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This subject explores the dynamic processes which shape Earth’s current and ancient landscapes through an 8-day fieldtrip in south-eastern Australia. It will form a practical introduction into mapping the Earth using a range of techniques relevant to geoscience, geography and environmental science. The fieldtrip will focus on integrating remote sensing data, satellite imagery and detailed field observations to understand and map the evolution of the natural landscape. Earth surface processes and environments will be considered from geological timescales of millions of years to those operating in today’s landscape. Field exercises will explore the links between Earth history, landform evolution, soil development and the natural environment in foothills of the Great Dividing Range. Students will learn the basic methods used to gather large scale surficial and geological data including rock, fossil and mineral identification. Emphasis will be placed on the practical application of a range of disciplines including remote sensing, sedimentary processes, stratigraphy, physical volcanology, palaeontology, weathering/soil formation, geomorphology and hydrogeology. There will be a pre-trip introduction to the subject, as well as a post-trip workshop on the field report, including a remote sensing exercise.
Intended learning outcomes
At the completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate a range of environmental field mapping skills
- Identify a range of landforms, soils, rocks, minerals and fossils that are found at Earth's surface
- Explain how the underlying geology relates to landform evolution and environmental conditions on Earth's surface
- Determine how various rock units relate to one another in the field and be able to interpret the geological history of an area
- Document in writing the processes which have shaped the current landscape and the geological history of an area
- Interpret Earth's geology and landscape using satellite data in a field and lab context
On completion of this subject students should have developed the following generic skills:
- Ability to solve complex exercises within a team environment in the field;
- Capacity to discover how to approach scientific problems when there may be no clear and simple answer;
- Ability to employ scientific observations and data collections skills and gather data in a field environment;
- Ability to integrate a range of sources of information to interpret real-world data;
- Developed critical thinking skills to conceptualise complex and abstract ideas; and
- Developed skills relevant to preparing technical written reports.
Last updated: 13 August 2022