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Earth surface behaviour is a primary interface between geology and society. Knowledge and cultural perspectives of that behaviour therefore inform societal behaviour and development. This course will provide students with the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to be able to investigate and report on the sustainability of proposed site-specific land-uses in the context of future dynamic Earth surface system behaviours.
2021 Covid-19 Update: Please refer to the course page on AKO | Learn for all information about your course, including lectures, labs, tutorials, field trips and assessments.Earth surface behaviour is a primary interface between geology and society, and knowledge of that behaviour informs societal behaviour and development. This course will provide students the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to be able to investigate and report on the sustainability of proposed site-specific land-uses in the context of dynamic Earth surface system behaviours. Specific topics studied will include principles of landscape evolution; the use of remote sensing data and computer simulations to analyse and understand surface processes; geomorphological mapping; response of rivers to changing environmental conditions; and synthesis of knowledge and skills in technical report production. Student learning is largely self-motivated and experiential, with extensive use of exercises, case and field studies, and technical, oral and written reporting.
Students in this course will acquire the ability to investigate and understand the ways in which a range of Earth surface systems, materials and processes interact to alter the land surface, and the consequences of such alterations for societal assets.Learning OutcomesStudents who have completed this course satisfactorily will be able to1. Use a range of modern technologies to identify, describe, and quantify the properties and behaviours of Earth surface systems and subsystems. (NZQF level 6; “demonstrate knowledge and skills related to the ideas, principles, concepts, chief research methods and problem-solving techniques of a recognised major subject”)2. Infer future properties and behaviours of earth surface systems. (NZQF level 6; “demonstrate intellectual independence, critical thinking and analytic rigour”)3. Evaluate proposed uses of field sites in the context of Earth surface system processes and behaviour. (NZQF level 6; “demonstrate the skills needed to acquire, understand and assess information from a range of sources”)4. Communicate the results of evaluations and analyses through written reports to a scientific audience. (NZQF level 6; “demonstrate communication and collaborative skills”)Summary of the Course ContentGEOL246 will provide a range of opportunities for students to develop specific attitudes, skills and knowledge through a variety of learning and educational experiences, including:1. Hands-on learning in understanding how land surface processes work; e.g. mechanics of landslides, soil erosion, river erosion and deposition;2. Learning to understand how land surface features have developed, e.g. river terraces, hillslopes, alluvial fans, glacial moraines;3. Analysing, interpreting and mapping landforms both in the field and from remote sensing as the basis for land-use planning (e.g. for sustainable development and disaster risk reduction);4. Project work and presentations, both individually and in groups, involving information acquisition, analysis, synthesis and reporting.
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.
30 points from GEOL, MATH, EMTH, ENVR, PHYS at 100 level, or(GEOG106 and 15 points from GEOL, MATH, EMTH, ENVR, PHYS at 100 level). . RP: GEOL111; GEOL113; GEOG106; 100-level MATH
GEOL111; GEOL113; GEOG106; 100-level MATH
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Lectures:One 1-hour lecture every weekLaboratories:One 3-hour lab per weekTutorials:One 1-hour tutorial per weekField tripOne 1-day field trip
, Matthew Hughes
and Kevin Norton (Erskine Visitor)
Nick Patton (Course Coordinator)
There are no required textbooks for this course. However, you will be required to read assigned material posted on-line and/or placed on-reserve in the central library as indicated by your course instructors.
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 department and colleges page.