Department of Geology

Professor and Chair P.W. Fralick
Assistant Professor and Graduate Co-ordinator A.G. Conly
Professors G.J. Borradaile,
  P.W. Fralick,
  M.L. Hill, 
  S.A. Kissin
Associate Professor P. Hollings
Assistant Professor A.G. Conly
Adjunct Professor  T. C. McCuaig
Professors Emeriti of Geology M.M. Kehlenbeck,
  E.L.P. Mercy,
  R.H. Mitchell


Studies leading to the degree of Master of Science in Geology normally emphasize the fields of Petrochemistry and Tectonophysics. Petrochemistry is deemed to include: Field and laboratory studies of ore deposits, igneous, metamorphic and lithified sedimentary rocks. Tectonophysics is deemed to include: Field and laboratory studies of structural geology, rock magnetism and basin analysis.

Candidates are accepted under the regulations governing the master's degree (see pages 283-285) providing they also satisfy the requirements of the Department of Geology. Candidates for the Master of Science Degree in Geology must have completed an Honours Bachelor's Degree in Geology or equivalent with a minimum B average.

Candidates who hold an Honours Bachelor's degree in a discipline other than Geology, may be considered if their undergraduate program includes concentration in Chemistry, Mathematics, or Physics. Consideration will be based on courses taken and academic standing.

The Department may require a candidate to complete certain undergraduate courses in addition to the requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Geology.

Application deadline is February 1. Late applications may be considered for admission, but may not be considered for funding.



A candidate for the MSc degree in Geology must successfully complete a total of five full courses of which the required thesis is equivalent to three full courses. The candidate is required to take at least one full course equivalent from the graduate course offerings in Geology. With permission of the Department, the candidate may be allowed to select one half course or its equivalent from fourth year courses offered by the Department of Geology or a cognate department, provided they are subjects not taken by the candidate in his/her earlier studies.

Candidates will be required to present their proposed research thesis topic and progress reports in formal departmental seminars. An oral examination on the completed thesis will also be required of each candidate.

All candidates must satisfy the Department's requirements including those regarding course work, thesis proposal and progress reports, before they are permitted to complete the Master's program.

The thesis will be submitted in hard copy format as required by University regulations but also in a digital format acceptable to the Department. Similarly, data files should be attached in digital format.

Graduate Courses

Courses not offered this academic year (fall/winter terms) are indicated by the words "NOT OFFERED THIS YEAR" below the course description. Nevertheless, students should refer to the Timetable as a final check.

The following courses are offered for Master's programs. The content of certain courses may be varied from year to year.

(Information about Course Numbering System)

Geology 5111
Mineral Equilibria
Principles of phase equilibria as applied to sulphide systems. Study of mineralogically significant systems, including Fe-S, Fe-Ni-S, Fe-Zn-S, and Cu-Fe-S, and their application to ore genesis.

Geology 5113
Geochemistry of Ore Deposits
Selected topics including aqueous chemistry as applied to the genesis of hydrothermally emplaced ore deposits, chemical parameters of carbonate hosted Pb-Zn deposits, and chemical models for the origin of stratiform massive sulphide deposits.

Geology 5115
Advanced Mineralogy
Application of x-ray diffraction and other techniques to mineralogical studies.

Geology 5133
Quantitative Techniques in Structural Geology
Incremental and finite strain. Coaxial and non-coaxial strain. Determination of incremental strain, total strain, and strain histories in sedimentary rocks and tectonites. Review of total strain analysis methods applicable to crystalline and layered rock using field observations. Total strain integration as a guide to regional synthesis.

Geology 5135
Metamorphic Processes in Crystalline Rocks
Microscopic analysis of common mineral assemblages and textures with special emphasis on low baric types. Study of crystal dislocation theory and deformation mechanisms operative in major rock-forming minerals. P-T-E control of deformation mechanisms. Deformation, recovery and recrystallization of silicates.

Geology 5137
Tectonic associations, variation in tectonic styles. Tectonic schemes, including Plate Tectonics. Precambrian orogenesis and the evolution of the Archaean crustal segments.

Geology 5138
3-0; or 3-0
Finite strain of rocks by coaxial and noncoaxial strain histories. Behaviour of rock due to large deformations. Stress and paleostress in the crust. Elastic, viscous and plastic behaviour of rock. Testing techniques and flow laws.

Geology 5139
Theoretical Topics in Structural Geology
A course in theoretical aspects of structural geology such as the following: coaxial and non-coaxial strain histories; relationship of progressive deformation to the development of schistosity, folds and boudins; finite element analysis; models for the development of folds and other structures.

Geology 5151
Advanced Topics in Igneous Petrology I
Selected studies of the 'plutonic' regimes of continental regions. Possible topics include 'syenitic' complexes, 'granitic batholiths', 'anorthositic batholiths', layered basic intrusions, carbonatites and ulramafic plutons.

Geology 5153
Advanced Topics in Igneous Petrology II
Selected studies of 'volcanic' regimes of continental and oceanic regions. Possible topics include Plate Convergence volcanism, continental volcanism (including kimberlites), and oceanic volcanism.

Geology 5155
Methods in Geochemistry
Discussion and practice of the methods used in analytical geochemistry with emphasis upon the use of x-ray fluorescence for the major and trace element analysis of silicate rocks, and instrumental and radiochemical methods of neutron activation analysis as applied to the determination of trace elements at the ppm and ppb level.

Geology 5157
Advanced Topics in Geochemistry
Discussion of aspects of the geochemistry of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks with emphasis upon the controls of element distribution. Possible topics include nucleosynthesis and meteorite geo-chemistry. Sr, Nd and Pb isotope geochemistry, mantle geochemistry, geo-chemistry of the rare siderophile and chalcophile elements. Some experimental work involving neutron activation analysis or radio-tracers may be required.

Geology 5171
Advanced Sedimentology
A study of the texture and the primary sedimentary structures of clastic and non-clastic rocks and their use in the interpretation of depositional environments and basin analysis.

Geology 5173
Advanced Stratigraphy
Principles of stratigraphy and biostratigraphy with emphasis on the late Proterozoic and Phanerozoic stratigraphy of North America.

Geology 5175 (ST)
Topics in Geology
Subject matter to be arranged in form of readings and seminars to suit student and faculty area of specialization.

Geology 5901 (9901)
Master's Thesis

Geology 6000
Topics for visiting PhD students.

See also:
Faculty of Graduate Studies - Information/Regulations
Department of Geology - Undergraduate

Return to:
Courses Listing
Academic Programs
Academic Units
Calendar Contents


2007-2008 Calendar version