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Understanding Planet Earth (ERTH10002)

Undergraduate level 1Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 1
Subject codeERTH10002
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject will allow students to gain a deeper understanding of the processes governing the geological evolution of the Earth. This will be achieved via the lecture series, practical sessions and a three-day field trip, providing hands-on and theoretical investigations employing Victoria’s geology.

Initial topics covered in this subject include: evolution and structure of the Earth, wandering continents, mineral and crystal formation in rocks and ores, rock-forming processes, origin of magmas, volcanoes and lava flows, deep crustal rocks, mountain belts, sedimentary layers, terrestrial and marine depositional environments, crustal deformation, and the fossil record including major events such as extinction and explosions of life. The subject continues on to cover the economic aspects of our regional geology.

These studies are integrated with field case studies, during a three-day field trip to collect fossils, rocks and minerals that are used to interpret the geological evolution of the region.

This subject builds upon the theoretical big picture approach of EVSC10001- The Global Environment. It provides greater depth to many of the topics introduced using geological studies to a gain an understanding of the evolution of the Melbourne and Victorian environment.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • describe the solid Earth and modern physical structure 
  • describe the materials that comprise the solid Earth and processes of rock formation
  • explain rock structures and deformation processes
  • describe fossils and explain past evolution of life, environments and climates
  • apply and integrate different types of data, samples and observations to interpret Earth processes
  • develop practical skills in the acquisition of data in the field and laboratory, essential to explaining Earth processes
  • describe Earth resources, formation and uses in society
  • explain the evolution of the Melbourne, Victorian and Australian environment 
  • Identify the basic components that make up planet Earth;
  • Discuss the diversity of the rock-forming minerals and processes by which rocks form and evolve;
  • Apply structural geology when interpreting the relationships between rock units in time and space;
  • Explain climate change over geological time and the contribution of geology to the interpretation of the history of planet Earth.
  • Define how different types of data, samples and observations are integrated to interpret Earth processes.

Generic skills

On completion of this subject students should have obtained the following generic skills:

  • Time-Management skills: the ability to meet regular deadlines while balancing competing commitments
  • Think critically: organise observations of complex systems occurring in the Earth and analyse within different frameworks
  • Problem-solving skills: the ability to engage with unfamiliar problems and identify relevant solution strategies
  • Scientific skills: to design and test hypotheses

Last updated: 10 August 2019