MSc Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Environmental Change & Reconstruction 1: Concepts in Stratigraphy and Geochronology

Course unit fact file
Unit code GEOG60111
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Geography
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

Provide an understanding of environmental reconstruction using a variety of different sedimentological and geomorphological records

Aims

  • This Unit aims to:

 

  • Provide an understanding of environmental reconstruction using a variety of different sedimentological and geomorphological records
  • Teach students concepts and principles of stratigraphy
  • Provide an opportunity for utilising skills in stratigraphical, sedimentological and geomorphological techniques in the field
  • Teach students the theory and application of techniques in geochronology which can be used to date a variety of different sedimentological and geomorphological records

 

Syllabus

Summary of content (subject to revision and scheduling)

 

  1. Introduction to Environmental Change and Reconstruction
  2. Stratigraphy in environmental reconstruction
  3. Geography laboratories: field and lab capabilities in environmental reconstruction
  4. Fieldtrip
  5. Practical/Workshop I – Sedimentology
  6. Chronology I Luminescence dating
  7. Practical/Workshop II -  (Luminescence dating)
  8. Chronology II Cosmogenic dating
  9. Chronology III Radiocarbon dating
  10. Chronology Workshop: building age-depth models

 

Teaching and learning methods

The course is delivered through a mixture of staff-led lectures and discussion sessions, student-led seminars, laboratory practical classes and fieldwork. The course is supported by e-learning resources delivered through Blackboard. Course materials including handouts and lecture slides will be available through the course Blackboard site.  One-to-one interaction and discussion with staff and peers are strongly encouraged.

Knowledge and understanding

Students should/will (please delete as appropriate) be able to:

Have a critical understanding of the different types of records available for reconstructing environmental change

 

Understand the principles of stratigraphy in environmental reconstruction

 

Be aware of the different field and laboratory techniques available for reconstructing environmental change in sedimentological and geomorphological records 

 

Understand a variety of techniques in geochronology of dating records of environmental change

 

 

Intellectual skills

Students should/will (please delete as appropriate) be able to:

Show a critical understanding of the nature of different records of environmental change, and the problems associated with using such records for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction.

 

Show a critical understanding of the stratigraphy and its use in palaeoenvironmental reconstruction.

 

Show a critical understanding of the nature of different dating techniques (geochronology).

 

Practical skills

Students should/will (please delete as appropriate) be able to:

Report/Essay writing, including accessing digital and library resources

 

A range of laboratory techniques in environmental reconstruction

 

Stratigraphical, sedimentological and geomorphological observations in the field

 

Data handling and numerical skills

 

Research design

 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Communication and writing skills, team work and cooperative learning (field and lab setting), time management, independent study.

Accreditation

 

 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 50%
Report 50%

Feedback methods

You will receive verbal and written feedback on your work in a variety of ways

Recommended reading

Darvill, C. (2013). Cosmogenic nuclide analysis. In Geomorphological Techniques (pp. 1-25). London, UK: British Society for Geomorphology.

 

Hughes, P.D. (2010). The role of geomorphology in Quaternary stratigraphy: morphostratigraphy, lithostratigraphy and allostratigraphy. Geomorphology 123, 189-199.

 

Stone, A., Bateman, M., Burrough , S., Limonta, M., Garzanti, E., Telfer, M., & Radeff, G. (2018). Using a portable luminescence reader for rapid age assessment of aeolian sediments for reconstructing dunefield landscape evolution in southern Africa. Quaternary Geochronology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quageo.2018.03.002

 

Tomkins, M., Dortch, J., Hughes, P.D. (2016). Schmidt Hammer exposure dating (SHED): Establishment and implications for the retreat of the last British Ice Sheet. Quaternary Geochronology 33, 46-60.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Fieldwork 6
Lectures 18
Independent study hours
Independent study 126

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
PHILIP Hughes Unit coordinator

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