Geology 101 - General Geology I
(Physical Geology)

Fall 1999

Instructor:Dr. John Louie
Office:LME 217 (1 floor below quad level)
Office Hours:w, F 9:50-10:50, or by appointment.
Teaching Assistants:Mr. Chad Leonard and Ms. Paula Sime

Read your syllabus carefully. It is on-line at:

Course Goals:

This class will cover the basic concepts of physical geology, emphasizing surficial and deep earth processes, including rock formation, plate tectonics, weathering and erosion, formation of landscapes, and crustal deformation.

Attendance and participation:

Regular attendance is the best way to assure a good grade in this class. It is much easier to absorb the information in lecture than to try and learn it on your own from the text. As an incentive to come regularly, pop quizzes will be given every 5 or 6 lectures.

Quizzes and exams will not be made up unless prior arrangements are made. Do not wait until after the exam or quiz to make arrangements. At least call the instructor and leave a message prior to the quiz or exam.


2 lecture exams and final exam: 40% each (lowest will be dropped)
Quizzes and Homework: 10%
Effort/participation/attendance: 10%

Final exam will be comprehensive.

Required text:

Exploring Earth - An introduction to Physical Geology; Davidson, Reed, and Davis, 1997 - advised to bring to class; pictures are useful.

Field trips:

An overnight field trip/camping trip to Yosemite and vicinity will be held on Saturday Oct. 2 - Sunday Oct. 3. This trip is lead by the Geology Department and is open to all university students interested in geology (bring your roommate!). It is not mandatory, but highly recommended, and an extra credit exercise will be provided. More details to be announced closer to the trip.

An optional one-day trip to Sand Mountain will be available on Oct. 4.

Academic dishonesty:

For the purposes of this class, academic dishonesty is defined to include: cheating on exams, getting someone to hand in a quiz in your absence, plagiarism (know what this means), or turning in someone else's work as your own. Academic dishonesty shall result in a failing grade and expulsion from the course, with a report filed with the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Tips on how to do well in this or any class:

Course Outline

WeekSubject and Reading
1: 8/23Introduction, Earth as a dynamic planet, CH 1
2: 8/30Origin and age of earth, how rocks are dated, CH 2
3: 9/8Minerals, CH 3
4: 9/13Igneous processes, volcanism and plutonism, CH 4 p. 71-86
5: 9/20Volcanoes, CH 9 p. 233-237, Focus 9.3; Sedimentary rocks, CH 4 p. 86-95, and CH13 p. 324-331
6: 9/27Metamorphism, CH 4 p. 95-107, EXAM 1 (Wednesday)
7: 10/4Plate Tectonics and Earth's internal processes, CH 5, p. 121-135, CH 6
Convergent and transform margin tectonics, CH 9 p. 222-233, 242-251 and Focus 10.2, 10.4
8: 10/11Deformation of earth's crust, CH 7 p. 163-172
9: 10/18Geologic History diagrams, Seismicity, CH 5 p. 108-120
10: 10/25 On-Line Earthquake Lectures, CH 7 p. 172-188
11: 11/3 On-Line Earthquake Lectures
12: 11/8Structural Geology, Weathering and erosion, CH 12; Sedimentary systems, CH 13, p. 334-352
13: 11/15EXAM 2 (Wednesday; Study Guide), Geomorphology, CH 14
14: 11/22Coastal processes, Oceanic systems
15: 11/29Hydrogeology, CH 16 p. 431-437; Economic resources, CH 16, p. 411-430
16: 12/6Review (Study Guide)
Final Exam: Thursday, Dec. 9, 9:45 - 11:45 A.M.