Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2021

Earth Sciences Master Information
Courses can be chosen from the complete offerings of the ETH Zurich and University of Zurich (according to prior agreement with the MSc Committee).
» Choice of courses from the complete offerings in Earth Sciences MSc
651-4040-00LAlpine Field Course Information
Priority is given to D-ERDW students. If space is available UZH Geography and Earth System Sciences students may attend this field course at full cost.

No registration through myStudies. The registration for excursions and field courses goes through only.
W4 credits4PP. Ulmer, P. Brack
AbstractExtended field excursion (duration 7 days) adressing different topics dependent on the localities visited (varies from year to year).
ObjectiveUnderstanding the tectonics and the geological history of the Alps.
Content2018: to be defined
Lecture notesExcursion guide
Prerequisites / NoticeMSc students only. Strenuous walks.

Geography and Earth System Sciences students UZH may attend this field course at full costs (no subsidies).

Students registering for the course confirm having read and accepted the terms and conditions for excursions and field courses of D-ERDW Link
651-4096-02LInverse Theory II: Applications
Prerequisites: The successful completion of 651-4096-00L Inverse Theory I: Basics is mandatory.
W3 credits2GA. Fichtner, C. Böhm
AbstractThis second part of the course on Inverse Theory provides an introduction to the numerical solution of large-scale inverse problems. Specific examples are drawn from different areas of geophysics and image processing. Students solve various model problems using python and jupyter notebooks, and familiarize themselves with relevant open-source libraries and commercial software.
ObjectiveThis course provides numerical tools and recipes to solve (non)-linear inverse problems arising in nearly all fields of science and engineering. After successful completion of the class, the students will have a thorough understanding of suitable solution algorithms, common challenges and possible mitigations to infer parameters that govern large-scale physical systems from sparse data measurements.

Prerequisites for this course are (i) 651-4096-00L Inverse Theory: Basics, (ii) basic programming skills.
ContentThe class discusses several important concepts to solve (non)-linear inverse problems and demonstrates how to apply them to real-world data applications. All sessions are split into a lecture part in the first half, followed by tutorials using python and jupyter notebooks in the second. The range of covered topics include:

1. Regularization filters and image deblurring
2. Travel-time tomography
3. Line-search methods
4. Time reversal and Born’s approximation
5. Adjoint methods
6. Full-waveform inversion
Lecture notesPresentation slides and some background material will be provided.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis course is offered as a half-semester course during the second part of the semester
651-4219-00LThe Mineralogy of Steelmaking / Steel Plant Visit Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 22.
W1 credit1VC. Liebske
AbstractIron is utilised by mankind since thousands of years and the present day world wide production of about 1.5 billon tons of steel makes the latter to one of the most important and irreplaceable industrial products. This course will communicate the relevant solid-liquid-vapor reactions along the production route of an integrated steel plant as an example for applied mineralogy.
ObjectiveThis course will put emphasis on applied mineralogy and show how concepts, familiar to Earth scientists, are being applied to industrial processes.

