Master of Science in Earth Science

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  • Objectives
    The Centre offers programs leading to a M.Sc. degree with emphasis in environmental geoscience, isotope geochemistry, petrology, geomathematics/computing; mineral and petroleum resource geology, sedimentary systems and basin analysis, tectonics, geodynamics, seismic engineering and seismology and physical geography. Earth Sciences provides a broad spectrum of research opportunities. As a graduate student you may carry out field work in a remote wilderness area in Canada; work aboard a research vessel studying ocean sediments in climate change related research or sea-floor mineralization studies; study rocks from the Himalayas, Africa or Hawaii; become part of a sophisticated world-wide seismic data acquisition and seismic risk assessment program; or collaborate with industry scientists in a mining camp, the petroleum industry or an urban water resource program. During the course of your academic program and research, depending on your interests, you will have opportunities to master techniques and instruments in a highly specialized laboratories and/or work with state of the art computing facilities.
  • Academic Title
    Master of Science in Earth Science
  • Course description
     Program Requirements

        * 1.5 credit of course work, 0.5 credit of which may be at the senior undergraduate level
        * A research thesis (3.5 credits) defended at an oral examination
        * A public lecture, preceding the oral examination, which is based on the thesis research
        * Participation in the OCGC Seminar Series (0.0 credit). Participation comprises one lecture (open to all members of the OCGC) describing an aspect of the candidate’s research study and must be completed within 12 months of their registration in the M.Sc. program.

    ERTH 5001 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5301)
        Seminars in Earth Sciences I
        One-term modular courses covering a spectrum of Earth Science topics and current research problems, ranging from the geology and geophysics of the solid Earth, to its surface environment and crustal resources. A minimum of four modules offered per term, three must be completed to obtain course credit. Students may not take a module for credit that is offered by their supervisor, but may do so with the permission of the OCGC Director. Choice of modules must be approved by the OCGC Director. Course complements ERTH 5002.

    ERTH 5002 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5302)
        Seminars in Earth Sciences II

        One-term modular courses covering a spectrum of Earth Science topics and current research problems, ranging from the geology and geophysics of the solid Earth, to its surface environment and crustal resources. A minimum of four modules offered per term, three must be completed to obtain course credit. Students may not take a module for credit that is offered by their supervisor, but may do so with the permission of the OCGC Director. Choice of modules must be approved by the OCGC Director. Course complements ERTH 5001.

    ERTH 5202 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5122)
        Advanced Igneous Petrology
        Integrates physical and chemical processes with the dynamics of magmatic systems to understand igneous processes.

    ERTH 5204 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5123)
        Geology and Geochemistry of Ore Deposits
        Advanced aspects of geology, geochemistry, genesis, and exploration of ore deposits. Laboratory and field examination of different ore deposit types and their host rocks.

    ERTH 5305 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5135)
        Carbonate Sedimentology
        Aspects of modern depositional systems, dynamic facies models, sequence stratigraphy, mineralogy, and diagenesis of carbonate sediments. The practical part of the course will consist of a field-laboratory project that integrates various techniques in carbonate sedimentology (mapping, petrography, staining, cathodoluminescence, fluorescence, SEM).

    ERTH 5306 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5136)
        Paleobiology
        Extinctions, micro- and macro-evolutionary processes, long-term trends and cycles in the Phanerozoic; functional morphology; application of invertebrates to biostratigraphy, paleoceanography and paleolimnology.

    ERTH 5403 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5143)
        Environmental Isotopes and Groundwater Geochemistry
        Stable environmental isotopes (18O, 2H, 13C, 34S, 15N) in studies of groundwater origin and flow, and geothermal studies. Groundwater dating techniques involving tritium and radio-carbon, and exotic radioisotopes (e.g.,36Cl, 39Ar, 85Kr). Low temperature aqueous geochemistry and mineral solubility with emphasis on the carbonate system. Some application to paleoclimatology will be discussed.

