THE UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH

DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2015/2016

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Physical Geography (GEGR08010)

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
SummaryThe course provides a foundation for the understanding of fundamental concepts and current ideas in physical geography for the Geography degree programmes. The course begins by considering in broad terms the development of physical geography and the key concepts and phenomena of change and evolution, cycles, fluxes and events, the environment as resource and hazard, and the human impact on the environment. The remainder of the course explores these themes in more detail in the context of the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and pedosphere, and the biosphere. The course emphasizes the importance of spatial variation, and temporal and spatial scale, and interactions between human society and the biophysical environment.
Course description The course provides a foundation for the understanding of fundamental concepts and current ideas in physical geography for the Geography degree programmes. The course begins by considering in broad terms the development of physical geography and the key concepts and phenomena of change and evolution, cycles, fluxes and events, the environment as resource and hazard, and the human impact on the environment. The remainder of the course explores these themes in more detail in the context of the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and pedosphere, and the biosphere. The course emphasizes the importance of spatial variation, and temporal and spatial scale, and interactions between human society and the biophysical environment.

Part 1: Context and major themes

1. Introduction: outline of the course and course administration
2. Why is the Earth's physical geography as it is, and not something else?
3. The changing Earth
4. The development of Physical Geography
5. Physical geography as resource and hazard
6. Physical geography transformed: the Anthropcene


Part 2: The atmosphere

7. The climate of Earth and other planets
8. Earth's climatic zones
9. Weather
10. Weather events
11. Changing climate in the Quaternary and the Anthropocene

Part 3: The hydrosphere and pedosphere

12. The hydrological cycle
13. Catchment hydrology
14. Water and society
15. Introduction to soils
16. Soil classification

Part 4: The biosphere

17. The biosphere and global change
18. Ecosystems, carbon and climate
19. What is biodiversity and where is it?
20. Dynamic biogeography
21. Forests, people and environment

22. Course summary
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information