Sep 23, 2023
GEOL 1700 - Metal, Stone, Energy, and Society
Survey of a broad array of Earth resources with the goal of examining the impact of those resources on society. The influence of plate-tectonic processes and Earth’s evolution on resource distribution are considered. The manner in which technological changes in mineral processing are changing recycling rates and are fostering closer connections between industries, the environment, and society will be explored.
Credit Hours: 3
General Education Code: 2AS
Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.
Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture
Grades: Eligible Grades: A-F,WP,WF,WN,FN,AU,I
Course Transferability: OTM Course: TMNS Natural Sciences
College Credit Plus: Level 1
- Be conversant with the elements that form the essential fertilizer minerals (phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium). Understand how different the processes are for obtaining each of these vital resources, and why each fertilizer mineral is scarce and
- Be conversant with the origin and occurrence of the various elements that go into the making of steel (e.g. manganese, silicon, magnesium, cobalt, etc.)
- Comprehend how each of the key precious metals is formed (gold, silver, platinum group), and understand why these materials are so scarce relative to other metals such as iron and aluminum.
- For each of the major metals discussed (e.g. iron, copper, aluminum), know the degree of recyclability of each in the modern world. Understand also how the energy and other requirements of processing have had to be adapted according to economic and
- Know how aluminum and titanium ores form, and understand why the energy inputs required for processing these metals is huge.
- Know how copper deposits form, and understand the steps through which copper is separated from its ore. Understand how changes in energy and processing have affected copper availability in recent centuries.
- Know how deposits of iron ore form, and understand the processes by which that ore is refined into iron and steel, including where the energy source for that process comes from and how it has changed through the past two centuries.
- Know how evaporate minerals form, and understand why salt and gypsum, and potash are so important.
- Know where our water resources come from, and understand the current and impending pressures on supplies of clean and fresh water to the global population
- Understand how glass is produced as well as how and why the energy and flux requirements for its manufacture have changed dramatically in the past 200 years.
- Understand the differences between the concepts of reserve, reserve base, and resource as it reflects the actual availability of ore and energy deposits for human use.
- Understand the genesis and importance of the industrial materials used in constructions such as sand and gravel, concrete, and building stone.
- Understand the genesis of base metal ores such as tin, lead, and zinc.
- Understand the origin of gemstones such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and opal.
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