This unit of study introduces core concepts about how the formation of ocean basins and their influence on climate govern the development of coasts and continental margins. These concepts provide a framework for understanding the geographic variation of coasts, continental shelves and sediment accumulations in the deep ocean. Ocean-basin evolution is explained in terms of movements within the Earth's interior and how these movements determine the geometry of ocean basins, and their alpine counterparts, which interact with the global circulation of the ocean and atmosphere. This interaction plays a key role in marine sedimentation and controls the environmental conditions responsible for the development of coral reefs and other ecosystems. The Unit of Study systematically outlines how these factors have played out to produce, by gradual change, the coasts we see today, as well as the less familiar deposits hidden beneath the sea and coastal lands. The Unit thereby outlines how knowledge of responses to climate change in the past allow us to predict environmental responses to accelerated climate change occurring now and in the future due to the industrial greenhouse effect, but places these responses into perspective against the geological record. Overall therefore, the Unit aims to provide familiarity with fundamental phenomena central to the study of marine geoscience and environmental impacts, introduced through process-oriented explanations. The Unit of Study is structured around GIS-based practical sessions and problem-based project work, for which lectures provide the theoretical background.
Twenty-five 1 hour lectures, three 1 hour workshops, eight 2 hour practical classes.
Lab reports (60%), one 2-hour exam (40%)
On line reading material provided via Fisher Library
GEOG1001 or GEOL1001 or GEOL1002 or GEOS1003 or GEOS1903 or ENVI1002 or GEOL1902 or GEOL1501
24 credit points from Junior Units of StudyProhibitions
GEOS2915 or MARS2006