UCL Earth Sciences

GEOLGG17 Palaeoceanography

GEOLGG17 Palaeoceanography

This MSc provides an introduction to geohazards, research methods and field techniques, together with advanced courses in seismology, volcanology, hydrogeological hazards and meteorology.


To introduce key principles of oceanography, the proxies used for palaeoceanography and the history and evolution of Cretaceous to Recent oceans, through case studies.


Knowledge of:

  • temperature and productivity of the oceans;
  • controls on biogenic sedimentation;
  • the development and history of oceanic circulation;
  • understanding of analytical techniques used to obtain that knowledge.


  • Ocean basin structure and marine sediments;
  • General circulation of the oceans;
  • wind driven and thermohaline circulation;
  • Primary production, nutrients and the marine carbon cycle;
  • Life in the oceans; Micropalaeontological and geochemical proxies for temperature, productivity, weathering and circulation;
  • Pre-Cenozoic palaeoceanography, including 'oceanic anoxic events';
  • K/T boundary;
  • Early Cenozoic warmth and hyperthermals; the transition from the Greenhouse to the Icehouse world,';
  • fluctuations in climate and ice volume in the Neogene; the glacial world.
Title Palaeoceanography
Coordinator Prof Bridget Wade
Other Contributors Various
Normal Level  
Term 1
Credits 15
Written Exam 60%
Coursework 40%
Pre-Requisites None
Maths & Stats Content and Requirement  
Total Number of Hours of Student Work 188 hours
Hours of Lectures/Seminars 40 (4 hours per week) hours
Hours of Practicals/Problem Classes 20 hours
Hours of Tutorials As needed to do the essay and practical assignments
Days of Fieldwork 0
Other Occasional seminars by guest lecturers (Optional). Students also give 10-min oral presentations of their Essay topics
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