University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geosciences

Undergraduate Course: MEarthSci field training (GESC11004)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Year 5 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryField training will be undertaken in Iceland. The theme of the fieldtrip is the geology of a Mid-Ocean Ridge and Hot Spots, encompassing volcano-tectonics, magmatism, volcanism, sedimentology and geomorphology in an active volcanic setting.

Field training will be undertaken in Iceland in late August/early September (traditionally just before freshers week), prior to the start of semester 1.

Field training will be undertaken in Iceland in late August, prior to the start of Semester 1.
Course description The field trip theme is geology of a volcanic ¿hot spot¿ and includes the following sub-themes: volcano-tectonics, magmatism, volcanism, sedimentology and geomorphology in an active volcanic province. The underpinning aims of this field course are to deploy interactive approaches for training in:
(a) Formulating working hypothesis for a field area under investigation and setting up the approach/methodology by which the hypothesis can be tested in the field within the time frame available. This will be achieved by: (1) systematic study of assigned background reading to be undertaken and completed before the field course and (2) by on site assessment in the field.
(b) Examining classical volcanic successions in the field.
(c) Conducting field logging of classical volcanic successions featuring a range of extrusive, intrusive volcaniclastic and sedimentary rocks / deposits as well as rift tectonics.
(d) Analysing present day geomorphology and the paleo-landscape of extinct and active volcanic terrains as well as the geomorphology induced by the ¿Ice Age¿; present and past interglacial and glacial periods.

The field trip guide is posted on LEARN and students will receive a printed copy before they travel.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs The cost of this field trip in 2014/15 was £530 for accommodation and flights, with the University contributing 50% towards those costs.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Flexible
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Fieldwork Hours 100, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 96 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam: 0%, Course Work: 100 %, Practical Exam: 0%.

Field Note Book (50%): due on 14th September 2015, 12 noon.
Research Report (50%): due on 25thth September 2015, 12 noon.

Field Note Book: This book should contain complete and legible notes that form a record of your scientific activities during the field course. Effective use of field notes is an essential part of the training on this course and field observations must be recorded accurately and clearly, remembering to include times, and place names. The notes should cover your research as well as other activities undertaken during the course. If samples are collected, a record of all sample bag numbers, as well as details of the sample locations should be made. Notes on the equipment used should also be made, and there should be records of the initial analysis of data sets, and the development of ideas during evening work at the field centre. Although most of you will wish to make photographic records, it is expected that where ever possible use will be made of annotated field sketches, diagrams and maps. Photographs do not replace field sketches; they are complementary.

Research Report: The research report should be an individual write-up of the research carried out during the field course and should follow the format of a peer-reviewed geoscience paper. The objectives are (i) to give you practice at writing reports, an essential skill for careers both in research and industry, and (ii) to ensure that you have come to grips with the science and theory that underpin our geological understanding. The main text of the report should be 5000 words (including abstract but not references). Each figure, graph and table should be given a number and a caption, so that it can be referenced appropriately in the text. Sources of information should be cited in the text in accordance with standard practice in scientific journals.
Feedback We will be in a field environment working in a small group. There will be continuous discussion of the field sites throughout the week. Feedback both with regard to the notebook keeping and with regard to the individual projects will be available most of the time through personal discussion with the group leaders. Some time will be set aside for the personal research projects, during this time there may not be a staff member at hand.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will conduct field training in Iceland which will impart a critical understanding of the geology of mid-ocean ridges and hot spots. By the end of this course, students will be knowledgeable about many features of volcano-tectonics, magmatism, volcanism, sedimentology and geomorphology in an active volcanic setting.
  2. Students will learn how to conduct field work on stratigraphic successions and surface morphologies in a volcanic terrain that features a range of volcanic and sedimentary lithologies, rift-related structures and landscapes.
  3. Students will learn how to formulate working hypotheses based on their current knowledge and understanding, and the means by which these hypotheses can be tested in the field.
  4. As part of the assessment of this course students will plan and execute an individual research project which will involve the application of a range of standard and specialised skills and literature based research.
  5. The project and associated fieldwork will enable students to exercise substantial autonomy and initiative at a professional level.
Reading List
There is a recommended reading list of research papers about Iceland posted on LEARN.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information The field trip will run prior to the start of semester 1 (block 1) in which the students enter year 5. Additional informal tutorials/workshops may be held in semester 1.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Eliza Calder
Tel: (0131 6)50 4910
Course secretaryMs Casey Hollway
Tel: (0131 6)50 8510
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information
© Copyright 2015 The University of Edinburgh - 18 January 2016 4:05 am