Module Identifier EA11810  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Professor Michael J Hambrey  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Professor Alex Maltman  
Course delivery Lecture   20 x 1 hour lectures  
  Practical   5 x 2 hour practicals  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam1.5 Hours Short answer/multiple choice examination paper. Comprising Evolution of Britain - 50%, Earth Structures - 10%.60%
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: Geological Maps - 40%40%
Supplementary Assessment Continuous assessment mark carried forward (40%). Short answer examination (60%).  100%

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students should have :-


The module provides a basic introduction to the distribution and arrangement of earth materials, through the geological past and as they are now. It is primarily aimed at students with some earth science background, e.g. EA11510: Planet Earth.


The distribution and arrangement of earth materials, through the geological past and as they are now, form the core of this module. The development of ideas concerning the evolution of geology as a science are outlined with references to key personalities of the 17th-19th centuries. The concept and measurement of geological time and time-scales are next introduced. We trace the progressive evolution of the surface of our planet, focusing on Britain and its place in the global context. We also look at:
(i) earth structures - how deformation in the earth has modified the arrangement of materials;
(ii) the present-day distribution of earth resources, including energy sources and mineral deposits in
(iii) the links between geology and landscape; and
(iv) the nature and uses of geological maps.

Maps form a convenient way of summarising and recording geological information, and help bring together the different themes of the course. The basic principles are covered in both the 1st edition (Blue cover) and the 2nd edition (Green cover) of the recommended text book by Maltman, but the 2nd Edition includes sections on environmental matters and physical geography.

The lecture themes are:

These are grouped under "geological maps" and "evolution of Britain from a global perspective"; the lectures on these topics will be interspersed with each other.


Geological maps: an introduction

(Practical 1. An introduction to Geological maps)

(Practical 2. Visual assessment of maps)

Geological maps: visual assessment

(Practical 3. Measurements on maps)

Earth structure: the fracturing of rocks

Geological maps: structures on maps

(Practical 4. Structures on maps; resources and landscape)

Earth structure: other deformation structures

(Practical 5. Maps for resource and environmental planning)


Evolution of geological concepts (including key personalities in the 17th to 19th centuries)

Geological time (development of ideas, the geological time-scale, methods of dating and
correlating rocks)

Tectonic framework of the British Isles

Early crustal evolution (Archaean - middle Proterozoic)

Early sedimentary basins (late Proterozoic cover rocks)

Late Proterozoic basin development, orogeny and magmatism

Cambrian - Silurian sedimentary basin development and volcanism

Geological maps: measurements on maps

Earth structure: rock deformation; folding

The Caledonian orogeny - compressional tectonics

The Old Sandstone continent and Devonian seas; Carboniferous coal-forming swamps and warm
tropical seas

Late Palaeozoic - Cenozoic extensional tectonics

Permian - Triassic tropical deserts

Jurassic - Cretaceous warm shallow seas and early Cenozoic rift-basin deposits

The Palaeogene (Early Tertiary) igneous record

The Quaternary Period: glacial/interglacial cycles

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Peter Toghill (2000) The Geology of Britain - an Introduction Swan Hill Press, Shrewsbury. ISBN 1853108901
** Supplementary Text
Doyle, P., Bennett, M.R. & Baxter, A.N. (1994) The Key to Earth History: an introduction to stratigraphy Wiley & Sons Ltd ISBN 0471948454


This module is at CQFW Level 4