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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Geology - GEOL

Physical Geology GEOL-1403

  • Summer II 2013
  • Section SECTION_313 CRN-40295
  • 4 Credits
  • 07/09/2013 to 08/06/2013
  • Modified 07/07/2013

Meeting Times

Lecture: Mon - Fri 1:45 pm - 3:40 pm / Lab: Mon - Fri   3:50 - 5:45; Room 216

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Robert M. Goll              

Office: Bookstore Bldg. G234  

Office Hours: Mon – Fri 1:00 – 1:45 or by appointment

Telephone (Office): 979 209-7495

E-mail: [email protected]   


General principles of physical geology. An introduction to the origin, composition, structure and dynamics of planet Earth. Topics are explored within the general context of plate tectonic theory and include: minerals and rocks, weathering and erosion, geological time, earthquakes and volcanoes, mountain building, oceans, landforms and natural resources. Laboratory work involves the practical application of geological principles such a rock and mineral identification, geological and topographic map interpretation, and geological data analysis. Three class hours and three laboratory hours per week. Credit: Four semester hours.


Prerequisites: Exemption or passing score on reading section of THEA or alternative test or completion of READ 306 with a grade of C or higher.

Core Curriculum Statement

This is a Core Course in the 42-Hour Core Curriculum of Blinn College. As such, students will develop proficiency in the appropriate Intellectual Competencies, Exemplary Educational Objectives, and Perspectives.


1. Examine and analyze rock and mineral specimens and their occurrence and determine their context within the rock cycle.

2. Comprehend plate tectonic theory and evaluate its significance to geology. Relate the nature of EarthÂ’s internal structure and tectonics to geological phenomena (e.g., volcanoes, earthquakes, deformational structures, etc.).

3. Understand geologic time and the rock record, including formation of Earth and Solar System. Be able to apply principles of relative and numerical dating.

4. Recognize the role of surficial processes (water, wind, ice and gravity) and identify resulting landforms; identification and interpretation of landforms based on topographic maps.

5. Relate geology to human affairs; assess geohazard risk (earthquake, volcanoes, floods), and natural resources.


Textbook: Earth, An Introduction to Physical Geology 10th Edition, 2010, Tarbuck, Lutgens, and Tasa. Pearson Prentice Hall, Pearson Education Inc., Upper Saddle, New Jersey, 07458.

Lab Manual: AGI/NAGT Laboratory Manual in Physical Geology 9th Edition, 2011, Busch (Ed.), Pearson Prentice Hall, Pearson Education Inc., Upper Saddle, New Jersey, 07458. 

Five (5) “Advantage” Scantrons provided to the instructor during the first week of class

Lecture Notes: Copies of lecture notes are available on E-Campus (Go to - ). Students are responsible for taking additional class notes.

Course Requirements

This course has both a lecture and lab components of which participation is required, this includes reading the assigned material before coming to class. Good reading habits and reading comprehension skills are important to doing well in this course.

A total of 25 lab exercises will be assigned during the semester as shown in Section 11. Students will receive 2 points for correctly completing each exercise, for a total of 50 semester points. Lab exercises must be completed during the specified lab period, or during office hours. Lab exercises cannot be completed “at home.” 

Lab Work will involve identification of rocks and minerals and determination of their physical and chemical properties. Topographic and geologic maps will be interpreted with the objective of recognition of geologic landforms. Other diverse exercises will acquaint students with the practical aspects of geology.



This class has 3 lecture exams, 3 lab exams, 1 final exam, and 22 lab exercises. Course grade is based on a total of 1000 class points. Breakdown of the point distribution and grading scheme is shown below.


Criteria for determining Final Grade:

         Lecture, Exams: 45%

         Lab: 35%

         Comprehensive Final Exam: 20%

   Point Distribution

        Three (3) Lecture Exams @150 points each   = 450  points            

         Final Lecture exam                                     = 200 points                                 

         Lab Exercises                                             =  50 points                                

         Three (3) Lab Quizzes @ 100 points each     = 300 points                          

Total = 1000 points                                                                         

                     900-1000 points = A

                     800 -899 points  = B

                     700-799 points  =  C

                     600-699 points  =  D

                     below 600 points= F


Blinn College Policies

Blinn College policies on civility, class attendance; scholastic integrity; students with disabilities; final grade appeals; and electronic devices as stated in the Blinn College Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, Blinn College Catalog and specific technical program handbooks. All policies, guidelines and procedures in the Student and Faculty Handbook and the Board and Administrative Policy Manuals are applicable to this course

Civility Statement

Members of the Blinn College community, which includes faculty, staff and students, are expected to act honestly and responsibly in all aspects of campus life. Blinn College holds all members accountable for their actions and words. Therefore, all members should commit themselves to behave in a manner that recognizes personal respect and demonstrates concern for the personal dignity, rights, and freedoms of every member of the College community, including respect for College property and the physical and intellectual property of others.

