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Module GLU44904: Geological Literature

  Module GLU44904
Co-ordinator: Dr Patrick Wyse Jackson
Course Type: Mandatory
Assessment: Theory examination 100%
ECTS: 5 Credits
Prerequisites: JS Geology

Contact hours & timing:

Michaelmas Term
Weeks 3-8 2 hours per week; Fridays 1-2pm all year

Module Learning Aims

The aims are to provide (1) an understanding of the range of geological literature and data sources; (2) the means to develop literature reviews; (3) instruction on how to analyse and research papers and produce a critique; (4) an appreciation of early geological concepts and theories.

Module Content

This module will examine the diverse range of geological literature available, from printed publications to online resources. Using recent examples some geological controversies will be examined, and the salient points of the papers outline, critiqued and discussed.  The lectures on the history and philosophy of geology will examine a number of topics focussing on the original ideas, how they were received and how these ideas have been accepted or rejected in modern geological understanding.  These topics include the dating of the age of the Earth, the construction of the geological column and timescale, the nature of fossils, and the establishment of geophysics as a subject. Much of the module will be student-based learning.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • discriminate between well justified and poorly justified arguments in geological literature, and summarize the material for their own use
  • describe the major theories developed by earlier geologists on the formation, age, and internal characteristics of the Earth, and on the formation and meaning of fossils
  • identify and discuss current major problems in the earth sciences