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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 four-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:

  • 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 be able to apply their discipline knowledge to issues of public debate. These include the ozone hole, the greenhouse effect and sea level rise. The subject will provide experience in presenting technical topics in written form, a skill that is useful in later work. Students will also participate in some simple collaborative projects that will enable them to develop skills for the design and completion of technical experiments. Other generic skills acquired in this subject include learning how to sharpen observation skills and how to grapple with unravelling complex processes.

Last updated: 12 December 2018