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ARCHLGY 234A: Petroleum Geochemistry in Environmental and Archaeological Studies (ARCHLGY 134A, GEOLSCI 134, GEOLSCI 234)

This course focuses on petroleum, including gases, liquids, refined products, and `tar' from seeps used as a binder in archaeological artifacts, such as projectile points or pottery. The course is designed for students of geology, environmental science, and archaeology. It shows how molecular fossils (biomarkers) and other petroleum compounds can be used to identify the origins of contaminants, assist strategies for remediation, deconvolute mixtures, and validate the spatial significance of mapped hydrocarbon distributions. Lectures explain the processes that control petroleum composition in the subsurface, marine or subaerial spills, and archaeological artifacts, e.g., biodegradation, photooxidation, and water washing. Case studies (e.g., Deepwater Horizon, Exxon Valdez, bitumen in Egyptian mummies, seeps and ancient Olmec artifacts) and exercises show how geochemistry and multivariate statistics (chemometrics) can be used in successful forensic or archaeological studies.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3
Instructors: Peters, K. (PI)
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