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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE2180 Field, Map and GIS Skills

20 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Dr Vernon Manville

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successful completion of Level 1 GS Programme

Non-attendance of the residential field classes without good reason will incur a financial cost to the student.

Module replaces

SOEE2107 Geology Field and Map Skills

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module delivers key training in advanced geological field skills such as geological mapping techniques and the study of sedimentary basin successions and metamorphic terranes, providing the foundation for the writing of geological field reports. It also provides the skills required to analyse geological maps and features and interpret basic remote sensing images through group and individual work on their applications, including hydrogeology, fault-loss maps, isopachs, landslides and accurate cross-section and geological history construction. GIS applications in geology and the use of Digital Elevation Models (DEM) are also explored


Field Skills: - To teach the skills of field observations, geological mapping, field data recording, and the preparation and presentation of geological maps and reports.

- To investigate metamorphic terrains and develop an integrated approach to sedimentary basin analysis in the field.

- To develop field safety awareness.

Map skills: - To reinforce map skills learnt in 1st year, apply them in new situations, and introduce geological remote sensing.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will be able to: i) discuss the strengths and limitations of different remote sensing tools; ii) assess relief, drainage, solid and drift lithologies, tectonic and sedimentary features from the appropriate images; iii) use remote sensing images to plan exploration strategies; iv) compare data from images with geological map information; v) synthesise data in the form of sketch maps and cross-sections; vi) establish and apply methodologies for analysis of complex maps; vii) construct accurate cross-sections and geological histories in areas of complex structure and stratigraphy;viii) know how to carry out advanced geological fieldwork.

Covid-19 disclaimer: this module has been severely impacted by the restrictions placed on travel and residential field classes by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As a consequence of this a number of field classes have been cancelled, rescheduled, or replaced with desk-top exercises. While every effort is being made to ensure that the impacts on your degree programme and its learning outcomes are minimised, our first priority remains the health and well-being of our students and staff, such that some planned activities may have to be cancelled or replaced with alternatives at short notice.

Skills outcomes
Geological mapping and fieldwork skills.


Field: Residential field classes during Easter and Summer vacations that include field mapping training, field exercises on metamorphic and sedimentary rocks and integration of field-based observations into a regional/basinal synthesis, safety and hazard assessment.

Map skills: This module covers the skills required to analyse geological features and maps and interpret some remote sensing images. A brief outline of the various remote sensing tools and the principles by which they work is followed by group and individual work on their applications. - Interpretation of different images from areas of active and ancient tectonics is followed by comparison between data available from images and from geological maps of comparable areas. - Interpretation of a variety of geological maps. Establishing strategies for dealing with complex and variable structures and stratigraphies, including constructing cross-sections and geological histories through such areas. Using geological maps to solve problems.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours45.00
Total Contact hours143.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)188.00

Private study

Evening study time on field trips and report writing after trips. Personal study time to work on practical assessments and exercises.Evening study time on field trips and report writing after trips, and maps workbook.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Staff feedback on field skills and field notebook techniques during field classes, in subsequent tutorials, and in practicals
- Feedback on mapwork exercises during practicals

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
FieldworkTrip 1 – Pembroke (run during Easter 2021 to replace cancelled Pembroke field class from Level 1): Formatively assessed only0.00
FieldworkTrip 2 – County Clare: Map and sedimentary log (75%); Group seminar (25%)50.00
FieldworkDesk-top Connemara exercise (replaces residential field class normally run during Easter 2021): Formatively assessed only0.00
FieldworkTrip 3 – Assynt (run in June 2021 to replace cancelled Assynt field class from June 2021): Formatively assessed only0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Resit for County Clare field class will comprise a written literature review of the geology of the Ross Basin.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Open Book exam2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Resit will comprise an open book online practical exam in the same format.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 26/08/2020 09:37:44


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