Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 Hours. 10 x 2 hours
Seminars / Tutorials 2 Hours. 1 x 2 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 750 word seminar report  Report:  10%
Semester Assessment 2500 word assessed essay  Essay:  30%
Semester Assessment 10 minute seminar presentation  Seminar Presentation:  10%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written examination  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed coursework component(s) and/or resit of failed end of semester examination. No resit for seminar presentation available, original mark for presentation will be carried forward. 
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Resit of failed examination.  50%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to :-

  • assess how the relative and the absolute importance of different geomorphological agents (e.g. surface water, groundwater, wind) vary within and between the world's dryland regions;
  • evaluate how these geomorphological agents have responded, and will continue to respond, to natural and anthropogenically-induced environmental changes.


This module is designed to enable students to gain a conceptual and factual understanding of the major landforms and processes in the world's extensive dryland regions, including an appreciation of how these forms and processes respond to environmental changes.


1) The context for dryland geomorphology
Drylands: definition, nature, extent and importance
Climatic and geological frameworks

2) Weathering forms and processes
Weathering agents: insolation, moisture, salt
Weathering products: soils, crusts and varnishes
The role of vegetation

3) Fluvial forms and processes
Slopes and pediments
Alluvial fans and gullies
River channels and floodplains
Wetlands, pans and playas

4) Aeolian forms and processes
Aeolian bedforms, dunefields and sand seas
Aeolian dust

5) Dryland regions: extensions, contractions and change
Cenzoic environmental changes
Human impact and future changes

Reading List

Recommended Text
Thomas, D.S.G. (Ed.) (1997) Arid Zone Geomorphology: Process, Form and Change in Drylands 2nd edition. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons Primo search
Consult For Futher Information
Abrahams, A.D. and Parsons, A.J. (Eds) (1994) Geomorphology of Desert Environments London: Chapman and Hall Primo search Cooke, R.U., Warren A. and Goudie, A.S (1993) Desert Geomorphology London: University College London Press Primo search Cooke, R.U., Warren, A. and Goudie, A.S (1993) Desert Geomorphology London: University College London Press (pbk). Primo search Singhvi, A. and Derbyshire, E. (Eds) (1999) Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction in Arid Lands New Delhi: Oxford and IBH publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6