Faculty of Science

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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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, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton First semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Jeffrey Stilwell


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%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Jeffrey Stilwell

Contact hours

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


ESC1011 and ESC1022, or by permission from the Head of School