The spring semester 2021 will certainly take place online until Easter. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence. Please note the information provided by the lecturers.

Stefano Bernasconi: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2016

Name Prof. Dr. Stefano Bernasconi
Geologisches Institut
ETH Zürich, NO G 51.3
Sonneggstrasse 5
8092 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 632 36 93
DepartmentEarth Sciences
RelationshipAdjunct Professor and Privatdozent

651-3070-AALFundamentals of Geology
Enrolment ONLY for MSc students with a decree declaring this course unit as an additional admission requirement.

Any other students (e.g. incoming exchange students, doctoral students) CANNOT enrol for this course unit.
6 credits13RS. Bernasconi, J.‑P. Burg, C. A. Heinrich, S. Löw
651-3501-00LIsotope Geochemistry and Isotope Geology3 credits2GS. Bernasconi, D. Vance
AbstractThe course focuses on the most important systems of radioactive and stable isotopes used in geochemistry and geology. Applications of isotope geochemistry for solving fundamental geological problems are discussed on the basis of case studies.
ObjectiveDevelopment of a basic knowledge and understanding of the applications of the most important systems of stable and radiogenic isotopes.
ContentThe following methods will be discussed in detail: the radioactive-radiogenic systems Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, U-Th-Pb and K-Ar, as well as the stable isotope systems of oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, sulfur and hydrogen.

We will discuss how these methods are used in the following research fields: geochemistry of the earth, age dating, paleotemperature reconstructions, evolution of the crust and mantle reservoirs, sediment diagenesis, fluid rock interactions, hydrothermal activity, paleoceanography, biogeochemical cycles.
Lecture notesAvailable
Literature- Gunter Faure and Teresa M. Mensing. (2005): Isotopes : principles and applications. 3nd Ed. John Wiley & Sons. 897.pp

- Dickin A. P., Radiogenic Isotope Geology, (2005), Cambridge University Press

- Sharp Z.D. (2006) Principles of stable isotope geochemistry. Prentice Hall 360 pp.

William White (2011) Geochemistry
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisites:

Geochemie I: (Bachelor course)
651-4055-00LAnalytical Methods in Petrology and Geology3 credits2GE. Reusser, S. Bernasconi, L. Zehnder
AbstractPractical work in analytical chemistry for Earth science students.
ObjectiveKnowledge of some analytical methods used in Earth sciences.
ContentIntroduction to analytical chemistry and atom physics.
X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF), Electron Probe Microanalysis (EPMA), Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (LA-ICP-MS), Mass spectroscopy for light isotopes.
Lecture notesShort handouts for each analytical method.
651-4057-00LClimate History and Palaeoclimatology3 credits2GS. Bernasconi, B. Ausin Gonzalez, A. Fernandez Bremer, A. Gilli
AbstractThe course "Climate history and paleoclimatology gives an overview on climate through geological time and it provides insight into methods and tools used in paleoclimate research.
ObjectiveThe student will have an understanding of evolution of climate and its major forcing factors -orbital, atmosphere chemistry, tectonics- through geological time. He or she will understand interaction between life and climate and he or she will be familiar with the use of most common geochemical climate "proxies", he or she will be able to evaluate quality of marine and terrestrial sedimentary paleoclimate archives. The student will be able to estimate rates of changes in climate history and to recognize feedbacks between the biosphere and climate.
ContentClimate system and earth history - climate forcing factors and feedback mechanisms of the geosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere.

Geological time, stratigraphy, geological archives, climate archives, paleoclimate proxies

Climate through geological time: "lessons from the past"

Cretaceous greenhouse climate

The Late Paleocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)

Cenozoic Cooling

Onset and Intensification of Southern Hemisphere Glaciation

Onset and Intensification of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation

Pliocene warmth

Glacial and Interglacials

Millennial-scale climate variability during glaciations

The last deglaciation(s)

The Younger Dryas

Holocene climate - climate and societies
651-4225-00LTopics in Geochemistry3 credits2GS. Bernasconi, G. Bernasconi-Green, D. L. Cook
AbstractThis course aims to present and discuss advanced topics in geochemistry based on the critical reading of research papers. Themes will vary from year to year and suggestions from students are welcome. The format of the course will be: one or more lectures introducing a theme, followed by a presentation of one or more papers by a student or group of students.
ObjectiveThe goal of the course is discuss topics in advanced geochemistry which were not covered in other general and specialized geochemistry courses. In addition, we aim at training the student's ability to critically evaluate research papers and to summarize the findings concisely in an oral presentation.
ContentThemes will vary from year to year and suggestions from students are welcome.
Some possible topics are:
Organic geochemistry.
Isotope geochemistry of organic matter: carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen.
Multiply-substituted isotopologues.
Mass-independent fractionations.
Mass transfer and isotopes in modern and ancient ocean-floor hydrothermal systems and subduction zone environments.
Noble gas geochemistry: terrestrial and extraterrestrial applications
Lecture notesNone
LiteratureWill be identified based on the chosen topic.