Earth Sciences
Athena Swan Award
UCL Earth Sciences

GEOL1012: Surface Processes






GEOL1012:Surface Processes

This module demonstrates the immensity of surface processes and resulting changes on Earth and other planets through geological time.

AIMS

To demonstrate the immensity of surface and near-surface processes and resulting changes on Earth through geological time. Students will learn: processes and problems at Earth’s surface and near-surface realms, details of surface processes and the resulting products, with an emphasis on spatial distribution and the interrelationship of the various processes shaping the surface. The course provides a systematic description of commonly-occurring sedimentary rocks.

Practical classes and a fieldtrip will be used to demonstrate surface processes in action through time and to teach the identification and application of common sedimentary rocks and structures in the field, in hand specimen and graphic logs.

OUTCOMES

An understanding of:

  • surface and near-surface processes and products;
  • the systematic classification of sediments and the ability to identify common sedimentary rocks and structures in the field, in hand specimen and in graphic logs;
  • global change through time.

CONTENT

Topics studied in lectures and during fieldwork include:

  • Weathering, sediment transport, etc.
  • Classification of sediments (texture, composition, sedimentary structures);
  • Siliciclastics, evaporates;
  • Carbonates, phosphates, siliceous & organic-rich sediments;
  • The geology of running water and groundwater;
  • Oceans and coasts;
  • Earth’s atmosphere and climate;
  • The geology of deserts;
  • Glaciers and Ice ages;
  • Terrestrial environments;
  • Global Change in the Earth System.
Title Surface Processes     
UG Code GEOL1012
Coordinator Prof Juergen Thurow
Other Contributors Prof Eric Oelkers
Term 2
Credit 0.5 CU
Written Exam 50% (unseen two hour multiple choice examination)
Coursework 30%: Graphic log, 2 hand specimen practicals (equal weighting); 20% Dorset fieldtrip notebook;
Pre-Requisites None
Maths & Stats Content and Requirement None
Total Number of Hours of Student Work 188 hours
Hours of Lectures/Seminars 20 hours
Hours of Practicals/Problem Classes As needed.
Hours of Tutorials 0
Days of Fieldwork 7 days of fieldwork
Other If students from outside Earth Sciences or Natural Sciences wish to take this course, they should contact either the Departmental Tutor (Dr Willy Burgess  or the Course Organiser (Prof Juergen Thurow) BEFORE registering on Portico. Students from other departments should be aware that they or their department are liable for the student contribution towards the cost of this trip.
Module Stats
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Moodle page Moodle page
Definitions Excellent performance (1st) Typical performance (2,1 -2,2) Threshold performance (Pass)
Intellectual skills - knowledge and understanding Knowledge base extending well beyond the directly taught programme.  Knowledge based on the directly taught programme and some evidence of enquiry beyond that. Knowledge based on the directly taught programme. 
  Knowledge based on the directly taught programme.  Ability to comprehend surface and near-surface processes and products, their inter-relatedness and interdependence.  Ability to comprehend surface and near-surface processes and products, their inter-relatedness and interdependence. 
  Thorough understanding of the classification of common sediments, sedimentary rocks and structures.  Understanding of the classification of common sediments, sedimentary rocks and structures.  Basic understanding of the classification of common sediments, sedimentary rocks and structures. 
  Highly developed ability to understand global change through time.  Ability to understand global change through time.  Basic ability to understand global change through time.  
 Practical Skills Highly developed ability to identify common sedimentary rocks and structures in the field and in hand specimen; to make notebook observations in the field; to make graphic log presentation of field data.   Ability to identify common sedimentary rocks and structures in the field and in hand specimen; to make notebook observations in the field; to make graphic log presentation of field data.   Basic ability to identify common sedimentary rocks and structures in the field and in hand specimen; to make notebook observations in the field; to make graphic log presentation of field data 
Communication skills Ability to write critically, efficiently and effectively.  Ability to write efficiently and effectively.   Ability to write effectively. 
Numeracy and C & IT skills N/A N/A N/A