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A general introduction to the study of the dynamic Earth and its geology, including Earth structure and plate tectonics, volcanic activity, crystal processes and the nature of minerals and rocks.
Planet Earth gives you the opportunity to explore how our planet works. From the tallest mountains to the deepest oceans, our planet’s natural environments each have their own stories to tell yet all are the consequence of geology. In this course we will consider many of these environments and learn how to read their stories based on careful observation and consideration of the information captured in rocks and their expression at the Earth’s surface. Part detective, part interpreter, geologists make sense of things by piecing together complex puzzles using sharp skills of inference and observation: we dissect the Earth searching for clues and cues only to reassemble them into portraits of our planet. There is no question that of all Earth’s portraits none is more inspiring than New Zealand’s. Geysers, gold, glaciers and the Alps, New Zealand’s natural diversity reflects its diverse geology – a unique system of violent volcanic eruptions and steadfast mountains counter-balanced by constant renewal and removal. In this course you will learn how geology creates these awesome environments. In this course you will learn how to read the stories written in Earth. PLEASE NOTE: GEOL111 is prerequisite preparation for all second year geology courses.
Goal of the CourseTo provide a general introduction to the Earth, with an emphasis on processes and rocks found at and near the Earth’s surface. Learning OutcomesStudents successfully completing this course should:1) Explain fundamental geological concepts and terms.2) Observe, describe and identify earth materials, structures and landforms.3) Interpret earth processes and events using scientific observations, knowledge and reasoning.4) Discover and explain how Earth works as a system of interacting components across geological timescales.5) Understand geological processes, hazards and resources relevant to society.6) Identify and solve common geological problems by synthesizing multiple independent observations7) Identify, evaluate and reflect on potential career paths and professional opportunities in earth science.Summary of the Course ContentThe topics coved by this course include: Mineral composition of the Earth; Silicate minerals; Igneous rocks and processes; Introduction to volcanoes; Volcanoes and volcanic deposits; Intrusive igneous rocks Sedimentary processes and rocks – general classification and features; Weathering of rocks, sediments; Mass movement; Fluvial, glacial, aeolian, coastal and oceanic sedimentary processes and the resulting sedimentary rocks. Structure of the Earth – including faults and folds, plate tectonics and earthquakes. Metamorphism and economic geology; Evolution of the crust and methods of dating; Mineral resources and exploration.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Employable, innovative and enterprising
Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.
Biculturally competent and confident
Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
Lectures: 3 1 hour lectures per week - TBA by central timetablingLaboratory classes: 1 lab 2 hours per week for 11 weeks - TBA by central timetabling. No labs in 1st week of term 1.Fieldtrip: 1 day trip held weekend dates 14, 15, 21 or 22 March
Assessment name - Weighting - Due date (if known)In class lecture exercises - 5% - VariousOnline Practical Quizzes - 10% - VariousShort Answer Test - 15% - Friday 10 am 27th MarchFinal Practical Assessment - 30% - Friday 5 pm 29th MayFinal Examination - 40% - Mid-Year Exam Timetable
Earth : portrait of a planet
Fifth edition, International student edition;
Bishop, A. C. , Hamilton, William Roger., Woolley, Alan Robert;
Firefly guide to minerals, rocks & fossils
Firefly Books, 2005.
The new Penguin dictionary of geology
Domestic fee $945.00
International fee $4,473.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
School of Earth and Environment on the
departments and faculties