Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Glacial Processes and Landforms
Academic Year
Semester 1
GG10610 or DA10610 preferred.
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 2 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  Essay. One single essay taken from a choice of titles. Essay is to be a maximum of 2000 words. (75%)  2000 word essay  75%
Semester Assessment Group, peer assessed project  Group project involves researching glaciarised regions on Earth and presenting a popular media style report. Peer assessment will also be employed for the assignment.  500 word contribution to group project  25%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed components  Resubmission of failed components. Students who fail the module will be required to resubmit any failed essay components described above. Students who fail the group project will be required to submit a supplementary 1200-word independent essay.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Outline the principles of glacier mass balance, glacier and ice sheet responses to climate, and glacier hydrology

2. Assess the mechanisms of glacier adjustment and the role played by glaciers and ice sheets in global change

3. Explain and identify how glacier motion, and erosional and depositional processes interact to produce different glacial landforms and landscapes

4. Describe how cold climate indicators are preserved in the geomorphological and sedimentological record

Brief description

The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to glacial environments and to the processes, landforms and sediments that occur in these areas. Students will be introduced to the main types of glacial settings, and to the dominant landform- and sediment-forming processes that are found in these areas. Topics covered include glacier mass balance, glacier motion and velocity, glacier hydrology, glacial erosion and sedimentation, and an introduction to glacial geomorphology. This module will make use of case studies to introduce students to the most recent published literature and current debates in the field. Each session will consist of a lecture and may include a discussion of a case study related to the topic of that lecture. Assessments and exam questions will be linked to lecture topics and expectations of wider, topical reading.


1. Introduction to glacial environments
2. Glacier mass balance
3. Glaciers and climate: the ice sheets
4. Glaciers and climate: valley glaciers and glacier hazards
5. Glacier hydrology
6. Glacier motion: theory and processes
7. Glacier motion: spatial variability and surge-type behaviour
8. Glacial erosion: processes and landforms
9. Glacial deposition: processes and landforms
10. Ice-sheet reconstructions from landform evidence

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Although the module is focused mainly on concepts, simple examples demonstrate the use of numbers in describing and analyzing glacier and ice sheet behaviour
Communication Written communication skills are developed in researching and preparing all assessments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will learn how to improve their own learning and performance through the exercises related to all coursework assessments (e.g. with peer assessment and engagement with marking criteria in Group project, and through detailed feedback for the essay).
Information Technology Information technology skills are developed through the preparation and submission of all coursework assessments. The group project includes a need to engage with ‘design’ using PowerPoint (or equivalent).
Personal Development and Career planning The skills developed through this module can provide the foundation for higher-level studies and also are transferable to many applied, non-academic contexts. Students will be made aware of the relevance for further study and employability throughout the module. Awareness of personal development is embedded in the work associated with all coursework assessments, especially the group project that involves team work.
Problem solving Problem-solving skills are developed by students in researching and preparing coursework assessments, especially in the group project when negotiating the distribution and contribution of individual team members’ workloads.
Research skills Library resources and the internet will be used to obtain sources of information (e.g. academic papers) relevant for completing assessments. Research skills are developed in preparing assessments (e.g. scientific research problem identification, finding and evaluating information on a topic, summarising subject themes, and creating bibliographies).
Subject Specific Skills Subject-specific skills in glaciology, glacial geomorphology and sedimentology are developed throughout the module in lectures, as well as through independent study.
Team work Team work is embedded within the group project to be completed during the semester, and assessed via the use of a ‘group time sheet’.


This module is at CQFW Level 5