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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Earth Science Fundamentals for Geophysicists (EASC08022)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
This course takes the most essential material from the Earth Dynamics and Introduction to Geophysics courses, compulsory courses for those on the 4 year undergraduate geophysics degrees, sufficient to allow students to take Global Tectonics and the Rock Cycle, Physics of the Earth, and Structural Geology, in later years, and hence courses for which they are pre-requisites.

Course description Lectures:
Earth formation, composition and age: 1 lecture
Seismology (including earthquakes) and internal structure: 3 lectures
Plate tectonics: 3 lectures
Gravity: 2 lectures
Geomagnetism: 1 lecture
Igneous and metamorphic rocks and processes: 2 lectures
Deformation (faulting and folding, stress and strain): 2 lectures

Maps practical exercise (week 6)

IT exercises:
Web based Virtual Fieldtrip - accessed via Learn; to be completed before 1st field trip
Introduction to Holyrood Park - Learn exercise to be completed before 2nd field trip

Field trips:
Meet at Appleton Tower, ready to depart at 09:00am. ATTENDANCE IS COMPULSORY.
Sat 22nd October OR Sun 23rd October. FIELD TRIP 2: Holyrood Park / Salisbury Crags / Arthur's Seat
Meet at 09:00am sharp at the grassy parkland area near the roundabout just inside from the St Leonards /
Pollock Halls entrance to Holyrood Park. Field trip ends at approximately 12:30 pm. ATTENDANCE IS COMPULSORY

Assay of the Earth - Earth materials and Composition (week 1)
lithospheric plate motion practical in (week 2)
'Be a seismologist' (week 5)
Salisbury Crags exercise; rocks in hand specimen and thin section (week 8)
Pentland Fault gravity interpretation; density measurements (week 9)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Earth Dynamics (EASC08001) AND Introduction to Geophysics (EASC08008)
Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesMathematics and Physics at a level suitable for University entrance to study Physics.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 22, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 3, Fieldwork Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 68 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam: 50%, Course Work: 50 %, Practical Exam: 0%.

The written exam will consist of short answer questions.

The course work component includes your practical workbooks as well as field trip attendance and notebook write up. Incomplete practicals or practical workbooks, or absence from a practical where workbooks are marked, will be penalised unless you have special circumstances supported by doctor's note or letter from your Student Support Co-ordinator. Be sure to submit your field-related IT assignment within your workbook. In addition to the practical workbook you are required to submit your field notebook for marking after each field trip. The second mark will contribute towards your overall 'course work' mark.

Students must achieve a pass mark in both components.
If you fail to pass both components at first attempt the following will happen:
Fail coursework, pass exam: Alternative coursework will be assigned and all practical exercises must be completed. Deadline to submit work to TO will be in late March 2017, exact deadline to be advised. Exam mark stands no resit allowed.
Fail exam, pass course work: Resit exam in August exam diet; Coursework mark carried forward.
Fail exam, fail coursework: Resit exam in August exam diet: Alternative coursework will be assigned and all practical exercises must be completed. Deadline to submit work to TO will be in late March 2017, exact deadline to be advised.

Assessment deadlines
Practical workbooks to be handed in after the practical during week 7. Field notebook will be collected after each field trip.
Feedback There is an opportunity for verbal feedback during all tutorial and practical sessions, and after the field trip.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)1:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)1:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will develop a broad understanding of key, defining geological concepts and theories: the internal divisions of the Earth and its dynamic evolution via plate tectonic processes; the formation of igneous and metamorphic rocks;
    the mechanisms by which rocks deform and break at depth in the Earth; and the dynamic geological settings in which these processes operate.
  2. They will also develop an overview of the physical processes operating within the Earth, and understand the principles of some of the geophysical techniques by which this information is derived. They will have gained practical experience of how geophysical observations can be interpreted.
  3. They will understand the basics of geological and
    geophysical fieldwork, keeping a field notebook, and
    laboratory practical work. They will develop skills in writing a scientific report, including references to previous work, and understanding the role played by new observations and an assessment of their errors in the process of scientific inference.
Reading List
Marshak, S (2008) Earth: Portrait of a Planet.
(International Student Edition) (Norton Publishing Co.).
ISBN 0-393-93036-X
Smith, GA & Pun, A (2006): How Does Earth Work?
(Pearson Prentice-Hall), ISBN 0-13-034129-0 and ISBN
Grotzinger, J, Jordan, TH, Press, F & Siever, R
(2007): Understanding Earth (5th edition) (WH
Freeman). ISBN 0-7167-6682-5.
Lowrie, W (2007) Fundamentals of Geophysics
(Cambridge University Press)
Stacey, FM & Davies, PM (2008) Physics of the Earth
(CUP, 4th edition)
Christiansen, EH & Hamblin, WK Dynamic Earth - An introduction to Physical Geology
(Jones & Bartlett Learning)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Fieldwork; IT skills; practical work
Additional Class Delivery Information 2 x 1 hr lectures and 4 practicals
KeywordsEarth structure,Earth composition,rocks,plate tectonics,geophysical techniques,geological maps
Course organiserProf Kathy Whaler
Tel: (0131 6)50 4904
Course secretaryMrs Nicola Clark
Tel: (0131 6)50 4842
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