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CEG1606 : Interpreting Geological Maps

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Martin Cooke
  • Lecturer: Dr Mark Ireland, Dr Cees van der Land
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The aims of this module are:

1. To teach the key skills needed to interpret geological maps.

2. To identify and record geological features in the field.

3.To introduce the key concepts related to the formation of geological features.

4. To use geological field observations to produce geological maps.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will begin with students becoming familiar with geological maps, the information they contain and how to extract information from those maps. This will enable students to read geological maps and understand the 4 dimensional thinking required to interpret geological maps. The key aspects will be:

Introduction to Geological Maps

Map conventions and symbols

Stratigraphic columns

Rules of stratigraphy


The module will then introduce more complex geological knowledge, specifically

Geological Cross Sections

Key sources of information, dips and strikes, borehole information

Drawing cross sections on geological maps and vertical exaggeration

Folds, what causes them and their description

Identifying folds on geological maps

Drawing folded cross sections on geological maps

3 point problems and structure contours

Faults, what causes them and their description

Faults on Geological maps

Drawing faulted cross sections on geological maps

Using the information on a geological map to describe the geological history of an area

The module will have 2 field trips. During these field trips students will learn how to record geological information in a notebook and on a map. The final field trip will require students to use the knowledge they have acquired to produce a geological map of an area.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion15:005:00Completion of assessment - mapping exercise book
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical92:0018:00Mapping interpretation practicals
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork14:004:00Field trips to observe geological structures in the field
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork18:008:00Field mapping exercise to Cocklawburn beach
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study651:0065:00Reflective learning
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module will be taught through a series of 2 hour desk based practicals where students will learn to interpret geological maps and information.

The field trips will teach students how to produce their own geological maps based on the information they observe and record in the field.

The assessment will largely be completed during the practical exercises but both this time and the reflective learning will allow students to consolidate their learning gained from the practical components.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M100Completion of a mapping exercise book used in the practical exercises
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Practical/lab report2MFormative exercises as part of the mapping exercise book
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment will be a workbook of geological mapping based exercises. The students will work on these during the semester in the practicals and submit the whole workbook for assessment at the end.

The workbook will include a series of formative exercises where the students can check their progress against model answers and a series of similar summative exercises.

Reading Lists