources. Advanced methodologies for partially penetrating wells, leaky aquifers, anisotropic aquifers, double porosity type and fractured aquifers will be included. Computer applications will be emphasized. Prerequisite: Undergraduate course in groundwater.

EASC 624-3 Geology of the Canadian Cordillera

Geology of the Canadian Cordillera

EASC 624

The stratigraphy, structure and historical geology of the Canadian Cordillera, examined from a plate tectonic perspective. Models of development of the various terranes and related entities, and their amalgamation to form the present Cordillera, will be examined in detail. There will also be a 4-day field trip associated with this class. Prerequisite: An undergraduate background that includes courses at any level in structural geology, plate tectonics, geochemistry, geophysics, petrology (sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous), plus permission from the instructor.

EASC 625-3 Issues in Canadian Geology and Tectonics

Issues in Canadian Cordillera Geology and Tectonics

EASC 625

A reading and seminar course on topics related to the development and ongoing evolution of the Canadian Cordillera. Topics will be based on both graduate student areas of interest and on current 'hot topics' concerning this orogenic belt. One or more field trips might be conducted if there is sufficient interest and such trips would compliment the topics of discussion. Prerequisite: An undergraduate background that preferably includes courses at any level in structural geology, plate tectonics, geochemistry, geophysics, petrology (sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous). This background will be assessed by the instructor, whose specific permission must be obtained before enrollment.

EASC 626-3 Applied Geochronology

Applied Geochronology

EASC 626

A review of the principles of geochronology and their application to geological problems will be offered. The course will cover a range of geochronological systems that can provide geological age constraints for a broad spectrum of geological investigations. An overview will be provided covering the techniques (conventional and state-of-the-art) currently available for undertaking geochronological analyses. Case studies that have applied the geochronological systems and analytical techniques will be covered. Prerequisite: Recommended: undergraduate courses in geochemistry and introductory chemistry (or permission of instructor).

EASC 628-3 Advanced Mineral Deposits

Advanced Mineral Deposits

EASC 628

A graduate-level overview of the role tectonics and fluid-rock interaction play in the genesis and spatial distribution of ore deposits. Basic skills used to aid the understanding of, and exploration for, ore deposits will be reviewed, including aspects of geophysics, geochemistry, petrography, and field methods. The focus of the course will be tailored to the technical background of the students, and the concepts and skills most relevant to their research interests and needs. Students with credit for EASC 401 may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: Undergraduate geology degree or permission of the instructor.

EASC 630-3 Groundwater Contamination and Transport

Groundwater Contamination and Transport

EASC 630

An introduction to contaminant hydrogeology and mass transport processes in groundwater regimes. Topics include: natural groundwater quality: sources of contamination, for example, from mine waste, agriculture, saltwater intrusion, and industrial activities; and the processes and principles governing mass transport, including advection, dispersion and diffusion. The course also explores methodologies for site investigation as well as various remediation methods. Students with credit for EASC 410 may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Undergraduate physical hydrogeology and aqueous geochemistry courses required.

EASC 635-3 Water, Environment and Climate Change

Water, Environment and Climate Change

EASC 635

Applies and integrates concepts from hydrological science to assess the various impacts to water cycles over a range of scales, considering both climate and other environmental stressors. Secondary impacts of climate change on water resources (including water for humans and aquatic ecosystems) are explored, focusing on current issues to generate ideas for potential mitigative and adaptive solutions. Students with credit for EASC 405 may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Undergraduate physical hydrogeology and aqueous geochemistry courses required.

EASC 810-0 MSc Thesis Proposal

MSc Thesis Proposal

EASC 810

Candidates must make an oral presentation of the written research proposal to an open audience including the supervisory committee, followed by a closed discussion between the student and committee. This allows the committee to assess the suitability of the project and the ability of the student to undertake the proposed research. The proposal presentation usually takes place prior to the end of the second term of enrollment. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisite: Enrollment in MSc program.

EASC 901-1 PhD Research Seminar

PhD Research Seminar

EASC 901

Graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory. Prerequisite: Enrollment in PhD program.

EASC 910-0 PhD Candidacy Examination

PhD Candidacy Examination

EASC 910

Candidates must pass an oral examination to demonstrate their ability to carry out the proposed thesis research. The examination comprises an oral presentation of the proposed research to an open audience, followed by a closed oral examination by the examining committee. The examination is usually taken prior to the end of the fourth term of enrollment, or within one term after transferring from the MSc program. It may not be taken more than twice. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisite: Enrollment in PhD program.