2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue
SOEE5515M Ice in the Earth System
15 creditsClass Size: 8
Module manager: Lauren Gregoire
Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable
Year running 2019/20
Pre-requisite qualificationsA Level Mathematics OR Physics OR approved Level 1 Maths/Physics equivalent
This module is mutually exclusive with
|SOEE3515||Ice in the Earth System|
This module is approved as an Elective
Module summaryThe cryosphere (comprising snow, sea ice and glaciers) plays an important role in the Earth System, by driving, as well as responding to, global changes. You will engage with current debates in the research literature to improve your understanding of contemporary distributions of snow cover, sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets, and place this within the longer-term context of the past and future evolution of the Earth system and climate. You will explore the primary controls of cryospheric change, and identify the feedbacks that are accelerating these changes in a warming climate. You will also develop skills in numerical modelling and remote sensing to assess changes in the cryosphere and forecast its future evolution. By critically examining these data you will also gain understanding of their limitations and how uncertainty in predictions is handled in practical terms.
ObjectivesThe objectives of this module are:
1. To establish the past and current distribution of snow, sea ice and glaciers and the role they play within the Earth system
2. To identify the global controls of cryospheric change and the specific processes that will determine its evolution on a local scale
On completion of this module, the student will gain an understanding of:
- The role of sea ice, snow and glaciers within the Earth system and its interaction with climate
- How the cryosphere has evolved over long (tens of thousands of years) timescales.
- Recent changes in the cryosphere, what caused them and the processes that will drive the future evolution of sea ice, glaciers, ice sheets and sea level.
Students will also learn a range of data analysis techniques used to evaluate changes in glaciers, sea ice and ice sheets, providing them with a deeper understanding of our knowledge of current and future changes in the cryosphere.
Numerical interpretation and presentation of data.
Analysis of computer model experiments.
Lectures will cover a range of topics related to ice in the earth system, which may include:
The role of ice within the Earth system.
Fundamental principles of the cryosphere.
Past ice sheets.
Observing the current health of the ice sheets.
Future changes in the cryosphere.
During the practical sessions, students will analyse up to date observational and modelling data of sea ice and ice sheets to reinforce and develop concepts learn in the lectures and to learn techniques used to analyse and interpret cryosphere data.
The second part of the module will comprise 2, four-hour practical sessions. One of these practicals will be assessed. These practicals will allow more in-depth understanding of topics covered in lectures as well as developed data analysis and research skills. Semester 2 practicals may cover a range of possible topics including:
Mapping glacial geomorphology
Glacier surface elevation analysis
Glacier ice surface velocity
Surface Energy Balance modelling
Ice-marginal lake interactions
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||124.00|
|Total Contact hours||26.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||150.00|
Private studyCommon with level 3: 82 hours to include: 4 hours reading per lecture, 18 hours preparation, analysis and write up of computer practical, 16 hours revision for assessment.
Additional requirements for level 5: 42 hours in Semester 2 to include: 5 hours per practical for preparation, analysis and reflection, 5 hours per practical for wider reading in related subject matter, 10 hours of data analysis for assessment, 12 hours reading/writing for assessment.
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackThere will be four formal points during S1 where student progress will be monitored – with the submission of each of the three learning logs, and then the end-of-semester assignment.
In Semester 2 students will have the opportunity to gain verbal feedback from staff on their ideas, analysis and results during computer practicals, prior to the submission of their report. Written feedback on each of the assignments will also be provided.
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Essay||1 * 1200 word essay||30.00|
|Computer Exercise||Computer workshop assessed report (1,200 words)||30.00|
|Practical Report||Practical report (2,000 word) with associated digital files||40.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||100.00|
The re-sit for this module will be by an essay only.
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 19/08/2019
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