University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Geology 1

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Geosciences

DESCRIPTION Principles of Physical Geology
- Structure of the earth, internal composition and processes, earthquakes, volcanoes, and heat-flow;
- Plate tectonics, orogenic belts and foreland basins, extensional basins, rifting, passive margins, compressional tectonics and associated basins.

Principles of Stratigraphy
- Geological time, geochronology, stratigraphy, stratigraphic classification - lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy and chronostratigraphy.

Fundamentals of Palaeontology
- Palaeontology, mollusca & brachiopoda, echinoderma, arthropoda & vertebrate, plant fossil, micropalaeontology.

Principles of Petrology & Mineralogy
- Rocks and minerals and their classifications;
- Mineralogy and the properties of minerals;
- Lithology, rock type, sedimentary rocks, igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks, grain size, colour, fabric, texture, small scale structures;
- Chemical and physical weathering of rocks, their transport and deposition;
- Geomorphology;
- Sedimentary environments.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit aims to provide the student knowledge of the geological processes that lead to the various depositional environments for the formation of rocks as well as knowledge of the mineral composition and the fossil content of rocks needed to understand the types of rocks and their relevance to petroleum formation and accumulation.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to understand the:
- Evolution, structure and composition of the Earth as a whole;
- Processes that control the evolution of the Earth's crust;
- Nature of minerals and rocks;
- Principles of geochronology, stratigraphy, and sedimentology;
- Nature of sedimentary environments;
- Evolution and diversity of organisms and their fossils through time;
- Techniques of palaeontological and geological data acquisition and analysis.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Conceive and formulate geological hypotheses in a variety of structural and stratigraphic situations;
- Select the appropriate geological principles and procedures needed to assess the hypotheses;
- Research and synthesise the relevant geological data and information from various sources;
- Analyse, evaluate, interpret and integrate the geological data and information to evaluate the hypotheses.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Arthur Holmes, (1992) Principles of Physical Geology, Edited by Duff.P.Mcl.D. 4th Ed. Chapman and Hall, London.
- Keary. P. and Vine,F.J. (1990) Global Tectonics. Blackwell.
- Rhona M Black, (1989) The Elements of Palaeontology, Cambridge University Press.
- G.W. Tyrell, (1989) Principles of Petrology, Methuren and Co.
- H.G. Reading (Editor), (1998) Sedimentary Environments: Processes, Facies and Stratigraphy, Blackwell Science.
- Richard C. Shelley, (1992) Applied Sedimentology, Academic press, New York.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Qualifications: Honours degree, 2nd upper or above, in Science, Engineering or a related discipline

Co-requisite Study-unit: GSC5205


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 20%
Examination (3 Hours) Yes 80%

LECTURER/S Dan Bosence
Julie Ann Auerbach
Sebastiano D'Amico
Aaron Micallef (Co-ord.)
Saviour Scerri

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.
MSc (Research) and PhD application deadlines
Application Deadlines for Academic Year 2017/18 
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