Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 5 Hours. Seminar classes
Practical 5 Hours. Practical classes
Other 20 Hours. Field classes


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Seminar based on Essay Review (10 minute oral presentation)  10%
Semester Assessment Fieldwork: Sedimentary Logging Report (1500 words)  20%
Semester Assessment Practical exercises (Projects 1 Satellite Image Interpretation; Project 2 Aerial Photo Interpretation); 10% each  20%
Semester Assessment Fieldwork: Public understanding of science brochure  20%
Semester Assessment Essay Review (5000 words)  30%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit failed elements of coursework.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Interpret surface features on contemporary glaciers and ice sheets, such as those related to ice dynamics, debris transport and hydrology, using satellite imagery and aerial photography.

2. Interpret the sediment/landform associations in recently deglacierised areas and in the Quaternary record, using satellite imagery and aerial photography.

3. Apply sedimentological principles to the analysis and interpretation of glacigenic sediments, irrespective of age.

4. Demonstrate field skills in sedimentological logging and landform interpretation.

5. Apply their scientific knowledge in the context of public understanding of science by producing an interpretative brochure for public consumption

6. Synthesise information from peer-reviewed journal articles and other scientific literature on a glacial geological/geomorphological topic

Brief description

The module provides a practical introduction to the use of a variety of techniques in glacial geology and geomorphology. Emphasis is on fieldwork and laboratory work, supported by seminars. Theoretical background will be acquired from written and web-based materials


The module comprises two lab-based projects, fieldwork reports and one essay review, as follows.

Project 1: Map and satellite interpretation of the Antarctic Ice sheet (Lambert Glacier System)
Project 2: Aerial photograph and satellite interpretation of a region formerly covered by an ice sheet

Fieldwork 1: The Irish Sea glaciation controversy: sedimentological logging exercise at key site in West Cumbria (one day)
Fieldwork 2: Evaluation and mapping of glacial landforms for public understanding of science brochure in the Lake District (one day)

Essay Review: With reference to case studies, the essay will be concerned with an in-depth literature-based analysis of a topical glacial geological or geomorphological issue.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Not specifically developed in this module
Communication Written technical communication is required after Fieldwork 1 and 2. Writing for the wider public is developed by Fieldwork 2.
Improving own Learning and Performance Emphasis on coursework allows students to develop a deeper understanding of issues associated with glaciology.
Information Technology All projects and fieldwork involve use of IT for data analysis and representation.
Personal Development and Career planning Personal development will be improved through collaborative fieldwork and increased knowledge of the application of field and practical techniques.
Problem solving Projects 1 and 2 involve using remotely sensed data to resolve issues relating to glacier dynamics and landscape evaluation. Fieldwork 1 requires students to consider and evaluate issues relating to the glacial history of an area.
Research skills The Essay Review requires exploration and synthesis of technical and theoretical material, using case studies from peer-reviewed literature.
Team work Fieldwork 1, 2 and 3 require team collaboration in terms of preparation and the effective use of time in the field. Working together is also a safety consideration in mountain environments.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Benn, D. I. and Evans, D.J.A. (1998) Glaciers and Glaciation. Arnold, London Primo search Bennett, M.R. and Glasser, N.F. (1996) Glacial Geology: Ice Sheets and Landforms. John Wiley, Chichester. Primo search Hambrey, M.J. (1994) Glacial Environments. UCL Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7