    ERTH 5406 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5146)
        Techniques of Groundwater Resources Evaluation
        Governing groundwater flow equations, initial and boundary conditions; simple numerical solutions (spreadsheets); complex numerical solutions (commercial software); and analytical solutions. Applications: aquifer response test analysis, capture zone analysis, groundwater flow modeling, water budgeting, and aquifer vulnerability assessment.

    ERTH 5501 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5151)
        Precambrian Geology
        Geology and tectonic history of the Canadian Shield, emphasizing modern four-dimensional interpretations (2D mapping, depth, time); comparison and correlation with other Precambrian shields; global Precambrian tectonic evolution through review of continental reconstructions; Precambrian mineral deposits; field trips and research projects.

    ERTH 5507 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5157)
        Tectonic Processes Emphasizing ­Geochronology and Metamorphism
        Applications of empirical, analytical and quantitative techniques to problems in regional geology and crustal tectonics; orogenic processes; heat and metamorphism; isotopic geochronology as applied to thermal history.

    ERTH 5600 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5160)
        Chemistry of the Earth
        An examination of the composition of the mantle and crust in selected tectonic settings, such as subduction zones and hot spots. Topics may include how geochemical data constrain geodynamic settings of study areas.

    ERTH 5603 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5163)
        Stable Isotope Geochemistry
        Mechanisms of isotope fractionation in nature; physical and chemical isotope fractionation, kinetic isotope effects. Variation of stable isotope ratios (hydrogen, carbon, oxygen and sulphur) in nature. Preparation techniques of natural samples for isotope analysis. Applications of stable isotopes to study magma genesis, ore genesis, nature of water and formation fluids and sedimentary environments.

    ERTH 5609 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5169)
        Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry
        Nucleosynthesis; chemical differentiation of the Earth. Evolution of large-scale isotopic reservoirs. Isotopic tracers (143Nd/144Nd, 87Sr/86Sr, common Pb). Geochronology; fundamentals and application of Sm/Nd, Rb/Sr, U/Pb, K/Ar and Lu/Hf methods. Evolution of the solid Earth from the isotopic perspective.
        Precludes additional credit for Geology 67.565  (GEO 5165) (taken before 1997-98).
     
    ERTH 5701 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5171)
        Physics of the Earth
        The physics and dynamics of the solid Earth: seismology; gravitational and magnetic fields, thermal state. Geophysical constraints on the structure and composition of the interior. Geodynamic processes.

    ERTH 5703 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5173)
        Structural Geology
        Deformation processes and the analysis of geological structures at all scales.

    ERTH 5704 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5174)
        Tectonics
        Dynamic and geological aspects of plate tectonics throughout Earth history.

    ERTH 5707 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5177)
        Engineering Seismology
        Seismological topics with engineering applications. Characterization of seismicity and seismic sources (areas and faults). Seismic hazard analysis. Empirical and theoretical modeling of strong ground motion in time and frequency domain.

    ERTH 5708 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5178)
        Earthquake Signal Processing
        Theoretical and practical aspects of earthquake signal processing, seismic instrumentation, instrument response and application of spectral analysis and response spectra.

    ERTH 5900 [1.0 credit] (GEO 5190)
        Directed Studies
        Directed reading and/or laboratory studies for 1.0 credit course, under the guidance of selected extramural or intramural directors. A written description of the project must be submitted for departmental approval prior to registration. This course does not count for credit toward the graduate degree requirements.

    ERTH 5901 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5191)
        Directed Studies
        Directed reading and/or laboratory studies for 0.5 credit course, under the guidance of selected extramural or intramural directors. A written description of the project must be submitted for departmental approval prior to registration. This course does not count for credit toward the graduate degree requirements.

    ERTH 5903 [0.5 credit] (GEO 5193)
        Field Studies
        Systematic investigations of geological problems, based on a minimum of fifteen days field work plus related library research and laboratory projects. Written report required.

    ERTH 5906 [0.0 credit]
        M.Sc. Geoscience Seminar
        Participation in the Geoscience Seminar Series.

    ERTH 5909  (GEO 7999)
        M.Sc. Thesis
        A thesis proposal must be approved by the research advisory committee by the end of the first year of registration.

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