Geology

CSM1035 - Stratigraphy & Palaeontology (2019)

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MODULE TITLEStratigraphy & Palaeontology CREDIT VALUE15
MODULE CODECSM1035 MODULE CONVENERDr Ian Bailey (Coordinator)
DURATION: TERM 1 2 3
DURATION: WEEKS 0 11 0
Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) 40
DESCRIPTION - summary of the module content

Every geologist should know about Earth’s history, and in this module you will learn why an understanding of stratigraphical and palaeontological principles is central to achieving this goal. You will start by examining the stratigraphic toolbox available to geologists and how you can apply it to understand geological events in the past, including the origins of life on Earth and its evolution through time. You will then be introduced to the key fossil groups and how we can use their co-occurrence in rocks to date the geological record, to determine past environmental conditions and to improve our understanding of a range of fascinating subject matters including Snowball Earth, mass extinctions and the palaeoecology of ancient animal communities.

 

AIMS - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to introduce students to Earth history, the evolution of life on Earth and the principles of stratigraphy, and the application of both stratigraphy and palaeontology in geoscience.

 

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILOs) (see assessment section below for how ILOs will be assessed)

On successful completion of this module, you should be able to:
 

Module Specific Skills and Knowledge:

1. to gain an understanding of the principles of (a) lithostratigraphy, (b) biostratigraphy, (c) chronostratigraphy, (d) geochronology, (e) isotope-stratigraphy, (f) magnetostratigraphy, (g) event stratigraphy and (h) cyclostratigraphy using relevant case studies from the rock record.

2. to be able to describe and identify a range of both body and trace fossils, and their preservation, in hand specimens/outcrop

3. describe and explain of the evolution of life on Earth, and Earth history, using stratigraphic evidence from the rock record.

4. estimate the relative and absolute age of a stratigraphic section using lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, geochronology.

5. determine environment of deposition using a rock’s fossil assemblage.

6. generate a spliced record and define mappable formations using the principles of lithostratigraphy.


Personal and Key Transferable/ Employment Skills and Knowledge:

7. with guidance, begin to develop the skills for independent study.

8. with guidance, select and properly manage information drawn from lectures, books, journals and the internet.

9. with guidance, communicate ideas effectively by written, oral and visual means.

10. demonstrate observational skills.

11. evaluate data.

12. synthesize a range of data.

13. demonstrate an ability to solve problems.

14. demonstrate time-management skills.

15. research literature on a topic.

16. work collaboratively with members of peer group.

17. make a simple presentation using MS PowerPoint.

 

SYLLABUS PLAN - summary of the structure and academic content of the module

The two strands (stratigraphy and palaeontology) of this module run concurrently. Stratigraphic principles are taught during Lectures 1-2 (week 1). Relevant case studies from the rock record (and in particular, from UK sections) based on the application of these stratigraphic techniques, are then used during Lectures 3-16 to provide the students with an introduction to Earth history and the history of life. Concurrently, the practical sessions are used to teach palaeontology from the perspective of its useful application in the geosciences: fossil preservation, taphonomy, palaeoecology, palaeoclimatology, biostratigraphy, splice generation and major Phanerozoic macrofossils, microfossils, and tracefossils in the context of the history of life and environments of deposition. Each practical begins with an introductory lecture, followed by a series of practical tasks, and finished by a half hour ‘sum-up’ for formative feedback.

 

LEARNING AND TEACHING
LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS (given in hours of study time)
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities 40.00 Guided Independent Study 110.00 Placement / Study Abroad 0.00
DETAILS OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS
Category Hours of study time Description
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 16 hours Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 24 hours Practical classes
Guided independent study 110 hours Contact time preparation and wider reading

 

ASSESSMENT
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT - for feedback and development purposes; does not count towards module grade
Form of Assessment Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Practical model answers Each week 1-2, 4-6, 8, 10-15 Verbal summary/group discussion during final 30 minutes of practicals plus model answers posted on ELE. Principles covered in lectures reinforced in practicals
Small group/one-to-one tutorial sessions Throughout Term 1-17 Offered to students by module convenor throughout the term

 

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (% of credit)
Coursework 15 Written Exams 70 Practical Exams 15
DETAILS OF SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
Form of Assessment % of Credit Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Theory Examination 70 1.5 hours 1-15 Generalised, anonymised comments on questions set via ELE/tutor feedback
x3 Multiple-choice quizzes completed in own time (during week 3, w6 & w9) on content learned in palaeontology-based practicals 15 30 minutes each 1-2, 4-6, 8, 10-15 Group feedback in class and general comments posted on ELE
Group presentation (3 students) on a stratigraphic and/or palaeontological topic to peer group 15 15 minutes per presentation 1-17 Presentation score and feedback given on proforma mark sheet at time of presentations

 

DETAILS OF RE-ASSESSMENT (where required by referral or deferral)
Original Form of Assessment Form of Re-assessment ILOs Re-assessed Time Scale for Re-reassessment
Summative assessment Additional assessment All above August Ref/Def period
Examination Additional exam All above August Ref/Def period
       

 

RE-ASSESSMENT NOTES

As above 1 piece of CW 30% and/or 1 Exam 70%

RESOURCES
INDICATIVE LEARNING RESOURCES - The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of
information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener

Basic reading:

Web based and electronic resources:

ELE CSM1035 (http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=491), with extensive notes for lectures, extra resources, links to further web-based resources and textbook reading, in addition to recommended key text books (as listed below)              

 

Reading list for this module:

Type Author Title Edition Publisher Year ISBN Search
Set Nichols, G Sedimentology and Stratigraphy 2nd Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell 2009 9781405193795 [Library]
Set Milsom, C., & Rigby, S. Fossils at a glance 2nd Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell 2010 9781405193368 [Library]
CREDIT VALUE 15 ECTS VALUE 7.5
PRE-REQUISITE MODULES CSM1030
CO-REQUISITE MODULES
NQF LEVEL (FHEQ) 4 AVAILABLE AS DISTANCE LEARNING No
ORIGIN DATE Thursday 06 July 2017 LAST REVISION DATE Thursday 20 September 2018
KEY WORDS SEARCH Stratigraphy; palaeontology; fossils.