Geology and geochemistry

Deepening minor for students with a focus in Geology or Geochemistry

geological and geochemical processes

This minor focuses on deepening the knowledge of the geological and geochemical processes that operate in the Earth’s interior. Courses will address the historical geology and sedimentology, large scale tectonic processes, petrology as applied to the various subsystems of System Earth and Isotope geochemistry. In one elective slot, students have the option to choose between Introduction to Planetary Science, or courses that broaden their profile, like Hydrology of the Netherlands, Introductory Biogeoscience and Social Geography.

Historical Geology and Sedimentology:

The course commences with a brief history of historical geology and an overview of the major global events. We address major themes – sedimentology, stratigraphy, structural geology, paleontology, and plate tectonics in time and space –, which are woven together to unravel Earth's history.

Petrology of System Earth:

Case studies focusing on the petrological aspects of major geodynamic environments. Petrological variations are at the core of the course but the importance of (isotope) geochemistry and regional tectonics will be stressed as ways of gaining a full understanding of the key processes that control magma genesis and metamorphism. A short field excursion to the Eifel region of Germany will be conducted at the end of the course.

Isotope Geochemistry:

The course treats the following: Fundamentals of radioactive and radiogenic isotope geochemistry, Geochronology using long-lived and short-lived radioactive decay systems, Radiogenic isotopic tracers applied to the evolution of mantle, crust and sediments, and Stable isotopes: isotope fractionation and applications to paleoclimatology.

Regional Structural Geology:

Regional structural geology focuses on integrating different scales in various structural geological settings. We explore the coupling between lithospheric processes, mantle dynamics, topographic expression and its structural expression from the scale of basins, orogens,
outcrops to micro scale.

One additional course has to be chosen out of the elective courses within the minor: Introduction to Planetary Science, Hydrologie van Nederland, Introduction to Biogeosciences and Sociale geografie I.

For specific details about the courses please check the studyguide.

Admission and registration

The minor is open to undergraduate students Earth Sciences, with a focus in Geology and/or Geochemistry, from VU or other universities. 


Please see the application procedure for more information.

Questions about the programme

For specific questions regarding content you may contact Dr. F.M. Brouwer |

Samenvatting Geology and geochemistry




1 semester (30 EC)


1 september