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GEOL1004 Dynamic Earth



To demonstrate the working of the Earth as a planet (dynamics). Students will learn the internal structure of the Earth (crust, mantle and core), the way it convects, how it loses heat, how this is manifested in plate tectonics. They will also the learn the geological hazards associated with these processes and the methods involved in studying the Earth as a planet.

Practical classes will be used to demonstrate common and simple methds of studying the Earth. In particular basic seismology, analysis of plate motions, hotspots and plate kinematics, and hazard and risk mapping,


An understanding of how why the Earth works and behaves in the way it does. They will know the internal structure and composition of the Earth. They will know the basic dynamical processes of convection and understand how it leads to surface structures and associated hazard.


Topics studied in lectures and practicals include:

  • Introduction - Exploring the Earth;
  • Structure and composition of the Earth;
  • Heat;
  • Driving Forces & Mantle Dynamics;
  • Plate Tectonics Intro;
  • Divergent Plate Boundaries;
  • Convergent Plate Boundaries;
  • Conservative Plate Boundaries;
  • Seismic Waves and Earthquakes;
Title Dynamic Earth
UG Code GEOL1004
Coordinator Prof. John Brodholt
Other Contributors  
Term 2
Credit 0.5 CU
Written Exam 60% (2 hrs unseen)
Coursework 40% (8 practicals; all count equally)
Pre-Requisites GCSE-level Mathematics; from 2011-12: ALL students must have done GEOL1013 The Earth.
Maths & Stats Content and Requirement This course will require GCSE (or equivalent) mathematical ability to rearrange simple algebraic equations, use basic trigonometry and perform simple graphing.
Total Number of Hours of Student Work 188 hours
Hours of Lectures/Seminars 20 hours
Hours of Practicals/Problem Classes 20 hours
Hours of Tutorials 0
Days of Fieldwork 0
Other None

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UCL Earth Sciences · Gower Street London WC1E 6BT · +44 (0)20 7679 2363 · more