EARTH MATERIALSProfessor Lars Stixrude
Content: This course is a required part of the Environmental Geology concentration program. It comprises an introduction to the inorganic materials of the earth including those of the solid earth, hydrosphere, and atmosphere, and their role in geological and environmental processes. The course includes an introduction to matter and review of elements and the structure of atoms, principles of crystal chemistry, mineral behavior, crystal symmetry, systematic description of the minerals, thermodynamics and the foundations of material behavior, silicate melts, an introduction to aqueous fluids, and other volatiles important in the terrestrial environment. Laboratory will explore field identification of minerals, basic concepts, and the properties and characteristics of earth materials. Students are evaluated on their performance in lab, on bi-weekly problem sets, and on a midterm and a final exam.
Earth materials are viewed as the mediators of geological processes and
the recorders of earth history. Emphasis is given to fundamental concepts
and unifying themes that encompass our understanding of materials of the
fluid and solid geospheres.