Module Identifier EA11510  
Module Title PLANET EARTH  
Academic Year 2000/2001  
Co-ordinator Dr Alex Maltman  
Semester Semester 1  
Mutually Exclusive Not recommended for students with an 'A-level' in Geology or similar experience and interests.  
Course delivery Lecture   19 Hours 1 hour lectures.  
Assessment Exam   2 Hours End of semester examination   80%  
  In-course assessment   Two computer-marked multiple choice examinations. The mid-semester in-course test in Lecture 11 counts 20% and the final examination 80%.   20%  
  Resit assessment   The mid-semester test mark (20%) to be carried forward and the final examination (80%) will be the same format.   100%  

Brief description
Module Outline
This module introduces our planet and how it works, for those who plan little or no further
coursework in geology. The emphasis throughout is on concepts and understanding what you can
see around you. Terminology is kept to a minimum. The course is especially suitable for students
outside the Faculty of Science.

The first lectures introduce the setting of planet Earth and the ways in which we approach an
understanding and appreciation of it. The chief kinds of minerals and rocks are explained,
together with the physical processes that shape the Earth's surface. Other lectures cover such
topics as volcanoes, glaciers, earthquakes, the oceans, and understanding the landscape. The state
of Earth's energy and mineral resources is discussed, emphasising how we interact with our planet.
The lectures are fully illustrated, using examples from all over the U.K. and around the world.
The course will follow closely the textbook 'Understanding Earth'; the lecture themes, listed below,
largely coincide with the book's chapters.

  1. Introduction to the course. The origins and setting of our planet.
  2. Understanding Earth: the science of geology.
  3. Minerals: Earth?s building blocks.
  4. Igneous rocks I: underground melts.
  5. Igneous rocks II: volcanoes.
  6. Sediments and sedimentary rocks.
  7. Metamorphic rocks: slow changes at depth.
  8. Time: a long perspective.
  9. Fossils and the history of life.
  10. Earth's internal stresses: the deformation of rocks.
  11. Mid-semester exam. Glaciers, past and present.
  12. Water, and its importance at Earth's surface.
  13. Geological maps and the geology of the U.K.
  14. Oceans.
  15. Earthquakes
  16. Inside our planet.
  17. Useful minerals, crystals, and gems
  18. Earth's dwindling resources.
  19. Earth: a benign yet dangerous planet.

Aims of the module
This module is designed expressly to introduce to those students who would otherwise do little or no earth science a basic
understanding and appreciation of physical aspects of our planet.

Students, many of whom will be from a non-science background, will acquire some understanding of scientific methods and
geological techniques for exploring Earth. The student should emerge with a finer appreciation of our physical environment.

Reading Lists
** Recommended Text
Press, F. & Siever, R. (1988) Understanding Earth. 2nd. W.H. Freeman Ltd.