Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE The Physical Geography of the Maltese Islands

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit deals with the physical geography of the Maltese Islands, taking into consideration the tectonic structure, geological formations, structural geology, hydrogeology and geomorphology. Reference is also made to the climate, soils and vegetation of the Maltese Islands, which are typical of a Mediterranean environment.

Study-unit Aims:

The aims of this study unit are:

1. cover the key aspects that make up the physical landscape of the Maltese Islands.
2. introduce students to a broad range of concepts and approaches in physical geography of the Maltese Islands at different temporal and spatial scales.
3. 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 study unit.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
1. demonstrate the acquisition of knowledge regarding selected themes in physical geography, based on a range of relevant literature.
2. 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.
3. 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 study-unit the student will be able to:
1. use geographical evidence to explain the physical environment.
2. communicate geographical information and ideas in a clear, professional manner.
3. critically engage with contemporary key issues related to the discipline of physical geography.
4. assess and interpret material presented in lectures, present logical written arguments and extract information from multiple sources.

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.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Avertano Role'

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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 description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.