GEO3136 : Applied Geomorphology and Natural Hazards
- Offered for Year: 2017/18
- Module Leader(s): Professor Andrew Russell
- Lecturer: Dr Neil Ross, Dr Matthew Perks
- Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
- Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
|Semester 1 Credit Value:||10|
|Semester 2 Credit Value:||10|
Rationale: All human activity interacts with the physical environment, approaching it as either a resource or a hazard. Increasing population, urbanisation and associated anthropogenic disturbance of natural systems constitute major societal challenges, especially when combined with the impacts of climate change. Increases in societal vulnerability to natural hazards combine with major changes in the earth’s atmospheric, hydrological, cryospheric, oceanic and near surface systems to increase risk to population and infrastructure. Mitigation of the risk associated with natural hazards such as: floods (coastal, fluvial and glacial), slope instability and volcanic eruptions requires understanding of earth surface (geomorphological) processes, geomorphological history as well as a range of systems for earth surface and sub-surface measurement and monitoring.
This module aims to provide you with a detailed understanding of how physical geographical knowledge is used in the management of geomorphological processes and natural hazards.
In order to fulfil the above aims you will:
(1) be introduced to knowledge of processes associated range of natural hazards and environmental management issues;
(2) use case studies to demonstrate the value and use of physical geographical knowledge in implementing policies for civil protection and environmental management;
(3) be introduced to a range of cutting-edge techniques for characterising the earth’s surface and sub-surface;
(4) undertake a mini research project on an applied physical geography theme; and
(5) give a presentation on your chosen project
Outline Of Syllabus
The syllabus will consist of an introduction to applied geomorphology and geohazards. Proposed topics that the lectures are likely to cover include:
• Introduction to applied geomorphology and natural hazards (AR, NR & MP)
• Fluvial processes (AR)
• Flood processes and geomorphology (AR)
• UK flood hazards (AR/MP)
• Flash flood monitoring technologies (MP)
• Geomorphological data for flood hazard management (MP)
• Glacier hazards (AR)
• Volcano-ice hazards (AR)
• Surface and subsurface investigation of glacial deposits (AR)
• Surface and subsurface investigation of glaciofluvial deposits, sand & gravel resources, groundwater aquifers (AR)
• Geotechnical analysis of sediments (NR/AR)
• Remote sensing of natural hazards (NR)
• Applied geophysical imaging of the sub-surface (NR)
• Mass movement processes and hazards (NR)
• Earthquake hazards (NR)
• Periglacial hazards in Arctic and Alpine Environments (NR)
• Rising sea levels and coastal change (NR)
• Groundwater hazards (NR)
• Sinkholes (NR)
• UK flood hazard mapping (MP)
• Mapping of glacial terrain and related hazards (AR)
• Geophysical Imaging of the subsurface (e.g. Ground penetrating radar) (NR)
• Remote sensing of natural hazards (e.g. Laser scanning and LiDAR) (NR/MP)
1. Compulsory 1 day field trip to visit a geohazard in N England
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||100:00||100:00||N/A|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||16||1:00||16:00||N/A|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Practical||1||8:00||8:00||N/A|
|Guided Independent Study||Directed research and reading||1||59:00||59:00||N/A|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Practical||4||2:00||8:00||Require repeat sessions depending on class size|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Fieldwork||1||8:00||8:00||N/A|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Drop-in/surgery||2||0:30||1:00||Assuming 30 students|
Teaching Rationale And Relationship
Lectures will provide an overview of applied geomorphology and natural hazards, and their societal impacts.
Practicals will be used to introduce students to a suite of techniques and methodologies to measure and observe surface and sub-surface properties and processes associated with natural hazards (e.g. landslides, earthquakes, flooding). Students will be trained to process, analyse and interpret these datasets to understand ‘real-world’ geomorphic problems.
Presentations made by students during the workshop/mini-conference will be used to provide an opportunity for students to receive pre-Easter formative feedback on their project prior to the full project report write-up that will be due post-Easter.
Presentations and report writing are critical skills for students who may wish to pursue a career in Environmental Consultancy (i.e. one that applies the skills and knowledge learnt in this module to the real-world). As such, these transferable skills are an integral component of this module.
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
|Portfolio||1||M||40||1500 word field and lab portfolio|
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
Individual project seminar presentations – to develop oral communication skills and to provide formative feedback on their ongoing project (prior to submission of full report).
Applied geomorphology practical & field skills portfolio assesses student ability to use IT tools (e.g. GIS, geophysical software), to evaluate, analyse and synthesise data (both remotely sensed and field data).
Report assesses the ability of students to present their understanding of a specific applied geomorphological and natural hazard, and to demonstrate their ability to critically evaluate complex arguments, written communication skills and report writing.