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TITLE Physical Geography of the Maltese Islands

LEVEL I - Introductory Level


DEPARTMENT Centre for the Liberal Arts and Sciences

DESCRIPTION The aim of this Unit is to offer an introduction to the physical environment of the Maltese Islands. Focus will be on physical structure, geology, geomorphology (fluvial, coastal, karstic), climate processes, pedology and biogeography.

The aims of this Unit are to (i) cover the key aspects that make up the physical landscape of the Maltese Islands; (ii) introduce students to a broad range of concepts and approaches in physical geography of the Maltese Islands at different temporal and spatial scales and (iii) address themes at a conceptual level, with reference to selected case studies provided in lectures and student readings and relate them within and between the key themes of the Unit.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the Unit the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate the acquisition of knowledge regarding selected themes in physical geography, based on a range of relevant literature;
- Describe the main processes that have shaped (and are still shaping) the physical landscape of the Maltese Islands and explain how such processes interact to achieve this;
- Explain the relevance of the physical landscape of the Maltese Islands in the wider context of environmental change and management.

2. Skills:

By the end of the Unit the student will be able to:
- Use geographical evidence to explain the physical environment;
- Communicate geographical information and ideas in a clear, professional manner;
- Critically engage with contemporary key issues related to the discipline of physical geography;
- Interpret material presented in lectures, present logical written arguments and extract information from multiple sources;
- Apply these skills in the field.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Hughes-Clarke, M., Pedley, M. and Galea, P., (2002) Limestone isles in a crystal sea: the geology of the Maltese Islands. Peg, Malta.
- Soldati, M., Buhagiar, S., Coratza, P., Pasuto, A & Schembri, J.A. (2008) Proceedings of the Italo-Maltese Workshop on Integration of the Geomorphological environment and cultural Heritage for tourism promotion and hazard prevention – Malta, 24-27 April 2007. Geogr. Fis. Dinam. Quat, 31 (2).
- Zammit-Maempel, G. (1977) An outline of Maltese Geology, Malta.
- Role A., The Terraced Landscapes of the Maltese Islands, in Pedroli B. et al eds. (2007) Europe’s Living Landscapes, KNNV and University of Wageningen, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Fieldwork

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Deborah Mifsud
Avertano Role'
John A. Schembri (Co-ord.)

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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