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ESC2111 - The dynamic earth I: building of continents and the environment

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Dr Bruce Schaefer


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


An integrated understanding of processes that build and modify the Earth's crust. This unit uses the broad framework of plate tectonics to define the nature of all major geological environments and processes. The unit deals with where and how mountain belts form, an introduction to describing structures and their significance, and where and how sedimentary basins form. It also covers sedimentation and understanding the evolution of the atmosphere through time, changes in climate and hence palaeobiology in a plate tectonic context.


On completion of this unit, students will be able: to relate geological processes to global tectonic settings and to provide a broad integrated overview of crustal processes on planet Earth; to understand global volcanism and how volcanic rocks constrain past tectonic regimes; to understand mountain-building processes, and to be able to use the products of tectonics (metamorphosed and deformed rocks) to decipher tectonic processes; to understand earthquakes and deep earth structure; to understand basin evolution and the sedimentological and palaeontological record of basins.


Two closed book examinations (2 hours each): 50%
practical examination: 10%
practical/fieldwork: 40%

Contact hours

three 1-hour lectures and two hours of practical/tutorial classes per week, and two 2-day field trips


ESC1011 and/or ESC1022 or permission of head