Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 3 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


Permission of instructor.


The course consists of a series of lectures introducing the field of Trace Element Geochemistry including a review of partition coefficients and theoretical approaches to understanding trace element partitioning during partial melting and fractional crystallization. Throughout the course, lectures are interspersed with papers that are to be read by students and discussed during class. A listing of papers to be discussed is included but unfortunately the interactive class discussions emerging from reading these papers cannot be reproduced in a Web-based course.

Expected Background

This course is oriented toward a first year graduate student who has already had a general course in Geochemistry and an Introduction to Thermodynamics.


There are several textbooks suitable for an introduction to geochemistry; an example is:

Buy at Amazon McSween, H. Y., Jr. S. M. Richardson, and M. E. Uhle. Geochemistry: Pathways and Processes. Columbia University Press, 2003. ISBN: 9780231124409.

There are also numerous texts on thermodynamics. The books suitable for this course are:

Buy at Amazon Wood, B. J., and D. G. Fraser. Elementary Thermodynamics for Geologists. Oxford University Press, 1977. ISBN: 9780198599272.

Buy at Amazon Denbigh, K. The Principles of Chemical Equilibrium. Cambridge University Press, 1981. ISBN: 9780521236829.

Buy at Amazon Gordon, P. Principles of Phase Diagrams in Materials Systems. Krieger Pub Co., 1983. ISBN: 9780898744088.

For this course the following geochemical texts are useful:

Buy at Amazon Shaw, D. M. Trace Elements in Magmas: A Theoretical Treatment. Cambridge University Press, 2006. ISBN: 9780521822145. [Preview with Google Books]

Buy at Amazon Zou, H. Quantitative Geochemistry. Imperial College Press, 2007. ISBN: 9781860946462. [Preview with Google Books]

Buy at Amazon Albarede, F. Introduction to Geochemical Modeling. Cambridge University Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780521454513. [Preview with Google Books]

Buy at Amazon Rollinson, H. R. Using Geochemical Data: Evaluation, Presentation, Interpretation. Routledge, 1993. ISBN: 9780582067011. [Preview with Google Books]

Buy at Amazon Henderson, P. Inorganic Geochemistry (Pergamon International Library of Science, Technology, Engineering and Social Studies). Pergamon Press, 1982. ISBN: 9780080204482.

Also useful for this course is the 10 volume set comprising the Treatise On Geochemistry (Elsevier, 2003), especially volumes 1, 2, and 3.

Buy at Amazon Holland, H. D., and K. K. Turekian, eds. Treatise On Geochemistry. Elsevier Science, 2003. ISBN: 9780080437514.

Listing of Volumes

Buy at Amazon Davis, Andrew M. Meteorites, Comets, and Planets. Vol. 1. Elsevier Science, 2006. ISBN: 9780080447209.

Buy at Amazon Carlson, Richard W. The Mantle and Core. Vol. 2. Elsevier Science, 2005. ISBN: 9780080448480.

Buy at Amazon Rudnick, Roberta L. The Crust. Vol. 3. Elsevier Science, 2005. ISBN: 9780080448473. [Preview with Google Books]

Buy at Amazon Keeling, Ralph K. The Atmosphere. Vol. 4. Elsevier Science, 2006. ISBN: 9780080450919.

Buy at Amazon Drever, James I. Surface and Ground Water, Weathering, Erosion and Soils. Vol. 5. Elsevier Science, 2005. ISBN: 9780080447193. [Preview with Google Books]

Buy at Amazon Elderfield, Harry. The Oceans and Marine Geochemistry. Vol. 6. Pergamon, 2006. ISBN: 9780080451015. [Preview with Google Books]

Buy at Amazon Mackenzie, Fred T. Sediments, Diagenesis, and Sedimentary Rocks. Vol. 7. Elsevier Science, 2005. ISBN: 9780080448497. [Preview with Google Books]

Buy at Amazon Schlesinger, William H. Biogeochemistry. Vol. 8. Elsevier Science, 2005. ISBN: 9780080446424.

Buy at Amazon Lollar, Barbara Sherwood. Environmental Geochemistry. Vol. 9. Elsevier Science, 2005. ISBN: 9780080446431. [Preview with Google Books]

Volume 10: Indexes.

Also Useful are the Following Web sites

Geochemical Earth Reference Model (GERM)

Geochemistry of Rocks of the Oceans and Continents (GEOROC)

Petrological Database of the Ocean Floor (PETDB)