• Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Earth and Marine Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Daniela Rubatto
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

This Course will cover:

  • The origins of the elements, and their absolute and isotopic abundances in  the solar system,
  • Fundamental geochemical controls of elemental distribution within the  terrestrial planets,
  • The behaviour of elements in various mineral structure,
  • The composition of the major chemical reservoirs in Planet Earth (crust,  mantle and core) and how they formed and changed composition through time using  phase diagrams to describe the formation of major rock types such as granites  and basalts,
  • The principles of stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry applied to  understanding the time scales of evolution of different reservoirs in the Earth  and tracing the processes that exchange materials between these reservoirs,
  • Approaches to geochronology,
  • Theory and analytical methods for determining the chemical and isotopic  compositions of Earth materials.

Practical classes emphasise methods of geochemical data collection and  presentation, and their quantitative evaluation and interpretation. They include  the use of computers and visits to analytical laboratories.

This course will include a research paper. 

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but will be  assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Understand element behaviour in a geological context and relate this to how elements redistribute within the Earth.

2. Distinguish the main chemical domains in the Earth, and think in terms of reservoir interaction.

3. Understand the major chemical and petrological processes that form and modify the Earth's crust and mantle

4. Plot and compare geochemical data from different rock types and reservoirs.

5. Use radiogenic and stable isotopes to trace geological processes and produce age data

6. Be familiar with the theory and operation of major methods for the analysis of rock and mineral samples.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on theory exams and practicals.

  • Theory exam composed of essay questions to be held at a negotiated time before the mid-semester break (30% LO 1-4).
  • Theory exam composed of essay questions to be held at the end of the semester  (30% LO 1, 4-6).
  • 8 assignments on practicals out of the 12 made available distributed over the entire semester. Practical assignments will focus on handling, representation and calculation of data (20%, LO 3-6) 
  • One essay on a selected topic (20%).

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


A maximum of 39 hours of lectures and 26 hours of laboratory classes including tutorials

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 6 units of 1000 level EMSC or CHEM courses. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed EMSC2015 or GEOL2015.

Preliminary Reading

F Press and R Siever "Earth", Freeman and Company, New York  will contain background information for the student not familiar with geology.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1650
2014 $2946
2013 $2946
2012 $2946
2011 $2946
2010 $2916
2009 $2916
2008 $2916
2007 $2520
2006 $2520
2005 $2520
2004 $2160
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3606
2014 $3762
2013 $3756
2012 $3756
2011 $3756
2010 $3750
2009 $3618
2008 $3618
2007 $3618
2006 $3618
2005 $3618
2004 $3618
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7440 21 Jul 2014 08 Aug 2014 31 Aug 2014 30 Oct 2014 In Person N/A

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