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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Geology - GEOL

Physical Geology GEOL-1403

  • Fall 2013

  • Section SECTION_316 CRN-10756

  • 4 Credits

  • 08/26/2013 to 12/13/2013

  • Modified 08/28/2013

Meeting Times

Lect. TR 5:40–6:55 pm / Lab TR 7:05–8:20

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Robert M. Goll              

Office: Bookstore Bldg. G234  

Office Hours: Mon. – Thurs. 4:30-5:30 pm or by appointment

Telephone (Office): 979 209-7495



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; Essentials of Earth 11th Edition, 2012, Lutgens,Tarbuck,  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

Six (6) “Advantage” Scantrons provided to the instructor during the first week of class

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

Supplemental Data and Information:      

Open Geology-aid Lab – Friday, G215 from 1:00-3:00 pm

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 21 lab exercises will be assigned during the semester as shown in Section 11. Students will receive 2.5 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 Open-Lab, 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.


 The Final Exam will consist of two parts, with a total value of 200 points

          Part 1 will consist of question bearing on the last two lectures, with a total value of 50 points

          Part 2 will be a comprehensive review of all the preceding lectures, with a total value of 150 points.


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.


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


This class has 4 lecture exams, 3 lab exams, 1 final exam, and 20 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: 50%

Lab, Exercises and Quizzes: 30%

Comprehensive Final Exam: 20%



Four (4) Lecture Exams @ 125 points each   = 500 points total                       


One (1) Final Lecture exam  =  200 points total


Twenty-one Lab Exercises  = 50 points total  



Three (3) Lab Quizzes @ 75 – 100 points each  =  250 points total                 

First Lab Quiz (rocks and minerals):100 points

Second Lab Quiz (topographic maps & diverse exercises): 75 points

Third Lab Quiz (identification of land forms on topo maps): 75 points


Point Distribution.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

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

Excused absences: Students must E-mail the instructor prior to missing class in order to be considered for an excused absence.

Attendance Policy Reminder:  Missing lecture, lab or both will count as one absence.  For classes that meet twice a week during the spring semester two absences counts as one week's absence.  Students accumulating two week’s worth of absences (four unexcused absences) will be dropped.

Problem Resolution: If you have a complaint about your class, you should first request a conference with your instructor to try and resolve the problems or issues. If the problems or issues cannot be resolved at the instructor level, you should request a conference with the Division Chair, Mr. Dwight Bohlmeyer, Science 241,

Eating and Drinking:  Eating and drinking are not allowed in classrooms or laboratories.










       WEEK 1




Aug 27


Essentials of Earth,   Ch. 1, p 2-35


Aug 29


Essentials of Earth,   Ch. 1, p 2-35

Lab.   1. Rock Cycle





Sept 3

Plate Tectonics

Essentials of Earth, Ch. 15, p 360-391

Lab.   2, Plate Tectonics

Sept 5

Minerals and Matter

Essentials of Earth, Ch. 2, p 36-61

Lab.   3, Mineral Properties





Sept 10

Minerals and Matter

Essentials of Earth, Ch. 2, p 36-61

Lab.   4, Mineral Identification

Sept 12

Igneous Rocks

Essentials of Earth, Ch. 3, p 63-89

Lab.   5, Igneous Rocks





Sept 17


Essentials of Earth, Ch. 4, p 90-121

Lab.   6, Rock & Min Review

Sept 19

EXAM   #1:     Ch. 1 - 4 + 15




Essentials of Earth, Ch. 5, p 122-147






Sept 24

Sedimentary Rocks

Essentials of Earth, Ch. 6, p 148-175

Lab.   7, Sedimentary Rocks

Sept 26

Metamorphic Rocks

Essentials   of Earth, Ch. 7, p 176-195

Lab.   8, Metamorphic Rocks





Oct 1

Crustal Deformation

Essentials of Earth, Ch. 17, p 414-435

Lab.   9, Deformation

Oct 3

Geologic Time

Essentials   of Earth, Ch. 18, p 436-459






Oct 8

Geologic Time

Essentials   of Earth, Ch. 18, p 436-459

Lab.   10, Geologic Time

Oct 10


Essentials   of Earth, Ch. 14, p 334-354

Lab.   11, Earthquake Hazards





Oct 15

EXAM #2: Ch 5, 6, 7,   14(part), 17(part), & 18



Earth’s Interior

Essentials   of Earth, Ch. 14, p 355-359


Oct 17

Ocean Floor

Essentials   of Earth, Ch. 16, p 392-413

Lab.   12, Topographic Maps 1





Oct 22

Mountain Building

Essentials   of Earth, Ch. 17, p 425-434

Lab.   13, Topographic Maps 2

Oct 24

Planetary Geology


Lab.   14, Topographic Maps 3





Oct 29

Earth Evolution

Essentials   of Earth, Ch. 19, p 460-491

Lab.   15, Topographic Maps 4

Oct 31

Atmospheres &   Oceans







Nov 5


Essentials   of Earth, Ch. 13, p 306-333

Lab.   16, Coastal Processes

Nov 7

EXAM #3: Ch. 13,   14(part), 16, 17, 19 + notes



Mass Wasting

Essentials   of Earth, Ch. 8, p 196-213






Nov 12

Running Water

Essentials   of Earth, Ch. 9, p 214-237

Lab.   17, Stream Processes 1

Nov 14

Running Water

Essentials   of Earth, Ch. 9, p 214-237

Lab.   18, Stream Processes 2





Nov 19


Essentials   of Earth, Ch. 10, p 238-259

Lab.   19, Groundwater

Nov 21


Essentials   of Earth, Ch. 11, p 260-285

Lab.   20, Glacial Processes





Nov 26


Essentials   of Earth, Ch. 11, p 260-285

Lab.   21, Eolian Processes

Nov 28








Dec 3

EXAM #4: Ch. 8-12




Energy Resources



Dec 5

Climate Change

Essentials   of Earth, Ch. 23, p 643-670