This course introduces you to the broad field of Earth Science. Earth Science in general and in all its sub disciplines is a very exciting and relevant field. You will never look at mountains, rivers and oceans in the same way after taking this course. The number of jobs in this field is increasing, because water, mineral and fossil fuel resources are decreasing. At the same time, environmental problems are increasing: water pollution, plastic soup, global warming and the seemingly increased frequency of earth quakes, tsunamis and hurricanes. You will discover in this course that these phenomena observed on (surface) and in (deep) the earth, are linked to processes of our Earth, that contrary to many other planets, is alive!

While studying the common geological phenomena, we will browse through major sub disciplines such as geohydrology, sedimentology, structural geology, mineralogy, petrology, earth history, geophysics, climatology, environmental geology and resource management. Each one of these sub disciplines could easily fill a semester. In universities these sub disciplines are usually taught by several professors that have specialized in one of the sub-disciplines. This course will be taught by professors partly based on the main division in Surface Earth and Deep Earth. It should be realized that deep earth processes drive surface earth processes, and to some degree that is true for the reverse.

Since geology is a typical outdoor science, you will not have a complete introduction without outdoor studies. The course will include outdoor studies via a Geowalk in town, and a field assignment in the Ardennes. If time and weather allows also a beach excursion to study sedimentation features. In order to prepare you for the field assignment, apart from the regular classes and lectures, there will be practicals for mineral and rock determination and a geological mapping/profiling class. During the Ardennes field study we will collect structural data and rocks (maybe fossils). You will see that many sub-disciples are demonstrated during this fieldtrip. You will collect data in the field and process these data at home and write a report which will include a geological cross-section and stratigraphic column of the Ardennes area we will investigate.

Students will see that most observations (including seismic data) concerning the deep earth are made at and above the surface, that the features of the surface are shaped by deep earth processes, and that certain components of surface processes penetrate the deep interior. Such interactions are exemplified by geochemical analyses of surface rocks that reveal the composition and flow history of the mantle, by heat flow from the core that is the source of volcanic island chains and rift valleys, and by large weather systems that initiate planet-wide seismic vibrations.

Course Syllabus_SCIEART101_F19.pdfCourse Syllabus_SCIEART101_F19.pdf