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Geology (GEOL) 415

Earth's Origin and Early Evolution (Revision 2)

GEOL 415 course cover

View previous syllabus.

Delivery Mode:Individualized study.


Area of Study:Science

Prerequisite:GEOL 200 and GEOL 201 or equivalent. Students should feel comfortable with the manipulation of algebraic equations and have a rudimentary knowledge of single-variable differential calculus. Where applied, chemical principles essential for the course are adequately explained, although it would be beneficial for students to have CHEM 217.

Centre:Centre for Science

GEOL 415 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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GEOL 415 explores the evidence for the various processes, events, and materials involved in the formation of Earth and the evolution of the young Earth. The course also describes various geochemical tools and techniques used by geologists to reveal and interpret the evidence.


Unit 1: Earth in the Solar System

Unit 2: Geochemical Tools and the Origin of the Elements

Unit 3: Types of Meteorites

Unit 4: Origins of Meteorites

Unit 5: The Formation of the Solar System and the Construction of Earth

Unit 6: The Internal Structure and Composition of Earth


To receive credit for GEOL 415, you must obtain an average grade of at least 60 percent for the two tutor-marked exercises, achieve a grade of at least 50 percent on each examination and achieve a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

2 Assignments Mid-term Exam Final Exam Total
40% 25% 35% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Black, David C. 1991. “Worlds Around Other Stars.” Scientific American (January 1991): 76-82.

Broecker, W. S. 1985. How to Build a Habitable Planet. Palisades, NY: Eldigio Press.

Faure, G. and Mensing, T.M. 2005. Isotopes: Principles and Applications 3rd. ed. New Jersey: John Wiley and Son.

Stahler, Steven W. 1991. “The Early Life of Stars.” Scientific American (July 1991): 48-55.

Wasson, J. T. 1985. Meteorites: Their Record of Early Solar-System History. New York: W. H. Freeman and Company.

Other materials

The course materials include a study guide, a student manual, and a reader.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the GEOL 415 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “C-” (60 per cent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, November 21, 2007.

View previous syllabus

Last updated by SAS  09/10/2013 11:52:40