Integral part of this course is a visit to the UNESCO world cultural heritage site "Völklingen Ironworks" and a factory tour through the steel plant of Dillinger (both Saarland, Germany). The excursion will take place on the third to fourth day with one overnight stay.
ContentThe course will cover the following topics:
- Pre-blast furnace processing of ores, coals and additives
- Melting and reduction in the blast furnace
- The "Basic Oxygen Furnace": de-carburisation, and the conversion from "hot metal" towards steel
- Secondary steelmaking: de-oxidation and non-metallic inclusions
- By-products: Chemistry, properties and applications of blast furnace and steelmaking slags
- Chemistry and properties of refractory materials
- The role of silicate liquids during casting steel
- Industry excursion to an active steel producing site
Prerequisites / NoticeThis four day block-course with lectures between 10-12h and 13-15h will take place from July 12th - 15th 2021. The current situation does not allow for a rigorous planning of excursions and the course is, unfortunately and at present, considered without the plant visit.
651-5104-00LDeep Electromagnetic Sounding of the Earth and Planetary Interiors
The attendance of Mathematical Methods (651-4130-00L, Autumn Semester) is advisable.
W3 credits2GA. Kuvshinov, A. Grayver, F. Samrock
AbstractThe course guides students in learning about phenomenon of the electromagnetic induction in the Earth and other terrestrial planets. The course focuses on studying fundamentals of electromagnetism as well as on analysis and interpretation of long-period time-varying EM fields observed on the ground and in space, which are used to image electrical conductivity in the Earth and planetary interiors.
ObjectiveThe objectives of this course are:
(i) Development of the geophysical and mathematical tools needed to understand electromagnetic induction through the analysis of the Maxwell's equations.
(ii) Introduction to the physical nature of magnetospheric, ionospheric and ocean induced electromagnetic signals.
(iii) Basics of the data interpretation and applications in the fields of deep mantle physics, geothermal exploration and space weather hazards.
ContentTentative content of the lectures:
(i) Introduction to electromagnetic induction: governing equations, summary of the main EM sounding methods
(ii) Electrical conductivity of rocks and minerals: conduction mechanisms, anisotropy
(iii) Basics of geomagnetic deep sounding (GDS) method: solution of Maxwell’s equations in spherical geometry, GDS transfer functions
(iv) Basics of magnetotelluric (MT) method: solution of Maxwell’s equations in Cartesian geometry, MT transfer functions
(v) Motional induction: tidal magnetic signals, satellite observations
(vi) Data acquisition and processing
(vii) Numerical solution of Maxwell's equations in models with 3-D conductivity distribution
(viii) Geomagnetic depth sounding of terrestrial planets
(ix) Other applications: geothermal exploration, mantle conductivity studies, space weather modeling
651-1617-00LGeophysical Fluid Dynamics and Numerical Modelling SeminarZ Dr0 credits1SP. Tackley, T. Gerya
651-4044-01LGeomicrobiology and Biogeochemistry Lab Practical
Prerequisites: "Geomicrobiology and Biogeochemistry Field Course" (651-4044-02L).
The attendance of "Micropalaeontology and Molecular Palaeontology" (651-4044-04L) or "The Global Carbon Cycle - Reduced" (651-4004-00L) is recommended but not mandatory.
W2 credits2PT. I. Eglinton
Abstract1. Analysis of organic molecules in extracts from soils of different ages in glacial flood fields, in altitudinal gradients from different bedrocks, from sediments, from Cryoconites in glacial ice and from living biofilms in high altitude aquatic ecosystems, and from mineral springs.
2. Analysis of matrix components of the ecosystems: dissolved compounds, minerals, clays, trace metals.
ObjectiveThe student will be able
- to design strategies for collecting samples in the field suitable for subsequent analyses in the laboratory
- to critically evaluate his/her own analytical data and put it into a scientific context.
Content1. Preparing field work based on research hypotheses.
2. Designing field sampling strategies, proper sampling collection and preservation.
3. Documenting environmental conditions and observations at the sampling sites.
4. Extracting organic molecules from environmental samples with different matrixes.
5. Working under clean conditions and handling samples without contaminating them.
6. Discussing the results and documenting the outcomes in a scientific report.

This Lab Practical, together with the corresponding Field Trips form part of a continuing "Course Research" unit.

During the field section in the Eastern Alps, we will visit a number of sites that offer
- different bedrocks (dolomite, gneiss, shale, serpentinite, radiolarite, mine tailings) and will study the organics in the soils that formed on them.
- aquatic ecosystems (lakes, rivers, springs) at high altitudes and greatly varying salinities and redox conditions.
- glacial ice (organics in Cryoconites and in ice)
- organics from pioneering colonizer organisms in lakes formed during the recent retreat of glaciers.
- sediments recently deposited in lakes and flood planes as well as shales that date back to the Mesozoic.

