ESci 4911 - Advanced Field Geology

Course Credits: 4 credits; Prerequisites: Prerequisite ESCI 3911 for UMN students or instructor permission


The course includes geologic mapping; study of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks; structures and surficial features.  By the end of this field course, students will have a general understanding of how rocks are exhumed from different crustal levels via different mechanisms, the importance of surface denudation for crustal exhumation, and the feedback between erosion and tectonics during the formation of the North American Cordillera. The following is a specific set of objectives for the advanced field course:

  • Correctly identify sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks in the field and write detailed descriptions of each rock type (including mineral identification);
  • Distinguish the differences between igneous crystallization, metamorphic mineral growth, and mineralization due to hydrothermal fluids;
  • Acquire, record, and represent location and orientation data using traditional and advanced techniques (magnetic compass vs. GPS);
  • Use topographic maps at different scales (1:2000, 1:12000, 1:24000);
  • Measure and analyze structural data;
  • Interpret the various depositional systems in the stratigraphic section;
  • Interpret a variety of field data in a three-dimensional framework;
  • Be able to design and implement a strategy for conducting fieldwork. This includes the ability to effectively use multiple working hypotheses for problem solving on a daily basis as well as the ability to safely anticipate logistical and physical demands for your own fieldwork in the future.
  • A final paper is required.


Please visit cost estimates page.


For more information, contact Annia Fayon