Geology

CSM3059 - Evolution of Earth and Planetary Systems (2019)

Back | Download as PDF
MODULE TITLEEvolution of Earth and Planetary Systems CREDIT VALUE15
MODULE CODECSM3059 MODULE CONVENERDr Kathryn Moore (Coordinator)
DURATION: TERM 1 2 3
DURATION: WEEKS 12 0 0
Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) 20
DESCRIPTION - summary of the module content

Earth Scientists often interpret evidence in the geological record using processes that are observed on the present Earth. However, this Principle of Uniformitarianism cannot always be applied to the very Early Earth. This module uses a variety of strands of chemical, mathematical and geological evidence to examine more than 4.5 billion years of Earth history, from before the establishment of the dynamic processes that currently rework our planet to the anthropogenic controls on Earth evolution. The course will place the evolution of the Earth in the context of the solar system and consider the nature of other terrestrial planets and their planetary processes and atmospheres.

You will find the course difficult unless you have attended the first level geology and crystallography and mineralogy modules, and the second level igneous and metamorphic module, which are formal prerequisites. It is advantageous to have also completed the second level sedimentology module, though not a formal requirement.

This module is unsuitable for non-specialist students and is not recommended for interdisciplinary pathways unless the prerequisite modules have been studied.

 

AIMS - intentions of the module

The module aims to introduce students to the stellar, planetary and Earth surface systems processes involved in the origin and development of the stratified Earth-Moon system able to support life, using both primary research and summative material. 

The practical component of the module aims to illustrate to students the chemical and mathematical methods that are used to model and interpret planetary processes.

In addition, the module aims to assist students to develop their abilities of scientific critique and presentation of complex concepts.

 

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. understand the stellar and planetary processes that have created the chemical and physical structure of the Earth;

2. appreciate the diversity of research methods used to interpret events in the early Earth and the deep Earth, understanding the nature of preservation biases;

3. appreciate the changes that occur within the deep parts of the Earth and how they affect the dynamic evolution of the Earth system;

4. assess the significance of rates of change and tipping points in the evolution of the Earth.

5. describe the evolution of the whole Earth into a life-sustaining planet;

 

Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge

6. interrogate the most recent scientific research to understand lines of questioning and research approaches to resolve questions;

7. synthesise information and recognise its relevance; appreciate the difference between synthesised textbook summaries and the primary knowledge derived from research journals.

 

Personal and Key Transferable / Employment Skills and Knowledge

8. carry out quantitative calculations using appropriate formulae, manipulate data sets and interpret graphs;

9. demonstrate personal interpretive skills, along with self- and time-management skills;

10. demonstrate an ability to communicate scientific information.

 

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

- the formation of the elements and the solar system;

- meteorites and planetary formation;

- a stratified Earth – Moon system;

- the thermal regime of the Archaean Earth and evolution of the mantle;

- Ancient crust, radiogenic isotopes and the growth of the continents;

- plate tectonics and volcanism throughout the inner solar system;

- Precambrian environments for mineralisation and deposition;

- the origins of life: minerals and oceans;

- development of a life-sustaining planet;

- connected and dynamic Earth surface systems and climate;

- evolution of the Earth in an anthropogenic context.


Practical skills

- uses of phase diagrams, major and trace elements, and isotopes applied to planetary interiors and ancient environments;

- scientific critique and scientific communication.
 

LEARNING AND TEACHING
LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS (given in hours of study time)
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities 36.00 Guided Independent Study 114.00 Placement / Study Abroad 0.00
DETAILS OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS
Category Hours of study time Description
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 12 Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 16 Practial Sessions
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 8 Seminars and Discussion
Guided independent study 114 Private study

 

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 exercises Four excercises throughout the course, with group discussion 1-4, 7-8 Verbal summary/group discussion during final 30 minutes of practicals. Principles covered in lectures reinforced in practicals and vice versa

 

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (% of credit)
Coursework 30 Written Exams 70 Practical Exams 0
DETAILS OF SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
Form of Assessment % of Credit Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Theoretical examination 60 2 hours 1-6 Exam mark
Assessed practical 20 8 hours of study allocated 2, 4-9 Generalised, anonymised comments on feedback sheet
Presentation 20 15 minutes per presentation 1-6, 8-9 Feedback sheet for formal feedback; general group discussions following presentation sessions to synthesis science

 

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-assessment
Summative assessment Additional assessment As above August Ref/Def Period
Examination Additional examination As above August Ref/Def Period

 

RE-ASSESSMENT NOTES

As above 1 piece of CW 40% and/or 1 Exam 60%
 

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

Web based and Electronic Resources:

The essential basic to advanced reading is provided on the ELE module page in a folder that accompanies each lecture topic -

ELE: http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/

 

Reading list for this module:

Type Author Title Edition Publisher Year ISBN Search
Set Lunine, J.I. Earth : evolution of a habitable world 1/2 University of Cambridge Press 1999 [Library]
Set Lenton, T. and Watson, A. Revolutions that made the Earth University of Cambridge Press 2011 [Library]
Set Glikson, A.Y. The Asteroid Impact: Connection to Planetary Evolution Springer 2013 [Library]
Set Cawood, P.A., Kroner, A. (eds) Earth Accretionary Systems in Space and Time Geol Soc Spec Pub 318 2009 [Library]
Set McDonald, I., Boyce, A.J., Butler, I.B., Herrington, R.J., Poyla, D.A. (eds) Mineral deposits and Earth Evolution 2nd Geol Soc Spec Pub 248 2005 [Library]
Set Jenkin, G.R.T., Lusty, P.A.J., McDonald, I., Smith, M.P., Boyce, A.J., Wilkinson, J.J. (eds) Ore deposits in an Evolving Earth Geol Soc Spec Pub 393 2015 [Library]
Set Various Elements magazine online Geoscience world + [Library]
CREDIT VALUE 15 ECTS VALUE 7.5
PRE-REQUISITE MODULES CSM1027, CSM1030, CSM1031, CSM1034, CSM2312
CO-REQUISITE MODULES
NQF LEVEL (FHEQ) 5 AVAILABLE AS DISTANCE LEARNING No
ORIGIN DATE Thursday 06 July 2017 LAST REVISION DATE Tuesday 02 October 2018
KEY WORDS SEARCH Earth, evolution, geology, geochemistry, isotope systematics.