This topic will follow basic physical geology curriculum which centres on rock-forming processes in plate tectonic settings. Igneous processes including volcanism and mantle plumes are covered after a description of plate tectonic processes. Geologic time is discussed in relation to dating methods and regional geologic features such as the Flinders-Mt Lofty Ranges. Metamorphism is also discussed in terms of local examples from the Mt Lofty Ranges. Weathering, erosion, sediment transport, and deposition are briefly covered, again with examples from South Australia including coastal limestone formations. Economic mineral deposits and the formation of hydrocarbon reserves will be briefly described.
This topic aims to develop understanding of basic geological principles of rock and mineral formation, deformation of the Earth's crust, and deposition of sedimentary strata. Geological processes to be covered include volcanism, magmatic processes, metamorphism, water-rock metamorphism, weathering, and sedimentary processes. Along with discussion of processes, students will develop skills of rock and mineral identification, as well as topographical and geological map reading and cross-section construction. Identification of minerals and rocks will focus on thin-section examination under polarising microscopes along with corresponding hand-samples. There is a one day field trip to an area of local geologic significance to develop an understanding of basic geological processes.