      Civility Notification Statement. If a student is asked to leave the classroom because of uncivil behavior, the student may not return to that class until he or she arranges a conference with the instructor; it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for this conference. 

      This statement reflects step one in a possible four step process.  The Incivility Protocol is detailed in the Blinn College Student Handbook.

Attendance Policy

The College District believes that class attendance is essential for student success; therefore, students are required to promptly and regularly attend all their classes. A record of attendance will be maintained from the first day of classes and/or the first day the student’s name appears on the roster through final examinations. If a student has one week’s worth of unexcused absences during the semester, he or she will be sent an e-mail by the College District requiring the student to contact his or her instructor and schedule a conference immediately to discuss his/her attendance issues. Should the student accumulate two weeks’ worth of unexcused absences, he or she will be administratively withdrawn from class.

There are four forms of excused absences recognized by the institution:

  1. observance of religious holy days—The student should notify his or her instructor(s) not later than the 15th day of the semester concerning the specific date(s) that the student will be absent for any religious holy day(s);
  2. representing the College District at an official institutional function;
  3. high school dual credit students representing the independent school district at an official institutional function; and
  4. military service.

Other absences may be considered excused at the discretion of the faculty member with appropriate documentation.  A student enrolled in a developmental course is subject to College District-mandated attendance policies. Failure to attend developmental classes shall result in removal from the course as defined by the College District.

It is the student’s responsibility to officially drop a class he or she is no longer attending.  To officially drop a class the student must obtain the class withdrawal form from Enrollment Services, complete the class withdrawal form, secure the required signatures, and return the completed form to Enrollment Services. The last day to drop with a Q is according to the Academic Calendar.

Scholastic Integrity

Blinn College does not tolerate cheating, plagiarism, or any other act of dishonesty with regard to the course in which you are enrolled.  The following text defines the faculty member’s responsibility with regard to the scholastic integrity expectation for this and all courses at Blinn College.

It is the responsibility of faculty members to maintain scholastic integrity at the College District by refusing to tolerate any form of scholastic dishonesty.  Adequate control of test materials, strict supervision during testing, and other preventive measures should be utilized, as necessary, to prevent cheating or plagiarism.  If there is compelling evidence that a student is involved in cheating or plagiarism, the instructor should assume responsibility and address the infraction.  Likewise, any student accused of scholastic dishonesty is entitled to due process as outlined in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).  The Scholastic Integrity Policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook. In a case of scholastic dishonesty, it is critical that written documentation be maintained at each level throughout the process.

Students with Disabilities

Blinn College is dedicated to providing the least restrictive learning environment for all students. Support services for students with documented disabilities are provided on an individual basis, upon request. Requests for services should be made directly to the Office of Special Populations serving the campus of your choice.  For the Bryan campus, the Office of Special Populations (Administration Building) can be reached at (979)209-7251.  The Brenham, Sealy and Schulenburg campuses are served by the Office of Special Populations on the Brenham campus (Administration Building Room 104) and can be reached at (979)830-4157.  Additional information can be found at

Final Grade Appeal

If a student wishes to appeal a final grade in a course, Blinn College Board Policy FLDB (Local), Course Grade Complaints, outlines the timeline for the appeal and the four steps in the appeal.  This policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook.

Electronic Devices

All the functions of all personal electronic devices designed for communication and/or entertainment (cell phones, pagers, beepers, iPods, and similar devices) must be turned off and kept out of sight in all College District classrooms and associated laboratories.  Any noncompliance with this policy shall be addressed in accordance with the College District civility policy (administrative policy).  This information is contained in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).

Course Policies

Lab and Lecture Assignments: Students must read the recommended chapters and Lab work before class. Lab exercises are due on the day of the class session. Lab exercises can be made up only under the supervision of the instructor.

