Pure and Applied Quaternary Sciences (PAQS)
The Major in Pure and Applied Quaternary Science represents an integrated approach for training students in broad geologic themes including in particular earth-surface processes through time and all aspects concerning Quaternary sediments: This focus includes sedimentology and human impact on earth surface processes, analyses and dating of sedimentary sequences to decipher climate change, actualistic glacial geological studies also in polar areas, and physical properties of unconsolidated rocks. This approach guarantees a fundamental education that will enable graduates to face everyday scientific and applied geologic challenges with a special focus on unconsolidated sediments.
MSc students have access to a wide range of modern analytical facilities at the host institute, including petrographic microscopy, cathode-luminescence, scanning-electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, electron microprobe, Laser-Raman and FTIR spectroscopy, Laser-ablation-ICP-MS, fluid inclusion microthermometry, rock porosity and permeability apparatus, wet-chemical laboratories with atomic-absorption and ion-chromatography, mass-spectrometers for stable isotopes of C, O, H, He, Ca, and Mo, and for radiogenic isotopes of the K-Ar, Rb-Sr, Nd-Sm, and U-Pb systems. Experimental equipment includes porewater extraction devices, flow-through reaction vessels, exchange columns and hydrothermal autoclaves for high P–T studies. Computational facilities include computer clusters for geochemical modelling and GIS applications. Additional facilities are available at the collaborating research institutes.