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Unit information: Independent Field Project in 2015/16

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Unit name Independent Field Project
Unit code EASC30022
Credit points 30
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Walter
Open unit status Not open

Years 1 and 2 of the Geology degree programme curriculum



School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

The aim of this field mapping class is for the student to develop further observational, recording and deductive skills in the field through mapping and the gathering of petrological and structural data. In preparation for fieldwork students will prepare a draft risk assessment. Comparison with the formal risk assessment will then provide insight into what should be considered when writing a risk assessment.

Students will spend four days of intensive mapping training, followed by 24 days of independent mapping (with a partner) in an assigned project area.

Students will produce an independent project that includes the following elements:

  1. a field notebook and field geological map;
  2. a fair copy map with legend *;
  3. cross-section(s) and stereonets of lineations and foliations;
  4. a mapping report that integrates observations made in the field, interpretations derived from the map and cross-sections, analysis of structural data and information about the region that is available in the literature;
  5. an A0 poster that will present a synopsis of the mapping project and which will be displayed in a poster session.
  • Fair copy maps will be done electronically whenever possible, but a hand drawn version may be acceptable under some circumstances (e.g. difficulties with access to software).

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the field class students will be able to:

  • Identify and interpret a range of rock types in the field.
  • Record systematically and interpret the geology of an area based exclusively on field observations.
  • Produce an electronic version of a geological field map.
  • Interpret geological structures in cross-section and through the use of stereographic representations.
  • Develop time management skills.
  • Integrate diverse data into a coherent report.
  • Understand the basic principles used in preparing a risk assessment

Teaching Information

Field based training; independent field work; independent project write-up

Assessment Information

  • 10% of the course mark will be based on the mapping training component, which includes assessment of the field notebook and field slip completed in the first week
  • 50% of the marks will be based on independent mapping components incuding notebook (15%), final field slip (15%), fair copy map (10%) and cross sections (10%)
  • 30% of the marks will be based on the report (7,000 word limit), including regional context, rock descriptions, interpreatations, quantitative evaluations, etc.
  • 10%of the marks will be based on an individual questions and answer session to be held after submission and marking of the mapping report

All materials must be submitted to the School Office by Monday of Week 6.

Reading and References

Recommended Texts:

  • Basic Geological Mapping (Geological Field Guide), Richard J. Lisle, Peter Brabham and John W. Barnes (1995, Open University Press);
  • Interpretation of Geological Maps, Butler and Bell (1988, Longman Scientific and Technical);
  • An Introduction to Geological Structures and Maps, Dr George M. Bennison, Dr Paul A. Olver and Keith A. Moseley (2011, Hodder Education Publication);
  • Methods in Field Geology (1981), F. Moseley Woodcock and Strachan Geological Evolution of the British Isles (2000, Blackwell Science)