Graduate Seminar Courses

Fall 2021

Course Number





GEOL 692 001


Derek Schutt

Mantle Velocities and Plumes: A look at velocity variations in the mantle, what they mean, and mantle plumes

GEOL 692 003


Bill Sanford

Groundwater and Geologic Processes: Groundwater plays an important role in many geologic processes. The study of groundwater goes well beyond that of water supply, water chemistry, etc. Groundwater is a major geologic agent from the near surface to 10’s of kilometers deep in the crust and its importance spans many disciplines in the Geosciences. Topics to be summarized include: Hydromechanical coupling between deformation and groundwater flow; Regional-scale groundwater flow in basins, anomalous fluid pressures, and heat transport; Groundwater and the formation of ore deposits; Linkage between groundwater and hydrocarbons; Relationship between groundwater and seismic activity; Role of groundwater during compaction and diagenesis; and the role of groundwater in metamorphism.

GEOL 692 004


Jeremy Rugenstein

Water Stable Isotopes: The stable isotopes of water (d18O and d2H) are used to characterize a wide-variety of hydrological processes, including sources of precipitation, transit-times of stream and groundwater, and cloud formation processes, among many other Earth system processes. Further, the isotopes of water are incorporated into minerals that form on Earth’s surface, enabling geologists to extract hydroclimate information from the geologist past. Measurements of water isotopes are increasingly easy using new-generation cavity ring-down spectrometers (CRDS) that can spectroscopically distinguish the isotopes of water vapor. In this seminar, we will read new papers that use water isotopes to characterize the operation of the water cycle. Students will present and lead the paper discussions. We will also have one field-trip to collect modern water samples and measure these on the newly installed Picarro L-2130 Laser Water Isotope Analyze at the NREL EcoCore lab.

GEOL 692 005


Ellen Wohl

Changing Rivers: We will choose representative river segments around the contiguous US & develop a website with vignettes contrasting their historic & contemporary conditions & briefly explaining the causes & consequences of river changes.