Procedures for sampling, sample preparation and processing (extraction, analyses) will be defined on the first day of the field course.
Lecture notesProcedures for sampling, extraction and analyses will be designed on a special preparation day during the field trips and later in the course of the lab sessions.
LiteratureField guides and details about the course logistics will become available to enrolled students on OLAT via Details under
Prerequisites / NoticeThe laboratory module (651-4044-01L) takes place as a small research project during the fall semester. Samples collected in the field will be analysed under guidance in the labs of the Biogeosciences Group. The timing of the lab work will be individually adjusted based on the availability of assistants and analytical resources.

Students who sign up for both, the field and the lab component, are given priority. There are 10 places available for the project section. The section requires participation on the field trips. It is possible, however, to participate in the field section only without signing up for the project section.

At the end of the project section, participants write a report in the style of a scientific paper that contains descriptions of the sampling location, the sample collection and preservation procedures and protocols, description of the analytical methods, the data obtained from analyses of the measured samples and a discussion of the results.

Prerequisites: "Geomicrobiology and Biogeochemistry Field Course" (651-4044-02L). The lecture course "651-4004-00L The Carbon Cycle - reduced" is recommended for the project.
651-4068-00LEngineering Geology Seminar Information W+2 credits2SS. Löw, Q. Lei
AbstractThe seminar includes external and internal lectures on ongoing research topics and the presentation and defence of own MSc thesis research results. In addition students have the opportunity to make new contacts with researchers and practitioners, and get an understanding of the international engineering geology community.
ObjectiveThe students get an insight into selected research & development topics in engineering geology, hydrogeology and geothermics. The students present and discuss their MSc thesis research results topic with a larger scientific audience.
ContentThis seminar includes internal and guest lectures related to engineering geology and hydrogeology research topics and presentations of the MSc thesis project results. Students have to attend 8 guest lectures in total during semester 2 and/or 4 and present and defend their own research results in semester 4. They keep a record of the attended guest lectures (using a prepared confirmation sheet).
Lecture notesThe course offers guidelines how to orally present scientific results.
Prerequisites / NoticeCompleted and accepted research plan. Significant results of own MSc thesis work.
651-1615-00LColloqium Geophysics Information W1 credit1KA. Obermann
AbstractThis colloquium comprises geophysical research presentations by invited leading scientists from Europe and overseas, advanced ETH Ph.D. students, new and established ETH scientists with specific new work to be shared with the institute. Topics cover the field of geophysics and related disciplines, to be delivered at the level of a well-informed M.Sc. graduate/early Ph.D. student.
ObjectiveAttendants of this colloquium obtain a broad overview over active and frontier research areas in geophysics as well as opened questions. Invited speakers typically present recent work: Attendants following this colloquium for multiple terms will thus be able to trace new research directions, trends, potentially diminishing research areas, controversies and resolutions thereof, and thus build a solid overview of state and direction of geophysical research. Moreover, the diverse content and delivery style shall help attendants in gaining experience in how to successfully present research results.
651-1180-00LResearch Seminar Structural Geology and TectonicsZ0 credits1SW. Behr
AbstractA seminar series with both invited speakers from both inside and outside the ETH.
ObjectiveThe seminar series provides an opportunity to convey the latest research results to students and staff.
ContentInformal seminars with both internal and external speakers on current topics in Structural Geology, Tectonics and Rock Physics. The current program is available at:
651-4144-00LIntroduction to Finite Element Modelling in Geosciences Restricted registration - show details W2 credits3GA. Rozel, P. Sanan
AbstractIntroduction to programming the Finite Element Method (FEM) in 1D and 2D.
ObjectiveTopics covered include thermal diffusion, elasticity, Stokes flow, isoparametric elements, and code verification using the method of manufactured solutions. The focus is on hands-on programming, and you will learn how to write FEM codes starting with an empty MATLAB script.
ContentCourse content includes brief derivation and implementation details for the Finite Element Method (FEM) for thermal diffusion, linear elasticity, and incompressible Stokes flow, using numerical quadrature and isoparametric elements. 1-dimensional examples are extended to 2 dimensions. Code verification is introduced, using the method of manufactured solutions. The focus is on hands-on programming; course exercises encourage development of a series of increasingly-complex codes, starting with an empty MATLAB script. A final project allows students flexibility to apply the method to an application of interest or to a standard problem.

