GEOL481 Advanced Environmental Geology Homepage

GEOL481- Advanced Environmental Geology

An example of an open pit mine near Butte, Montana. This particular mine is no longer operational,.  The mine pit is partially filled from the subsurface by groundwater (foreground).  The lake water is hazardous due to low pH levels (2.5)  which contributes to the high levels of numerous metals (formerly the target of the mining operation).  It is now a superfund site and ironically, a tourist attraction.
Coastal environments pose numerous problems due to the actions of people who want to live near the coast and the numerous processes that are in a constant state of flux.  Waves, tides and currents all erode, transport and deposit sediments, often times at locations that are in direct opposition to the wishes of the humans nearby.  The people try to modify the mechanisms of sediment erosion, movement and deposition.
The magnitude of floods around the world are increasing as climates change and humans alter the landscape.  The image above shows St Louis, MO during the peak of the flood.  The 1993 Mississippi River flood was the largest in US history, besting the 1937 flood on the Ohio river.
The site locations map, a table of lat/long data, and the investigative teams for the semester long research project are here


This course is a seminar course where we will learn about Environmental Geology through reading, analyzing presenting and discussing peer-reviewed scientific literature, and by doing some field and lab-based research with the broad based field of Environmental Geology .
  Environmental Geology uses knowledge from  many of the subdisciplines within the geosciences, as well as the Atmospheric, Hydrologic, Chemical, and Biological sciences.  In addition, often Environmental Geology requires an understanding of social, financial, and political costs of mitigation and prevention.

Readings link Syllabus link calendar is on the syllabus lectures shown in class the order of the critiques for the class class Geology Department webpage