UCL Earth Sciences

ES Virtual Fieldwork

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01 05


This 1st year Virtual fieldtrip aims to introduce (1) basic field skills, (2) basic structural geology observations, (3) igneous intrusions and geological mapping, and (4) granitic rocks and minerals, and metosomatic reactions. 

This fieldtrip is currently being updated for 2021, but you can look at some taster material - click explore Cornwall on the bottom right! Or use the left-right arrows below to cycle through the other fieldtrip overviews  

Want to know more? Explore all Cornwall
  • High-res 3D models

    Field outcrops & samples
  • Field skills

    Strike and dips
  • Making observations

    Structural measurements
  • Geological mapping

    igneous intrusions


This Dorset virtual field trip provides an introduction to the geology of the Wessex Basin through ‘visits’ to classic localities along the Dorset coast.

Want to know more? Explore Dorset
  • Dorset coast geology

    Sediments and fossils
  • Sediment deposition

    Interpret sedimentary structures
  • Past environments

    Reconstruct geological histories
  • Mezozoic Earth history

    Lyme Regis - Kimmeridge bay


This virtual fieldtrip aims to introduce (1) sediment transport / deposition processes in sedimentary environments, (2) palaeontological studies in sediments, including living habits, fossil preservation and trace fossils, (3) structural features of an evolving fold-and-thrust belt, (4) tectono-stratigraphy of an orogen and (5) key concepts in sequence stratigraphy.

Want to know more? Explore the Pyrenees
  • Modern depositional environments

    Rivers, deltas, lagoons, beaches
  • Depositional environments

    Cretaceous-Oligocene geological record
  • Alluvial sediments

    fans, channels and floodplain deposits
  • Iberian Peninsula

    Tectonic evolution


This virtual field course is designed as a problem-based approach. It provides 3rd and 4th Year students with an up-to-date perspective on micro- to macro-scale geological features and processes in the geological framework of crustal evolution and dynamics.

Want to know more? Explore Betics
  • Orogenic processes

    Continental collision, orogenic extension
  • Rift basins

    Mezozoic passive margins
  • Volcanic rocks

    Subduction & Extension related
  • Messinian salinity crisis

    Tertiary climate change


The aim of the Virtual Scotland Mapping Field Course is to introduce students to the methods and concepts involved in making geological maps from visual materials and remotely-sensed imagery, and to train in good practice in making a real geological notebook based on those materials and a real geological map.

Want to know more? Explore Scotland
  • Mountain building

    Compressional tectonics
  • Thrust tectonics

    Faulting and folding
  • Mapping training

    Make a geological map
  • 3D structure

    Cross sections and visualisation
03D Models
0Completed Fieldbooks

UCL students explore ancient rocks in virtual reality

UCL students explore ancient rocks in virtual reality

UCL Earth Sciences students, unable to take part in their normal field-based classes due to the Covid-19 pandemic, are instead using virtual reality headsets to learn about Britain’s oldest rocks from northwest Scotland.

This “virtual field trip” is one of eight produced by the Earth Sciences department this year, and comprises dozens of videos from different locations as well as drone footage, 3D images and terrain models. The students can “virtually” move across the area, making observations and gathering critical data as they go.

Read full VFT article

Earth Sciences Department has received four Faculty teaching awards

Earth Sciences Department has received four Faculty teaching awards (4 out of the 6 submitted). Many congratulations to Seb Groh, Susie Rizvi, Giulia Magnarini, and the Virtual Field Courses team. Thanks to all of you for your hard work under incredibly demanding and stressful circumstances. The VFC Team (in alphabetical rather than priority order): Tim Atkinson, Paul Bown, David Dobson, Matthew Fox, Martin Homann, Wendy Kirk (Emeritus), Emma Liu, Philip Meredith, Tom Mitchell, Eric Oelkers, Kevin Pickering, Juergen Thurow and Jeremy Young.

Read more on MAPS awards