GEOL40700 Applied Quaternary Geology

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module explores the geologic record of the past 2.6 million years, and in particular, the effect that Quaternary glacial activity has had on the landscape. In many cases, unconsolidated deposits from the Quaternary are discontinuous and heterogeneous, posing challenges to subsurface description. Recognizing the deposits architecture, common landforms, and erosion and depositional processes related to the Quaternary geologic record are key in accurately characterizing Quaternary deposits. This information underpins many industries including mineral exploration, aggregate extraction, groundwater monitoring, and environmental remediation.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the module, students should be able to:
Explain the depositional processes associated with deposition of Quaternary sediments
Understand techniques used in mineral exploration within unconsolidated sediments.
Critically evaluate approaches sed to characterize Quaternary sediments.
Explore risks posed by unconsolidated Quaternary sediments.

Indicative Module Content:

Topics covered will included:
Ice Sheets and Glaciers
Glacial sedimentation/landforms
Mineral exploration in unconsolidated sediments (drift prospecting, stream sediment sampling, etc.)
Aggregate resources
Geotechnical properties of Quaternary sediments
Weathering and soils
Coastal geomorphology
Climate Change

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning






Field Trip/External Visits




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module will use lecture, practicals, and field trips. Field trips will be used to examine topics covered in lecture in more detail, and incorporate the collection of field observations with computer based interpretation. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Assessment of responses to tasks/questions posed in practical classes and in-class discussions Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Examination: Final examination: Essay question about material covered in the lectures and practicals Unspecified No Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be provided following the completion of activities.

Name Role
Dr Mark Coughlan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Tom Manzocchi Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.

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