Module Identifier EA30410  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr John Grattan  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Lecture   22 Hours 11 x 2 hours  
Assessment Course work   Coursework to be submitted by the end of week 9.   50%  
  Exam   2 Hours Written examination.   50%  
  Resit assessment   Resit: Examinations will have the same format. Students who fail the continuous assessment component of the module will be set a recovery assessment which will take the form of an extended essay to be submitted to the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences General Office by the day of the resit examination.    

Module objectives / Learning outcomes

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

Module Aims

1. Knowledge of the subject: Students are expected to acquire a clear understanding of the mechanisms by which volcanic eruptions may bring about environmental change. Related to this will be the understanding of a wide range of environmental, climatic, sedimentary and ecological systems.

2. Core concepts: Students will develop a clear theoretical and philosophical framework, which will allow them to assess the degree of inter relationship between different environmental systems. Central to this will be an understanding of the sensitivity of environmental systems to external forcing mechanisms.

Module Outline (Lecture Themes)

1. Volcanoes and Climate

2. Tephra versus Sulphur. How do Volcanic eruptions generate climate change?

3. Circulation Response.
North Atlantic circulation. The El Ni?o. Monsoon disruption.

4. Ice Sheet and Glacier Response.
Do ice sheets respond to volcanic activity? What is the link between volcanic activity and the Pleistocene glacial advances?

5. Palaeoecological Data.
Does independent ecological data verify or contradict assumptions re volcanic eruptions and climate?

6. The Laki eruption of 1783.
Climate response.

7. The environmental impact of volcanic eruptions.

8. The Eruption Of Tambora And The Year Without A Summer.

9. The Distal Impact Of Volcanic Aerosols.

10. The Hekla eruptions. Direct impact on the British Isles?

11. The extinction of the Dinosaurs.

12. Mt. Pinatubo, impacts on climate and stratospheric ozone.

13. Sun and dust versus greenhouse gases.

14. Summary and roundup.

Reading Lists

Francis, P.. (1993) Volcanoes. A planetary perspective.. Clarendon, London.
Harington, C.R. (ed.). (1992) The year without a summer.. Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa.
Chester, D.. (1993) Volcanoes and Society. Edward Arnold, London.

Grattan, J.P. & Chapman, D.J.. (1994) Non climatic Factors and the environmental impact of Volcanic volatiles: Implications of the Laki Fissure eruption of AD 1783.. The Holocene. 4(1). 101-106