Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Arctic Marine Geology (UNIS)
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 3 Hours   60%
Semester Assessment Written fieldwork project (4000 word report)  40%
Supplementary Assessment 3 Hours   Resit written examination  60%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed coursework element  40%

Learning Outcomes

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

Brief description

The role of glaciations in the formation of geological structures, sedimentary stratigraphy and morphology of Svalbard as well as other high latitude continental margins will form a core part of the course. Typical glacial marine sedimentary environments, ranging from small basins in front of outlet glaciers, through fjords to continental shelves and slopes as well as deep-water abyssal plains will be discussed. Case studies from the Svalbard margin as well as other presently and formerly glaciated margins will be presented to illustrate the characteristic sediment types and stratigraphic sequences associated with each sedimentary environment. Modern marine geological field and laboratory methods and instrumentation used for collecting and analyzing geophysical and sedimentological data will be used to demonstrate some of the tools used in reconstructing the past oceanographic, sedimentary and environmental conditions.

The course will include up to 9 days of marine geological/geophysical fieldwork on a research vessel in the waters around Svalbard. During the research cruise, students will collect geophysical, oceanographic and sedimentological data. These data will be further analyzed in the laboratory after the cruise, and the results will be used in the students' written fieldwork reports. This module offers a unique opportunity to study high-latitude marine geological processes and environments.


  • Introduction to the geology and oceanography of the world's oceans, including the distribution of the main sediment types, their respective sources and depositional environments
  • Dating techniques applied to Arctic Ocean sediments and age models for paleo-oceanographic reconstructions
  • Global plate tectonics and the formation of the Arctic Ocean
  • Changes in the oceanic circulation patterns
  • Proxies used in deciphering paleoceanographic, sedimentological and climatic variations
  • Modern oceanic sediments, sediment sources and sedimentation rates
  • The role of sea ice and permafrost in the Arctic climate history
  • The history of Arctic exploration and the current status of mapping of the Arctic Ocean
  • The geography and physiography of the Arctic Ocean

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number On fieldwork, in laboratory practicals and in writing fieldwork project
Communication On fieldwork, in researching literature, in writing fieldwork project report and in exam
Improving own Learning and Performance Not explicitly developed in this module
Information Technology On fieldwork, in laboratory practicals and in writing fieldwork project
Personal Development and Career planning Not explicitly developed in this module
Problem solving On fieldwork
Research skills On fieldwork, and in writing fieldwork project
Subject Specific Skills None
Team work On fieldwork and in seminars


This module is at CQFW Level 6