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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Eroding Landscapes: Mountains, Hills and Rivers (GEGR10094)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaGeography Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionHills and mountains are continuously being denuded and dissected by erosional processes. In non-glaciated landscapes sediment is produced on hillslopes, delivered to channels, and eventually transported to basins. In this course, students will be introduced to the processes that sculpt these upland regions. The processes and their feedbacks will be analysed at different scales, from particles to mountain ranges and from single transport events (e.g. landslide, flood) to geological time scales. Theoretical, experimental (analogical and numerical) and field studies constitute the basis of this course. Lectures, practicals, numerical modelling exercises and field work will allow students to understand and quantify hillslope and fluvial processes and to gain knowledge on the interactions between these processes and on their relative importance in driving landscape evolution.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Geomorphology (GEGR08002)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  35
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Class Delivery Information The course includes a one day fieldtrip.
Course Start Date 16/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
This course aims to provide students with a detailed, integrated knowledge of the physics and dynamics of erosion and landscape evolution in non-glaciated landscapes. At the end of the course, students should have acquired the following:

Subject specific learning objectives:

1. A detailed understanding of the physical processes involved in fluvial and hill slope erosion
2. A critical understanding of how local erosional processes act and interact to sculpt landscapes at catchment, mountain range and continental scales
3. An ability to quantify both fluvial and hill slope processes in terms of mass conservation, and use this ability to make predictions about future behaviour of landscapes
4. A knowledge of the tools that modern geomorphologist use to analyse these processes (e.g., topographic analysis, numerical modelling) and how understanding in this field is developed.

Transferable skill-learning objectives:
1. Have further developed their ability to produce a written report and make judgements based on information from a range of sources (some of which may be limited) e.g., field measurements, applied models and library research
2. Have acquired the ability to apply theoretical and numerical techniques to real world research questions based on a detailed knowledge of the subject which has been informed by recent, forefront developments
3. Have further developed their ability to critically review and consolidate knowledge and thinking in a discipline.
Assessment Information
Class assessment: practicals and computer exercises.
Degree assessment: essays/projects (40%) and examination (60%).

Overall mark for the course (ie degree coursework and examinations) of at least 40%
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Students should be aware there is a one day fieldtrip as part of the course.
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Anderson R.S. and Anderson S.P. (2010), Geomorphology: the mechanics and chemistry of landscapes, Cambridge Univ. Press, ISBN 0-521-51978-6. (if there's one book that you want to buy, it's this one!)
Burbank D.W. and Anderson R.S. (2001), Tectonic Geomorphology, Blackwell, ISBN 0-632-04386-5.
Carson M.A. and Kirkby M.J. (1972). Hillslope form and process, Cambridge Univ. Press, ISBN 0-521-08234-X.
Knighton D. (1998), Fluvial Forms and Processes: A New Perspective, Hodder Arnold, ISBN 0-340-66313-8.
Tinkler K.J. and Wohl E.E. (1998), Rivers over rock, AGU Geophysical monograph 107, ISBN 0-87590-090-0.
Willett S.D., Hovius N., Brandon M.T. and Fisher D.M. (2006), Tectonics, Climate and Landscape Evolution, GSA special paper 398, ISBN 0-8137-2398-1.
Particularly useful Journals include Journal of Geophysical Research, Geology, Nature, Nature Geoscience, Science, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Geomorphology, Water Resources Research and Geophysical Research Letters
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsErosion, hillslopes, rivers, sediment, physical and chemical processes
Course organiserDr Mikael Attal
Tel: (0131 6)50 8533
Course secretaryMiss Beth Muir
Tel: (0131 6)50 9847
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