Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Earth Resources
Academic Year
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 x 3hrs


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Semester 1  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Part 1 (10%) & Part 2 (20%)  Semester 2  30%
Semester Assessment Project Essay (2000 words)  Semester 1  20%
Semester Assessment Poster (60%) + 800 word report (40%)  Semester 2  20%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Resubmission of failed (< 40%) components. Marks for passed components will be carried forward in the recalculation of the resat module mark.  Semester One Paper  50%
Supplementary Assessment (as above)  Semester Two Paper  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Describe and evaluate water resources, their management and environmental impact, including hydrogeology

Describe and evaluate the different types of metal and mineral deposits, the formation of key ore and mineral deposits (iron, aluminum, uranium, base metal, strategic metals, gold), their extraction and mineral processing methods and the impact on the environment of these processes.

Describe and evaluate the, formation, exploration, extraction (where relevant), exploitation (including environmental impacts) of different energy resources.

Describe and evaluate exploration testing procedures and environmental impacts types of extracting bulk materials, including aggregates, building stones, sand and gravels, cement and bricks.

Brief description

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the most important of Earth's physical resources in terms of their use, formation, exploration, extraction, processing and environmental impacts. This will be structured under four main topics: Energy; Water; Bulk Materials and Metals.

Energy Resources will be discussed under the following topics: Fossil fuels; nuclear power; hydroelectricity; geothermal energy and renewable energy.

The Water Resources part of this module will describe the water cycle, discuss water management and usage, surface water and groundwater, and provide an introduction to hydrogeology.

The part of the module on Bulk Materials will cover the following topics: building stones; aggregates; sands and gravels; bricks.

Under the Metal and Mineral Deposits part of this course, the formation of key mineral deposits (iron, aluminum, uranium, base metal, strategic metals, gold), their extraction and mineral processing methods and the impact on the environment of these processes will be discussed.


Semester 1
Weeks 1-4: Introduction to course; Water resources: water cycle, surface water, groundwater, hydrogeology, water treatment
Weeks 5-10 Metals: Mineral extraction and processing, Iron, Aluminium, Base metal deposits (lead, zinc, copper), Uranium and strategic metal, Gold.

Semester 2
Weeks 1-6 Energy resources: Introduction to energy, fossil fuels, nuclear fuels, renewable energy.
Weeks 7-10 Bulk materials: Aggregates - sands and gravels and crushed rock; building stones; limestone and cement, clay and bricks, gypsum.

Reading List

Recommended Text
(2005) Energy: Fossil fuels, nuclear and renewable. Open University Primo search (2005) Minerals: Bulk materials for building and industry. Open University Primo search (2005) Water: The vital resource. Open University Primo search Evans, A.M. (1997) An introduction to Economic Geology and its Environmental Impact. Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5