Available in 2018

Course handbook


Earth Processes & Products builds on the "big picture" presentation of Earth systems presented in semester 1 (GEOS1040). The course details the processes that have shaped and continue to shape our planet, and the products of these processes that form the world around us. To this end, the course examines in detail the chemistry and structure of rock forming minerals, the characteristics of volcanoes and their products, changes in rocks caused by internal processes of deformation and heating, and processes that sculpt Earth's surface. Formation and human use of Earth's energy and mineral resources are also addressed, including current and possible future energy sources. A two-day field trip is held over one weekend during the semester to bring students into direct contact with the processes which shape our planet. The topics covered provide the necessary grounding for continuing studies in a major in Earth Sciences and Environmental Sciences.

Availability2018 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2018

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. the foundation for further studies in the Earth Sciences;

2. a basic theoretical introduction to the major themes in Earth Science: Chemical bonding & Minerals, Igneous Petrology, Metamorphism and rock deformation processes, surface processes, Earth hazards, and Earth Resources;

3. the practical skills in: mineral and rock identification; manipulation & interpretation of scientific data; map and aerial photograph interpretation; basic field observation, interpretation and note-taking; selected laboratory analyses; construction of geologic cross-sections and an understanding of 3-dimensional concepts & structure; basic use of computer GIS modelling, data analysis and presentation.


The course examines the dynamics of planet Earth, concentrating on the physical processes, the products of which make up our planet. Topics are broadly categorized into the major themes of Building Blocks, Volcanic Processes & Products, Mountain Building: The Processes & Internal Effects, Geomorphology & Earth Hazards, Sedimentary Environments & Products, and Earth Resources.

An emphasis is placed on the chemical makeup of planet Earth, and the processes which operate. Specific topics include:

  1. rock-forming minerals - chemistry structure and relation to environment, formation and properties of magmas,
  2. volcanoes and their products,
  3. varieties of igneous rocks and their origin,
  4. metamorphism and deformation processes in rocks,
  5. weathering, soils, geomorphology and Earth hazards,
  6. sedimentary environments and sedimentary rocks,
  7. renewable and non-renewable resources, fossil fuels, metallic resources, environmental consequences.

Assumed knowledge

GEOS1040 will be assumed knowledge for GEOS1050.

Assessment items

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Report: Excursion report

In Term Test: Open book practical examination

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Field Study: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory fieldwork induction.

Contact hours


Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 12 hour(s) per Term Full Term

Field study comprises two-day field trip held on a weekend.


Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2.5 hour(s) per Week for 11 Weeks