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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Introduction to the Geological Record (EASC08027)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is ONLY available to students taking:

This course introduces you to interpreting the geological record from geological maps, cross-sections, GIS software and rock samples. The campus taught component is then put into practice during a week-long residential field trip to the Lake District.
Course description The course will allow you to develop 3D visualisation skills and 4D-thinking abilities through interpretation and construction of geological maps and cross-sections. These skills will be integrated with hand specimen descriptions and compilation of geological histories of mapped areas. The course will also introduce the application of online digital databases (published geological maps; Digital Elevation Models; radar interferometry; remote sensing; satellite imagery) in solving global geological problems. A collective of graduate employers in a recent teaching review has highlighted these skills as vital for geoscientists. The course fieldtrip to the Lake District lays the foundations of field-skills required to prepare you for the fieldwork aspects of your future degree.
This course includes a compulsory fieldtrip to the Lake District which is allocated by your chosen degree. Note that although we will run the excursion to the Lake District provided that it is safe to do so, given the current situation with the Covid19 pandemic, there is the possibility that the excursion will be run online as a virtual exercise. If this happens then the dates will be the same, although the virtual exercise is only 5 days long as we don't need to drive anywhere!):

Trip 1: For students studying Environmental Geosciences - Monday 11th April to Sunday 17th April 2022
Trip 2: For students studying either Geology or Geology and Physical Geography or Geophysics & Geology - Saturday 28th May - Friday 3rd June 2022.

Course Content
Teaching Week, Content and Lecturer: Each Week is composed of a live online lecture and one 3 hour practical slot

Lecturers: MA: Mikaël Attal; SG: Stuart Gilfillan; MW: Mark Wilkinson; DK: Dick Kroon; GB: Geoff Bromiley

% of Total Course Mark from Assessment
1 Lecture 1. Introduction to the course, topographic maps and navigation
Practical. - Field map navigation practical and KB orienteering course (SG)

2 Lectures 2. Geological time, unconformities and processes of formation (DK)
Practical - Structural contours, map interpretation techniques and
introductory maps (SG)

3 Lecture 3. Clastic and carbonate sedimentary rocks (DK)
Practical - Drawing cross-sections from geological maps, interpreting
geological histories and hand specimen descriptions (SG)

4 Lecture 4. Stratigraphy and sedimentology (DK)
Practical - Faults, folds and unconformities on geological maps and hand
specimen descriptions (SG)

5 Lecture 5. Introduction to structural geology (SG)
Assessed Practical - Structural map exercise (SG)
Assessment: Questionnaire and cross-section to be submitted at end of the
practical (20%)

6 Lecture 6. Introduction to igneous and metamorphic geology in the field
Practical - Igneous & metamorphic field relations on geological maps (GB)

7 Lecture 7. Overview of remote sensing techniques (MA)
Practical - Lake District DEM exercise (MA)

8 Lecture 8. Geology of the Lake District and how to take notes in a notebook
Attendance essential and will be monitored
Practical - Case study geological map: Lake District (MW)

9 Lecture 9. Field excursion logistics and safety (MW)
Attendance essential and will be monitored
Practical - Case study geological map: Edinburgh (SG)

10 Lecture 10. Interpreting real-world geological maps and compiling a
geological history from hand specimens
Assessed Practical - Assessed Geological Map Case Study (SG)
Assessment: Online Questionnaire to be submitted at the end of practical
Multiple choice quizzes - Three quizzes each worth 3.33%. Two to be held
randomly in any of the 8 non-assessed practicals given in the course in
Weeks 1 to 10. The third to be completed in own time on Learn between
Weeks 9 and 10 (10%)
Fieldtrip - Map and Cross Section (50%)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Course Work: 100 % Course work:
- Two practicals will be assessed, representing 20% of the final mark each (40% total); students will submit the material they have completed online at the end of the practical.
- Three multiple choice quizzes. Two to be held randomly in any of the ten lectures given in this course in weeks 1 to 10. These quizzes will only be accessible during the lecture period that the quiz is given in, unless special circumstances are submitted. The third will be completed during the students¿ own time online between weeks 9 and 10. Each quiz is worth 3.33% and together constitute 10% of the total course mark.
- 50% for map and cross section completed during the field trip.

Students are required to attend and participate in all aspects of the programme of study, including teaching sessions, assessments and the fieldtrip. Therefore, may we please take this opportunity to remind you that all course work assignments fall under the same rules as examinations. If you miss an assessed piece of coursework for any reason, you will need to submit special circumstances via your PT and/or Student Support Coordinator.
Hence, please check the timetable carefully and note the dates of the assessments in advance. Assessed practicals will not be rearranged on a bespoke basis for individual students, unless special circumstances are submitted and approved. We expect all student to be autonomous learners and active participants in their own education.
To pass the course, students need to obtain an overall mark of at least 40% for the completed COURSEWORK. If they do not achieve this at the first attempt, the following will apply:
- They will have the opportunity to re-sit coursework over the summer, through completion of an additional exercise.

- Week 5: Questionnaire, map and cross-section to be submitted to be submitted at the end of the practical session.
- Week 10: Questionnaire based on a real geological map to be submitted at the end of the practical session.
- Three multiple-choice quizzes to be completed between weeks 1 and 10. Two will be held randomly in any of the ten lectures given in this course in weeks 1 to 10. These quizzes will only be accessible during the lecture period that the quiz is given in, unless special circumstances are submitted. The third will be completed during the students¿ own time between weeks 9 and 10.
- Last evening of one-week field trip at 9:00 pm for submission of maps and cross-sections.

Assessment and feedback information can be found in the Taught Assessment Regulations
All details related to extensions procedures and late penalties can be found in the School of Geosciences Handbook, which can be found on the Learn UG Student Information Hub.
Feedback Students will have the opportunity to receive feedback in the following instances:
- Personal 1-to-1 feedback during the practicals, as students complete the exercises (once a week) - feedback will be provided by demonstrators and teaching staff.
- Individual feedback on assessed coursework completed during the course.
- Feedback during the field trip as students¿ progress with producing their notebook and geological map.
Examples of feedback can be found here:
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Apply knowledge and techniques that are necessary to understand and interpret the Earth's surface as expressed in maps, cross-sections and other 2/3D data.
  2. Apply knowledge of the fundamentals of the analysis and critical interpretation of geological maps.
  3. Evaluate geological maps and the history they record and apply field mapping skills in diverse geological settings.
  4. Understand and be able to use modern remote sensing techniques to complement the geological information recorded at the surface of the Earth.
Reading List
Essential Reading
Bennison, G.M. (2011) An introduction to geological structures and maps. Hodder Education.

Coe, A.L. (2010) Geological field techniques. The Open University; Wiley-Blackwell.
Stow, D.A.V. (2005) Sedimentary rocks in the field: a colour guide. Manson.

The Geological Society of London Handbook Series
McClay, K.R. (1991) The mapping of geological structures. J. Wiley.
Jerram, D. (2011) The field description of igneous rocks. Wiley-Blackwell.
Fry, N. (1984) The field description of metamorphic rocks. Open University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Stuart Gilfillan
Tel: (0131 6)51 3462
Course secretaryMs Katerina Sykioti
Tel: (0131 6)51 5251
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