BSc Geography and Geology with a year abroad / Course details
Year of entry: 2018
Course unit details:
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
The course covers glacial and periglacial environments, processes and landforms. The course will include introductory glaciology and the basics of upland and lowland glacial geomorphology. This will provide the basis for reconstructing past glacial and periglacial environments. The theoretical aspects will be combined with a field visit to a classic glacial site in North Wales. The lectures and field trip will be supplemented by follow-up lectures/seminars/lab classes – see below.
This course will examine glacial and periglacial processes in modern-day settings and will show how this knowledge can be used to reconstruct past glacial and periglacial environments. Examples will be referenced from around the world. Glacial and periglacial environments are of major importance for understanding and reconstructing modern and past climatic and environmental change.
By the end of the course students should understand:
- the significance of glacial and periglacial processes as a major component of global environmental change;
- the processes leading to the development of glacial/ periglacial sediments and landforms;
- the importance of glacial/ periglacial sediments and landforms for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction;
- The glacial history of the British Isles and its significance in climate reconstruction and to present day landscapes and resources.
During the course, you will be encouraged to develop the following abilities and skills:
- critical evaluation of scientific evidence;
- research strategy and problem solving;
- scientific writing, style and philosophy;
- recognise the place of specialised knowledge within wider contexts of global change;
- geomorphological mapping/ glacial sedimentology and associated field and laboratory techniques.
Course structure (the precise running order may change)
Lectures will be supported by two laboratory classes/seminars in addition to a day-long fieldtrip (dates to be confirmed)
- Glaciers - Introduction
- Glaciers dynamics
- Glaciers and meltwater
- Glaciers & erosion – theory and case studies
- Glacial erosion, sediment transport & deposition
- Glacial geomorphology – upland environments
- Periglacial environments
- Glacial geomorphology – lowland environments
- Reconstructing ELAs = methods
- Revision Session
+ One-Day Fieldtrip (Date and week to be confirmed)
The course will run over 12 weeks in Semester 1, with 10 weeks of lectures/activities and 2 study weeks
Teaching and learning methods
Teaching Methods and E-learning
The course unit is delivered via a mix of lectures, seminars and field/lab-based teaching. The lectures will provide essential background knowledge and theoretical training. The field-class will examine classic glacial sediments and landforms in a glaciated area and will complement the theoretical knowledge obtained in the lectures.
The course unit will be supported by electronic resources including:
- Extensive material on Blackboard, including selected reading material, reading lists and all powerpoint slides, notes and FAQs relating to the assessment.
- Electronic journals available through the John Rylands University Library
- Bibliographic programs like Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar available through Manchester University IT
This course unit will be examined by a 2-hr examination (¿ of final marks) and an essay (¿ of final marks). The 2-hour unseen exam will take place in January. The essay will be based around topics and themes covered in the field trip and is to be submitted before Christmas (assessment details will be provided early in Semester 1).
Feedback in a number of ways to help you to improve your future performance:
Interactive activities within lectures (oral, whole-class);
Regular surgeries in consultation hours (oral, one-to-one);
Brief comments on exam scripts (written, one-to-one);
Detailed comments on coursework essays (written, one-to-one) ;
Responding to issues raised through e-mail (electronic, one-to-one).
Note there is no specific course text.
Benn and Evans (2010) and Bennett and Glasser (2009) are probably the most useful all-round texts for glaciers. However, any of the following textbooks provide good background for the course:
Ballantyne, C.K. and Harris, C. (1994) The periglaciation of Great Britain. Cambridge: CUP.
Benn, D.I. and Evans, D.J.A. (2010) Glaciers and glaciation. Arnold: London. 2nd Edition.
Bennett, M.R. & Glasser, N.F. (2009) Glacial geology: ice sheets and landforms. Chichester: Wiley. 2nd Edition.
French, H.M. (1996) The periglacial environment. Harlow: Longman
Knight, P. (1999) Glaciers. Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes
Hambrey, M. (1994) Glacial Environments. London: UCL Press
Nesje, A., & Dahl, S.O. (2000) Glaciers and environmental change. London: Arnold
Paterson, W.S.B. (1994) The Physics of Glaciers. (3rd Edition). Oxford: Pergamon.
Slaymaker, O. and Kelly, R.E.J. (2007) The cryosphere and global environmental change. Blackwell.
Useful web resources
Glaciers online (http://www.swisseduc.ch/glaciers)
Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.co.uk)
Humanities Faculty - Studies Skills (http://www.humanities.manchester.ac.uk/studyskills)
JSTOR Digital Archive (http://www.jstor.org)
Web of Science (http://wok.mimas.ac.uk)
World Glacier Inventory (http://nsidc.org/data/g01130.html)
World Glacier Monitoring Service (http://www.wgms.ch)
Annals of Glaciology, Boreas, Geografiska Annaler, Journal of Glaciology, Journal of Quaternary Science, Nature, Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, Quaternary Research, Quaternary Science Reviews, Science.e.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|PHILIP Hughes||Unit coordinator|
|Jason Dortch||Unit coordinator|