Note: proficient users of numerical Python are free to use that environment, instead of MATLAB.
Lecture notesThe script will be made available online.
LiteratureThere is no mandatory literature. Some recommended literature will be discussed and made available during the course.
Prerequisites / NoticeGood knowledge of MATLAB (or self-sufficiency with numerical Python), linear algebra, and knowledge of programming the finite difference method.

The following courses are recommended before attending this course:
651-4241-00L Numerical Modelling I and II: Theory and Applications
651-4007-00L Continuum Mechanics
651-4003-00L Numerical Modelling of Rock Deformation
651-4904-00LDigital Topography and Geomorphology Practical Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 20.
W2 credits1GE. Deal
AbstractThe abundance of data that describes the shape and the physical properties of the Earth's surface provides us with the opportunity to understand the interactions between the solid Earth, the biosphere and the atmosphere. It allows researchers to detect and quantify tectonic, climatic and geomorphic signatures preserved in the landscape.
ObjectiveThis course will teach the basic methods available through GIS tools, and spatially-based computations based on standard, publicly available data. We will also learn about conversions beween standard formats, visualization methods, data extraction and standard geomorphic analyses.
ContentTopographic data, as well as satellite and aerial photography became widely available during the last decade and are now extremely common in virtually any field of Earth Sciences. This data allows researchers to detect and quantify tectonic, climatic and geomorphic signatures preserved in the landscape. This includes, but is not limited to, the topographic expression of active faults, different tectonic and climate forcings, and various geomorphic process regimes. During this half-semester course (first half-semester) students will learn how to analyze and interpret digital topographic data to improve understanding of how landscapes record tectonic and geomorphic processes through a series of case-studies and hands-on practicals.
LiteratureNo required textbook, but students will be expected to read primary literature (provided by lecturer) associated with each case-study prior to each class.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course will utilize both ArcGIS and Matlab software.
860-0015-00LSupply and Responsible Use of Mineral Resources I Restricted registration - show details W3 credits2GB. Wehrli, F. Brugger, K. Dolejs Schlöglova, M. Haupt, C. Karydas
AbstractStudents critically assess the economic, social, political, and environmental implications of extracting and using energy resources, metals, and bulk materials along the mineral resource cycle for society. They explore various decision-making tools that support policies and guidelines pertaining to mineral resources, and gain insight into different perspectives from government, industry, and NGOs.
ObjectiveStudents will be able to:
- Explain basic concepts applied in resource economics, economic geology, extraction, processing and recycling technologies, environmental and health impact assessments, resource governance, and secondary materials.
- Evaluate the policies and guidelines pertaining to mineral resource extraction.
- Examine decision-making tools for mineral resource related projects.
- Engage constructively with key actors from governmental organizations, mining and trading companies, and NGOs, dealing with issues along the mineral resource cycle.
Prerequisites / NoticeBachelor of Science, Architecture or Engineering, and enrolled in a Master's or PhD program at ETH Zurich. Students must be enrolled in this course in order to participate in the case study module course 860-0016-00 Supply and Responsible Use of Mineral Resources II.
860-0016-00LSupply and Responsible Use of Mineral Resources II Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 12.
First priority will be given to students enrolled in the Master of Science, Technology, and Policy Program. These students must confirm their participation by 12.02.2021 by registration through myStudies. Students on the waiting list will be notified at the start of the semester.

