1 x 2-hour tutorial fortnightly
2 x 3-hour laboratories per semester
1 x 8-hour field trip per semester
6 x 3-hour on-line exercises per semester
2 x 1-hour on-line lectures weekly
Enrolment not permitted
ENVS8052 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
EASC1101 Earth and Environmental Sciences and ENVS2752 Geological Processes.
Topic description
This topic will focus on the formation and evolution of the Australian continent over geological time, as revealed by the fossil and rock records. Students will be given the opportunity to relate classical geologic principles to the understanding of the main processes, modern and ancient, that contributed to the development of Australia. This topic will also give particular emphasis to the formation, evolution and main geological characteristics in South Australia.
Educational aims
The aims for this topic are for students to:

  1. Understand the concept of geologic time and how classic geologic principles and modern techniques are used to date rocks and fossils
  2. Develop a deeper understanding of scientific theories such as plate tectonics and life evolution and how they can explain the geological and biological evolution of the continent
  3. Know about the birth and evolution of Earth and modern Australia
Expected learning outcomes
At the completion of this topic, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Understand and explain facies, stratigraphic relationships, transgression and regression, process of fossilization
  2. Understand and explain environments of deposition, paleogeographic reconstruction and paleoclimatic inferences
  3. Understand and explain Darwin's and Wallace's theory of natural selection, Mendelian concept of inheritance, speciation, fossil record evidence
  4. Understand and explain Precambrian history and formation of core rocks
  5. Understand and explain climate change and the geological record
  6. Understand and explain the birth and evolution of modern Australia