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School of Environment, Education and Development

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BSc Geography and Geology
Benefit from a wide range of optional topics and practical trips on this combined degree.

BSc Geography and Geology / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Planet Earth: Its Climate, History and Processes

Unit code EART10111
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Aims

The aim is to explain in outline how the Earth system works, so that you will have a foundation for the other courses you will do in the first year. No pre-knowledge of Earth Science is assumed, just an interest in the subject

 

Syllabus

Summary of Lecture Content

Grotzinger and Jordan (GJ) is the required course text. In-class lecture notes will be

provided by the instructor for some lectures. Videos will be available on Blackboard.

 

Week 1:

Lecture 1: Introduction, climate system, geologic time

GJ: Chapter 1 and 15.1

Videos: Rocks, radiometric dating, age of Earth

 

Lecture 2: The Hadean

GJ: Chapter 9

Video: Stratigraphy

 

Week 2:

Lecture 3: Plate tectonics and magnetic field

GJ: Chapter 2

Video: Magnetism

 

Lecture 4: Flake versus plate tectonics

GJ: Chapters 10 and 14

Video: Earthquakes

 

Week 3:

Lecture 5: Magma formation

GJ: Chapters 10 and 14

 

Lecture 6: Earth’s interior

GJ: Chapter 13 and 14

 

Week 4:

Lecture 7: Supercontinent cycle

GJ: Chapter 10

 

Lecture 8: Building Earth’s climate

Lecture notes

Video: Build Your Own Earth

 

Week 5:

Lecture 9: Understanding past climates

GJ: Chapter 8

 

Lecture 10: TEST #1

 

Week 6: READING WEEK

 

Week 7:

Lecture 11: Origin of atmosphere and hydrosphere

Lecture notes

Video: Atmospheric composition

 

            Lecture 12: Hydrosphere and cryosphere

Lecture notes

 

Week 8:

Lecture 13: The atmosphere

Lecture notes

Videos: Atmosphere structure and dynamics

 

Lecture 14: Feedbacks within the climate system

Lecture notes

 

Week 9:

Lecture 15: The Archean

GJ: Chapter 11

 

Lecture 16: How evolution works

GJ: Chapter 11

Video: Fossils

 

Week 10:

Lecture 17: Great Oxygenation Event and metazoan evolution

GJ: Chapter 11

Videos: Colonization of land

 

Lecture 18: Mass extinctions

GJ: Chapter 11

 

Week 11:

Lecture 19: The Cenozoic

GJ: Chapter 15

 

Lecture 20: TEST #2

Assessment methods

Assessment:     There are 4 assessments:1. Two in-class tests (45 minutes): one in mid semester and one at the end of the semester (30% each).2. A Build Your Own Earth (http://www.buildyourownearth.com) assignment for you to work on in your own time (30%).3. Museum Scavenger Hunt, in which you will be expected to track down information from the Manchester Museum, right across the street. This will be done in your own time (10%).

 

Recommended reading

Recommended Texts:

You will be expected to read around the subject using the lecture content as your guide. There are many texbooks on this subject, but the recommended one is Understanding Earth, any edition 5 or higher, by J. Grotzinger and T. Jordan. It is also very easy to track down information on this topic from the web. Remember, you are responsible for your own learning.

 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 80

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
David Schultz Unit coordinator

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