Prerequisite is 860-0015-00 Supply and Responsible Use of Mineral Resources I.
W3 credits2UB. Wehrli, F. Brugger, S. Pfister
AbstractStudents integrate their knowledge of mineral resources and technical skills to frame and investigate a commodity-specific challenge faced by countries involved in resource extraction. By own research they evaluate possible policy-relevant solutions, engaging in interdisciplinary teams coached by tutors and experts from natural social and engineering sciences.
ObjectiveStudents will be able to:
- Integrate, and extend by own research, their knowledge of mineral resources from course 860-0015-00, in a solution-oriented team with mixed expertise
- Apply their problem solving, and analytical skills to critically assess, and define a complex, real-world mineral resource problem, and propose possible solutions.
- Summarize and synthesize published literature and expert knowledge, evaluate decision-making tools, and policies applied to mineral resources.
- Document and communicate the findings in concise group presentations and a report.
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisite is 860-0015-00 Supply and Responsible Use of Mineral Resources I. Limited to 12 participants. First priority will be given to students enrolled in the Master of Science, Technology, and Policy Program. These students must confirm their participation by February 7th by registration through MyStudies. Students on the waiting list will be notified at the start of the semester.
651-2001-00LSemester Research Project Restricted registration - show details W3 credits6ALecturers
AbstractSmall individual research project done by a student and supervised by a Professor/Dozent/Oberassistent of D-ERDW. The content of each project is unique and is defined by the supervisor. The project consists of research activity aimed at producing new scientific results and/or data. Short scientific report/paper is written by the student, which serves as a basis for project grading.
Objective- To learn logic, content and methodology of research aimed at producing new scientific results and/or data.
- To familiarize with research procedures in a selected scientific area.
- To obtain experience in writing scientific reports/papers.
ContentThe content of each project is unique and not related to the BSc or MSc Thesis. This content is defined by the supervisor and discussed with the student, who agrees to take the project. The project should mainly consist of research activity aimed at producing new scientific results and/or data and cannot be limited to a literature work. Short scientific report is written by the student at the end of the project, which serves as a basis for the project grading.
Prerequisites / NoticeGrading criteria for the Semester project is similar to these for an MSc project according to the assessment criteria of the MSc Project Proposal.

The Semester Research Project has a clear-defined scope of work that is not related to the BSc or MSc Thesis.
651-1091-00LColloquium Department Earth SciencesZ0 credits1KM. W. Schmidt
AbstractInvited speakers from the entire range of Earth Sciences.
ObjectiveSelected themes in sedimentology, tectonics, paläontology, geophysics, mineralogy, paleoclimate and engineering geology on a regional and global scale.
ContentAccording to variable program.
Lecture notesNo
Prerequisites / NoticeNote: Geologisches Kolloquium 651-1091-01 K: The presentations are held in German. Membership of the Geological Society in Zurich is not required.
651-2600-01LGeography of Switzerland (University of Zurich)
No enrolment to this course at ETH Zurich. Book the corresponding module directly at UZH.
UZH Module Code: GEO126

Mind the enrolment deadlines at UZH:
W3 credits2VUniversity lecturers
AbstractIntroduction to the geography of Switzerland from a social and political scientific perspective.
Objective- Sie verstehen die sozialen, politischen und kulturellen Eigenheiten
der Schweiz in ihrer räumlichen Ausprägung.
- Sie haben einen Einblick in die räumliche Dynamik der Schweiz in Bezug auf Urbanisierung, Mobilität, Migration und kennen die Möglichkeiten und Grenzen einer planvollen Steuerung.
ContentAus dem Inhalt:
* Stadt-Land-Gegensatz, Urbanisierung
* Kulturelle Spannungsfelder: Sprache, Konfession usw.
* Regionale Disparitäten, Regionalismus
* Nationale Identität, Schweiz in Europa
* Föderalismus und Direktdemokratie
* Mobilität und Migration
* Segregation und Selbstselektion
* Räumliche Entwicklung und Planung
LiteratureOdermatt, André und Wachter, Daniel (2004): Schweiz – eine moderne Geographie. 3. Auflage. NZZ-Verlag, Zürich. Fr. 52.-
651-2612-00LHuman Geography II: Societal and Natural Ressources (University of Zurich)
No enrolment to this course at ETH Zurich. Book the corresponding module directly at UZH.
UZH Module Code: GEO122

