Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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

FacultyFaculty of Science
Organisational UnitSchool of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment
OfferedClayton Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Sandy Cruden


The Earth has undergone many fundamental changes since its formation. This unit examines a number of geologically-significant events, including: the formation of the crust, mantle, and core; evolution of the atmosphere and biosphere; supercontinent formation; Snowball Earth; changes to global weathering; and eruption of Large Igneous Provinces. Evidence for these events in the rock record and their impacts on the biosphere and atmosphere will be assessed. The unit will also highlight uncertainties and competing theories that relate to these geological episodes.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Understand several of the major events in the geological record;
  2. Integrate a wide variety of geological data to reconstruct past earth environments;
  3. Understand the link between solid earth processes and the earth's surface environments;
  4. Critically review the literature to assess different models to explain geological observations;
  5. Summarise and present geological data derived from a variety of sources in the form of reports, oral presentations, and/or posters;
  6. Improve their ability to carry out independent and group study.


Final examination: 40%
Online quizzes: 10%
Group projects: 25%
Individual projects: 25%
Students must pass the theory examination to achieve an overall pass grade. Students who do not pass the theory examination will receive a mark of 45%, unless their aggregate mark is lower in which case that mark will be recorded.

Workload requirements

Three hours of lectures per week and three 3-hour tutorials per semester

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study