Exam Format: The Lecture Exams and Final Exam contain a variety of question formats, including multiple choice, short answer, labels and essay questions. Exams will be taken in the class room unless special considerations apply. If you cannot take the exams at Blinn Campus contact your instructor so that other arrangements can be made.

Make-up exams will be offered only under extreme circumstances, and must be organized with the instructor before the exam date.

Final Exam: consists of two parts, each with a value of 100 points, for a combined total value of 200 points

Part 1 will consist of question bearing on Chapters 18, 19, 21, 23 and the handout.

Part 2 will be a comprehensive review of Chapters 1-20 + 22 – 24. 

Optional “Bonus Projects” will be announced throughout the semester that will have a cumulative value of 20-30 points, These projects permit students to earn additional semester points outside of the testing environment.


A debit of 25 points is reduced from a student’s class record for failure to purchase a laboratory manual during the first two weeks of class.

 A debit of 10 points is reduced from a student’s class points for each incidence of uncivil behavior.



             Lecture Exam 1: July 15

              Lab Quiz 1: July 18

              Lecture Exam 2: July 22

              Lab Quiz 2: July 24

              Lecture Exam 3: July 29

              Lab Quiz 3: Aug 5

              Final Exam: Aug 6



                Lecture Topic               Reading Assignment            Lab Exercise


July 9       Intro to Geology           EARTH, Ch. 1, p 2-37              Lab 1. Rock Cycle


July 10     Plate Tectonics            EARTH, Ch. 2, p 40-71             Lab 2. Plate Tectonics


July 11     Minerals & Matter        EARTH, Ch. 3, p 74-105            Lab 3. Minerals

                                                                                               Lab 4. Minerals


July 12     Igneous Rocks            EARTH, Ch. 4, p 108-135           Lab 5. Igneous Rocks

                Volcanoes                  EARTH, Ch. 5, p 138-171           Lab 6. Review Exercise 



July15      EXAM #1   Chapters 1- 5             

                Weathering                EARTH, Ch. 6, p 174-190,  NOT p. 191-197           


July 16     Sedimentary Rocks      EARTH, Ch 7, p  200-227           Lab 7. Sed. Rocks  

               Metamorphic Rocks      EARTH, Ch 8, p. 230-253


July 17     Metamorphic Rocks      EARTH, Ch 8, p. 230-253           Lab 8. Met. Rocks

                Crustal Deformation    EARTH, Ch 10, p 280-301         


July 18     Crustal Deformation     EARTH, Ch 10, p 280-301          Lab 9. Deformation

                Geologic Time             EARTH, Ch 9, p 256-277            Lab Quiz #1        


July 19     Geologic Time             EARTH, Ch 9, p 256-277            Lab 10. Geologic Time

                Earthquakes               EARTH, Ch 11, p 304-331         Lab 11. Earthquakes



July 22     EXAM #2     Chapters 6 – 11                                      

      Earth’s Interior                     EARTH, Ch 12, p 334-353         Lab 12, Topo Maps 1


July 23     Divergent Boundaries   EARTH, Ch 13, p 356-379         Lab 13.Topo Maps 2

               Convergent Boundaries EARTH,Ch 14, p 382-403          Lab 14. Topo Maps 3


July 24     Planetary Geology        EARTH, Ch 24, p 672-702         Lab 15. Topo Maps 4

                Earth Evolution           EARTH, Ch 22, p. 610-641


July 25     Mass Movement           EARTH, Ch 15, p 406-427        Lab Quiz #2              

                Running Water            EARTH, Ch 16, p 430-459        Lab 16. Streams


July 26     Running Water             EARTH, Ch 16, p 430-459         Lab 17. Streams

                Groundwater               EARTH, Ch 17, p 462-487         Lab 18. Groundwater



July 29     EXAM #3     Chapters 12 – 17 + 22 & 24     

       Shorelines                            EARTH, Ch 20, p 542-573          Lab 19.Shorelines


July 30     Glaciers                       EARTH, Ch 18, p. 490-517

July 31     Glaciers                       EARTH, Ch 18, p 490-517          Lab 20. Glaciers


July 31     Deserts                        EARTH, Ch 19, p 520-539          Lab 21. Deserts


Aug 1       Resources                    EARTH, Ch 23, p. 644-669         BONUS PROJECT



Aug  5      Climatic Change            EARTH, Ch 21, p 576-607         Lab Quiz #3