Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 X 2 hrs
Other 1 x one day field excursion to local bedrock sections


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Written assignment 1: Mineral resource mapping in Wales: its uses and limitations (3000 words)  30%
Semester Assessment Written assignment 2: Quantifying uncertainty (2000 words)  20%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   2 hour written exam (to include 2 sections, one essay to be answered from each)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit failed (<40%) written assignments. Marks for passed components to be carried forward in recalculation of the resat module mark.  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Resit failed written exam.  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Describe the geological history and natural resources of Wales.

Evaluate the link between geological processes and events and mineral resources.

Use and interpret mineral resource maps to evaluate mineral wealth of a region.

Critically evaluate the uncertainties linked to mineral resources maps and their interpretation.

Brief description

This module will be taught in two parallel parts: lectures and a 1 day local area field excursion will be undertaken. For details see the next section.


The lecture programme will span the 2nd semester and be structured as follows:

Lecture 1. Course introduction; The Geological Map and mineral wealth of Wales; written assignment 1 (see below)
Lecture 2. Plate tectonic events and the ancient foundations of Wales: the geological context for the Welsh slate industry
Lecture 3. Mineral resource maps: fact or fiction - the concept and impact of uncertainty and how it can be quantified; written assignment 2 (see below)
Lecture 4. Rifting and volcanism in Wales: the geological context for mining of Lower Palaeozoic metal deposits in Wales
Lecture 5. Mineral workings: their classification and representation
Lecture 6. Sedimentary basins in Wales: the building stone and hard rock aggregate industry in Wales
Lecture 7. Mineral safeguarding: why is it needed?
Lecture 8. The coalfields of Wales: the geological context for the Welsh coal and steel industries
Lecture 9. The post-Carboniferous evolution of Wales: the sand and gravel aggregate industry in Wales
Lecture 10. Future trends and the need for effective mineral planning; students hand in written assignments 1 and 2

In parallel with the lecture series students will be required to undertake two written assignments:

Written assignment 1: Mineral resource mapping in Wales: its uses and limitations

This assignment is designed to develop the student's ability to access and interpret data on mineral resources in Wales, to develop their awareness of the concepts, process and limitations of mineral resource mapping. For this assignment students will be asked to access copyright-free online resources located on the Blackboard and external sites. These resources will include selected geological and derivative landuse and mineral planning maps; also technical datasets assessing mineral deposits and their properties. The assignment will be structured under the headings: 1. Deriving land-use and mineral resources maps from geological base maps; 2. Classifying mineral workings; 3. Mineral safeguarding maps; 4. Welsh Coal resource maps and the impact of buffering; 5. The mineral deposits of Wales - historical perspectives and future trends.

Written assignment 2: Quantifying uncertainty on geological maps and their derivative products
This assignment will seek to develop the student's ability critically to question the ways in which published maps and datasets are used for mineral planning purposes in Wales and to explore ways in which uncertainty can be assessed both qualitatively and numerically.

Field excursion: 1 x 1 day (Saturday or Sunday) field excursion, mid-Semester. Students will be introduced to local bedrock units and the evidence for tectonic and sedimentary processes they provide, which link to evolution of the Welsh Basin and formation of mineral deposits in the Central Wales Orefield.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Written assessments (compiling and interpreting mineral planning and safeguarding maps; quantifying uncertainty)
Communication Written assignments and exam
Improving own Learning and Performance Generally developed throughout course
Information Technology Used to access and interpret data from online sources; used to quantify uncertainly
Personal Development and Career planning Not developed specifically in this module, although knowledge of mineral planning etc relevant to careers in environmental sector
Problem solving Written assignments
Research skills Written assignments
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Not developed on this module

Reading List

Essential Reading
Brenchley, PJ & Rawson, PF (eds.) (2006) The Geology of England and Wales. The Geological Society: London Primo search Lelliott, M, Cave, M & Wealthall, G. (2009) Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology A structured approach to the measurement of uncertainty in 3D geological models. 42. 95-105 Primo search (2006) Planning and Minerals; practice guide. Department for Communities and Local Government. HMSO. Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6