Global Opportunities

CEG1602 : The Geosphere

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

• Develop an understanding of the key processes that shape the Earth over geological time,
• Develop an understanding the structure of the solid Earth,
• Introduce students to the key paradigm of plate tectonics,
• Introduce mineralogy and the rock forming minerals,
• Develop an understanding of the rock cycle
• Describe the key geological processes that form igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks.
• Describe the key rock forming minerals in igneous, metamorphic and igneous rocks.
• Develop an appreciation for how geological processes can be explained through the use of case studies.

Outline Of Syllabus

Through a series of lectures, practical and field trips the students will gain an understanding of the dynamic process that
underpin the formation of different rocks. Specifically;
• Structure and composition of the solid earth
• Global plate tectonics – driving forces, plate motions, plate boundaries, the Wilson cycle,
• The rock cycle
• Igneous rocks and their formation and mineralogy – descriptions, classification, intrusive and extrusive volcanism,
fractional melting and crystallisation, Bowens reaction series
• Metamorphic rocks and their formation and mineralogy – descriptions, classification, contact and regional
metamorphism, facies and grade
• Sedimentary rocks and their formation and mineralogy – descriptions, classification, weathering, transport,
depositional environments, stratigraphic concepts,
• The geological history of selected geological sites in the British Isles as a case studies for the dynamic Earth.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Preparation and completion of the MQC exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture381:0038:00May be delivered as a mixture of PiP lectures and synchronous online.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Notebook work S1
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Notebook work S2
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical81:008:00PiP practicals - rocks specimens, thin sections (delivered in 2 groups, double taught)
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities21:002:00Virtual online practical – introduction to rock forming minerals (2 groups, double taught)
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading140:0040:00Reading around the subject to gain a broader understanding
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork36:0018:00S1 – Introductory field trip, S2 – Geology of British Isles
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study139:0039:00Consolidating learnings from practicals and lectures
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are used to provide 1) an introduction to processes and the evidence of these and 2) information, details and facts, as well as a guide to the syllabus and reading. This is reinforced using case studies and practical classes. Case studies presented in the lectures are used to explain the link between outcrops and geological processes.

Field trips are used to introduce students to observation and description of the characteristics of rocks. The location of field trips will be linked to both the case studies and the specimens in practical classes where possible.

Practical classes are the primary opportunity for students to link investigate how rocks and minerals relate to the broader dynamic Earth processes. It provides an opportunity to practice skills needed for to make observations in the field, in hand specimens and in thin sections.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination601A30MCQ
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M35Lab notebook (3 x practical exercises from S1)
Practical/lab report2M35Lab notebook (3 x practical exercises from S2)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Practical/lab report1MThin sections lab observations (1 - Sem 1)
Practical/lab report1MThin sections lab observations (2 - Sem 1)
Practical/lab report2MThin sections lab observations (3 - Sem 2)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Given the breadth of subject areas covered in the introductory module for both Earth and Environment programs, the assessment method will be based on both an exam and practical/lab assessment. The practical classes provide the primary opportunity for students to link how observations from rocks and minerals relate to the broader dynamic Earth processes.

While the exam provides

PC Exam 1 – In semester 1 exam period a PC Exam (MCQ) will assess the students’ knowledge and understanding of some of the key paradigms which underpin the evolution of the Earth and geological processes present day. The assessment will cover the structure and composition of the solid earth; global plate tectonics; the rock cycle and the formation of igneous and metamorphic rocks

Practical / Lab Assessment 1 - In semester 1 the practical / lab notebook will be assessed at the end of the S1 teaching period. There will be three components assessed, one relating to global tectonics, one related to igneous rocks and one related to metamorphic rocks. The exercises test the ability to recognise geological features, rocks and minerals.

Practical / Lab Assessment 2 - In semester 2 the practical / lab notebook will be assessed at the end of the S1 teaching period. There will be three components assessed, all relating to describing and identifying sedimentary rocks

The formative assessment will provide an opportunity for students to receive on feedback relating to their observational skills.

Reading Lists

Timetable