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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Chris Folkes


This unit focuses on the internal structure of the Earth, plate tectonics and related magmatism/volcanism. We will study how and when rocks melt, and how melts evolve into a variety of magmatic rocks as observed in the field, hand specimen, and under the microscope. We will also study how we determine the age of rocks, the Earth and the solar system. Hydrogeology discusses the flow of groundwater in the shallow Earth's crust and the chemistry of groundwater as an indication of past and present hydrogeological processes, including contamination, salinity, and acid mine drainage


On completion of this unit, students will be able to: understand the internal structure and composition of the Earth; the processes that drive where and when melting takes place on the Earth; the dynamics of the earth's mantle and mantle crust relationships; processes that result in variation of element and isotope abundances and how we use these to determine the age of geologic materials; mineralogy and the petrographic microscope in order to identify igneous rocks and minerals; how the 3D distribution of rocks in the field relates to tectonic processes; basis of groundwater flow and geochemistry in determining hydrogeological processes; dating of groundwater; application of hydrogeology to environmental issues (eg salinity and acid mine drainage)


Two examinations (2 hours each): 50%
Practical examination: 15%
Practical/fieldwork: 35%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Chris Folkes

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures and three hours of practical/tutorial classes per week; and one or two one-day field trips.