2 x 50-minute lectures weekly
1 x 3-hour laboratory weekly
1 x 8-hour field trip per semester
1 of EASC1101, EASC1102
Enrolment not permitted
1 of EASC3732, EASC8732, WARM8732 has been successfully completed
Topic description
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.
Educational aims
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.
Expected learning outcomes
At the completion of the topic, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Describe the processes and products of plate tectonics including seafloor spreading and the formation of ocean crust, the rifting of continents and development of continental shelfs
  2. Outline basic processes of volcanoes and magma chambers
  3. Outline the regional geology of the Adelaide area and Flinders Ranges
  4. Identify main types of minerals and the rocks they form using the polarising microscope
  5. Construct simple geological cross-sections from maps
  6. Outline the main types of economic mineral deposits and origin of hydrocarbons
  7. Outline the basic processes of metamorphism and apply these processes to understanding regional metamorphic rocks
  8. Outline basic processes of sedimentation and apply these processes to understanding regional sedimentary units
  9. Apply basic principles of geologic time and age dating of rocks and minerals