Faculty of Science

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment


Dr Jeffrey Stilwell



  • First semester 2016 (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 and sedimentary basins form. It also covers sedimentation and understanding the evolution of the earth's environment through time and an understanding of groundwater systems that form within basins.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Relate geological processes to global tectonic settings and to demonstrate a broad, integrated overview of crustal processes on planet Earth;

  1. Comprehend mountain-building processes, and to be able to recognise the products of tectonics to decipher tectonic processes;

  1. Understand basin evolution as evidenced by geophysical techniques and evaluate the sedimentological and palaeontological record of basins;

  1. Apply geological principles to basins for the purposes of assessing the prospectivity of crucial resources, oil, gas, and coal;

  1. Understand groundwater flow within basins and the processes that control the chemistry of groundwater, and be able to integrate this information in the interpretation of groundwater systems;

  1. Reconstruct past earth environments using the rock and fossil record.


One closed book examination (3 hours): 40%
Practical/fieldwork: 60%

Workload requirements

Three 1-hour lectures and three hours of practical/tutorial classes per week, plus two days of field trips

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


ESC1011 or ENV1011, plus ESC1022; or by permission from the Head of School