Mind the enrolment deadlines at UZH:
W5 credits2V + 2UUniversity lecturers
AbstractThe module consists of two parts: Human Geography Part 2 and Economic Geography Part 1. The module gives an introduction and a deepening of the two parts.Illustration of theoretical concepts with execercices.
ObjectiveSie kennen folgende sozialwissenschaftliche Perspektiven und ihre Bedeutung für die Humangeographie:
- Postkoloniale Geographie: Liberalismus, Poststrukturalismus - Politische Ökonomie: Radical Geography, kritische Geographie - Handlungs- und Praxistheorien: Geographien alltäglicher Regionalisierung.
Sie kennen folgende Prozesse und Konzepte und können diese anhand ausgewählter Beispiele zum Oberthema „gesellschaftliche und natürliche Ressourcen" erläutern:
- Naturzustand, Liberalismus, Vertragstheorie, Postkolonialismus, terra nullius, Landnahme, Geopolitik
- Natur und Wirtschaft, Land Grabbing, Arbeitsbeziehungen, Fordismus, Neoliberalismus
- Handlung, Praxis und Struktur, Landschaftswahrnehmung, Raumaneignung, Regionalisierung
651-4121-00LRemote Sensing and Geographic Information Sciences II (University of Zurich)
No enrolment to this course at ETH Zurich. Book the corresponding module directly at UZH.
UZH Module Code: GEO123

Mind the enrolment deadlines at UZH:
W5 credits2V + 2UUniversity lecturers
AbstractIn diesem Modul werden grundlegende Begriffe, Konzepte und Gesetzmässigkeiten, an welche die kartographischen Abbildungs- und Visualisierungsprozesse gebunden sind, vorgestellt.
Objective1) at the end of this course you can explain the relevance of mapping for geography by providing one concrete example from physical or human geography.
2) at the end of this course you can list and explain the fundamental cartographic concepts. You can competently identify them when reading maps or when interpreting and analysing visualised geographic data.
3) at the end of this course you can critically evaluate map design solutions based on scientific cartographic criteria, and justify your design decisions using these criteria appropriately.
4) at the end of this course you are capable of independently visualising a geographic phenomenon using state-of-the-art GIS software, in particular of digitally designing and sharing maps.
5) at the end of this course you are capable to present your final map project in 5 minutes to your peers in the lab group.
6) at the end of this course you can critically and constructively review written work of your peers, and assess your own writing skills.
ContentBehandelt werden v.a. Zweck und Eigenschaften der Karte als Modell der visuellen Kommunikation, die Umsetzung raumbezogener Information in die kartographische Symbolsprache, Karteninterpretation, Kartenprojektionen, thematische Kartographie und besondere Visualisierungsformen. Die Übungen ergänzen die zugehörige Vorlesung und werden auf Computern mit der Software ArcGIS Pro und ArcGIS Online durchgeführt. Sie konzentrieren sich auf zentrale Elemente der praktischen Herstellung von Karten wie graphische Variablen, Schriftplatzierung, kartographische Generalisierung, Entwurf und Ausführung mehrfarbiger Karten sowie Kartenkritik. Die Studierenden arbeiten einzeln und selbständig unter Begleitung von TutorInnen.
651-4088-02LPhysical Geography II (University of Zürich)
No enrolment to this course at ETH Zurich. Book the corresponding module directly at UZH.
UZH Module Code: GEO121

Mind the enrolment deadlines at UZH:
W5 credits1V + 4U + 2PUniversity lecturers
AbstractVertiefte Grundlagen zu Klima, Hydrologie und Atmosphäre.
ObjectiveSolide Grundkenntnisse in den Bereichen Atmosphäre und Klima sowie
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