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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Spain Fieldcourse: Mountain Building and Destruction (EASC09042)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course examines both geology and physical geography within the Betic Cordillera of Southern Spain. Fieldwork will be based primarily in the Sorbas and Tabernas basins, located inland from Almeria. The basins abut high terrain composed of metamorphic rocks and the landscape offers excellent opportunities to examine mountain uplift, erosion and the deposition then subsequent dissection of sediments over the past ~10 million years. The course will involve mapping of metamorphic rocks, examination of a basin sedimentary sequence involving turbidites, marls and limestones, mapping of sedimentary features, and examination of how uplift and geologic structures have influence landscape evolution. The course will build on both geologic and geographic field techniques, so that students will be prepared to embark on an independent dissertation project following the course. The course will involve 10 days of fieldwork.
Course description NOTE: This itinerary is provisional and subject to change depending on weather and other factors.

Day 1
Metamorphic section from S to N from Nijar to Lucainena.

Day 2
Metamorphic map near Tabernas. Time permitting, look at sediments ~ 1-2 km to NW: Tortonian/Quaternary

Day 3
Rambla Sierra, then turbidites nr Lucanena in canyon. Then Tortonian/Messinian contact

Day 4
Solitary channel, żEl Gordoż an interesting sedimentary structure.

Day 5
Carbonates near Los Molinos; structural contours (look at units: limestone, shell hash, marl, sandstone), Gypsum, Sorbas beds.

Day 6
AM: work on rock relation diagram, PM delta deposits near Vera.

Day 7
Mapping and geomorph near Los Molinos.

Day 8
Mapping and geomorph near Los Molinos.
Day 9
AM: work on geomorphology/mapping project; PM: Independent neotectonic section near Penas Negras.
Day 10
Cabo de Gata (volcanics + beach mapping section).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Geomorphology (GEGR08002) AND Global Tectonics and the Rock Cycle (EASC08020)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs The cost of the fieldtrip in 2014 is £280.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  2
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Fieldwork Hours 93, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 0 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 100 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam: 0%, Course Work: 100 %, Practical Exam: 0%.

Assesment consists of four assignments:

1) 25% The field notebook.
2) A geological map
3) A rock relation diagram showing the significant stratigraphy distributed throughout the field area.
4) A geomorphic diagram, in the style of an interpretive poster, of the geomorphic field area that includes maps, figures and diagrams.

All assessments will be collected in the field. The rock relation diagram will be collected at the end of week 1 (~day 6). The geological map and geomorphic diagram will be collected on the penultimate field day (day 9), and the field notebooks will be collected on the final field day (day 10).
Feedback Field notebooks will be given a formative mark within the first 3 days of the trip and students will have the opportunity to discuss this mark with instructors in order to improve their note-taking techniques and their marks for degree assessment.

Students will spend 10 full days in the field with 2 instructors and a demonstrator, and will be prompted to interact at outcrops and ask relevant scientific questions. Notes will be evaluated continuously in the field.

Geomorphic data and mapping will be discussed daily amongst the entire class cohort, with specific feedback from instructors and demonstrators.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. The ability to identify various metamorphic and sedimentary rocks.
  2. The ability to infer depositional environments from sedimentary rocks.
  3. Mapping of landscapes in which geologic structures and geomorphic processes interact.
  4. An understanding of how channel steepness and channel width modulate the transient evolution of channel profiles.
  5. General field skills such as mapping, note-taking and observational skills.
Reading List
Scientific papers relevant to the trip will be distributed in in Semester 2 prior to the trip.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements Students who are immobile will be asked to carry out an independant research porject using remotely sensed data and geologic maps with hand specimens.
KeywordsField studies,mountain building,basin filling,surface processes
Course organiserProf Simon Mudd
Tel: (0131 6)51 9090
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Thomas
Tel: (0131 6)50 8510
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