GLY 6285C:

Analytical Techniques in Geology

Instructor: Jeff Ryan

Link to Official Class Syllabus, Fall 2001

SCA 507 (Office), SCA 508, 117; CHE 323 (Labs); 974-1598;


Office Hours: Tuesdays, 2-6 PM, in CHE 325

Meeting Time and Place: There will be one lecture per week, most weeks of ~2 hours duration. The scheduled room is CHE 202. The lab section of the course will not meet as a regular three hour block - when it meets, how often, and where will depend entirely on your interests as you express them to me today.

Textbook: Potts, A Handbook of Silicate Rock Analysis.

The book is out of print, and will be made available through the Campus Copy service. Cost TBA.

Laboratory: The laboratory exercises are going to be very flexible time-wise, at they involve your training in the use of equipment, an exercise that must at least in part be on a 1 to 1 basis. We'll decide on a good time to do general lab demonstrations (in lieu of lecture in most cases), and then we'll set up serious machine training time on an individual basis. The goal of the lab is for you to analyze a set of samples and generate data that is relevant and useful to your research.

The crux of the laboratory will be for you to conduct a small analytical investigation (or to initiate a more extensive investigation, as per your thesis/dissertation demands). The investigation should involve the use of instrumentation available at USF, or accessible to you via USF faculty. This will clearly be an individually tailored undertaking, and will involve you, me, and your research advisor sitting down and discussing the best course of action in some cases. My expectations for laboratory "outcomes" are as follows

1) A short (_5 pages typed, including any tables or figures,) proposal for your investigation, in which you lay out the problem you want to solve, the measurements you want to make, and how they will help you solve said problem. This proposal should include an extensive Bibliography outlining other approaches (or related approaches) to the analytical problem you wish to tackle.

2) A section of your Laboratory Notebook for the project, outlining the work you did. Laboratory notebooks are kept by all scientists, and they are the place where you record the things you tried, what your results were (success/failure), and what you think your results mean. The part of the notebook I want to see, obviously, is the part related to the beginning stages of your project.

3) A summary table of you initial collected data (good or bad). The point being, I want you to have tried to collect some data on your own before you've finished the class.

Evaluation: There will be no exams; your work in the lab will substitute for that. Along with the labwork, there will be a series of problem sets related to aspects of the lecture material (data statistics, machine calibration and data reduction methods), that all will perform.


Lab proposal and bibliography: 35%

Lab notebook and data*: 30%

Problem sets: 30%

Participation (being present, cooperative, cheerful... all that): 5%

Topics that may be covered in Lecture: (some we will absolutely do; others will be based on your interests.)

Link to Official Class Schedule, Fall 2001

--Principles of Analytical Chemistry: units, statistics, detection limits, sampling, and standards. The preparation and digestion of natural samples, contamination effects, and traditional gravimetric analysis.

--Emission Spectrometry. Principles and physics, optics, matrix and spectral interferences, calibrations. Atomic Absorption, but primarily Plasma Emission Spectrometry (ICP and DCP).

--In-situ elemental analyses. Electron and Ion Microprobes, SEM, maybe TEM

--X ray techniques to examine both crystal structure and chemistry. X-ray diffractometry and electron microscopy.

--Mass Spectrometry for isotope and elemental analysis Principles, instrumentation, and techniques. Thermal Ionization and Gas Source MS. And a few in-house demonstrations of ICP-MS.


Link back to Jeff Ryan's Homepage