Apr 19, 2024  
College Catalog 2022-2023 
College Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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GEOL 1140 - Introduction to Physical Geology

Credit Hours: 4.00

Prerequisites: None

An integrated lecture‑laboratory course that introduces students to the study of Geology. Coverage includes formation and identification of common minerals and rocks, development of Earth’s landscape through the study of surface processes, origin of volcanoes, earthquakes, and mountain ranges, and their relationship to the Theory of Plate Tectonics. One optional field trip.

Billable Contact Hours: 6

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Outcome 1: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of common minerals and their properties.


  1. Describe the chemical structure and physical properties of the common rock-forming minerals.
  2. Identify common rock-forming minerals in the Earth’s crust.

Outcome 2: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of common rocks and their properties.


  1. Identify the chemical and physical components of Igneous Rocks.
  2. Identify the chemical and physical components of Sedimentary Rocks.
  3. Identify the chemical and physical components of Metamorphic Rocks.

Outcome 3: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of Surficial Processes.


  1. Describe the Weathering process to the Chemical and Physical resulting materials that make up the Earth’s surface formation.
  2. Describe modes of erosion, transportation and deposition of sediments.

Outcome 4: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of internal processes of the Earth.


  1. Describe origins of Intrusive and Extrusive Igneous Rocks.
  2. Recognize the basic Geologic structures in the Earth’s crust related to tectonic stresses.
  3. Recognize elements of Seismicity that characterize earthquake activities.

Outcome 5: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to describe the relationship between basic geological principles and the theory of plate tectonics


  1. Relate theories of Earth’s structure to energy and motion of the lithospheric plates.
  2. Relate plate boundaries to the structure of continental and oceanic crust.
  3. Relate rock cycle materials to plate tectonics.
  4. Relate tectonic activities to results such as volcanism, mountain building, and earthquakes.

• Communication: The graduate can communicate effectively for the intended purpose and audience.
• Critical Thinking: The graduate can make informed decisions after analyzing information or evidence related to the issue.
• Global Literacy: The graduate can analyze human behavior or experiences through cultural, social, political, or economic perspectives.
• Information Literacy: The graduate can responsibly use information gathered from a variety of formats in order to complete a task.
• Quantitative Reasoning: The graduate can apply quantitative methods or evidence to solve problems or make judgments.
• Scientific Literacy: The graduate can produce or interpret scientific information presented in a variety of formats.

CDO marked YES apply to this course:
Communication: YES
Critical Thinking: YES
Information Literacy: YES
Quantitative Reasoning: YES
Scientific Literacy: YES


  1. Planet Earth
  2. Atoms, Elements, & Minerals
  3. Igneous Processes & Rocks
    1. Intrusive Igneous Rocks
    2. Volcanism & Extrusive Igneous Rocks
  4. Weathering and Soil Formation
  5. Mass Wasting
  6. Stream Action and Landscape
  7. Ground Water
  8. Glaciers and Ice Ages
  9. Wind & Wave Action Landforms
  10. Sedimentary Rocks and Geologic Principles
    1. Clastic Sedimentary Rocks
    2. Chemical Sedimentary Rocks
    3. Organic Sedimentary Rocks
  11. Metamorphic Processes & Rocks
    1. Regional Metamorphic Rocks
    2. Contact Metamorphic Rocks
    3. Hydrothermal Metamorphic Rocks
  12. Structural Geology
    1. Folding
    2. Faulting
  13. Earthquakes & Earth’s Interior
  14. Plate Tectonics

Laboratory Core:

  1. Mineral Identification
  2. Igneous Rock Identification
  3. Sedimentary Rock Identification
  4. Metamorphic Rock Identification
  5. Topographic Map Use
  6. Stream Landforms
  7. Ground Water
  8. Glacial Landforms
  9. Landforms related to Wind Action
  10. Geologic Maps

Primary Faculty
Schafer, Carl
Secondary Faculty
Sadorski, Joseph
Associate Dean
Young, Randall
Pritchett, Marie

Official Course Syllabus - Macomb Community College, 14500 E 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088

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