Interpretation and application of advanced petrogenetic tools: the Rb/Sr and Sm/Nd isotopic systems, quantitative interpretation of binary and ternary phase diagrams, Harker type diagrams, assimilation-fractional crystallisation – partial melting. Geothermometers and geobarometers, PT-t loops. Abundance of elements in the crust, crust-forming models. Hydrous geochemistry. Recognition of geochemical anomalies. Analytical methods and the treatment of geochemical data. A one-week field trip to the Bushveld Complex.
Precambrian crustal evolution. Precambrian plate tectonics. Precambrian evolution of the African plate (Eburnean, Kibaran and Pan-African events). Phanerozoic evolution to the African plate; global examples of tectonics as a continental crustal source. Determination of deformational history of crustal rocks; determination of palaeostress conditions in ancient crustal rocks. Practical experience of structural analysis and determination of deformational history. A one-week field trip to a tectonically complex area.
Basic remote sensing methods and their applications to geology; basic geophysical and geochemical exploration techniques; exploration target generation - philosophies and methods; professional geological practice; the SAMREC and similar codes; geologists in the business environment; case studies. Practical component (runs parallel to theory above) encompasses ore-microscopy; ore mineral identification; ore textures; analysis of ore assemblages; instrumental techniques applied to ores. Various short field trips to both opencast and underground mines.
Modern analytical methods, including X-ray Diffraction (XRD), X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), inductively coupled mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), methods of isotopic analysis, and electron beam methods (EPMA, SEM, CT). An introductory statistical course in sampling methods, treatment of data, statistical validity, and basic geostatistics.
The field of Geology is rapidly evolving both in terms of industry requirements and the type of science done. This module includes short courses offered by staff and industry on a variety of topics, as well as a weekly departmental seminar on current research in the department. The content of this module is expected to vary year by year according to availability of internal and external lecturers.
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