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Field Class for Planetary Science


Module description

This module builds on your knowledge of remote sensing and image interpretation to equip you to prepare a geological interpretation of a region - for example, but not restricted to, the island of Lanzarote - from remotely sensed data and images.

The module includes six days of fieldwork on the island of Lanzarote or a similar location that can be used as a planetary analogue.

You will produce two reports on the geological history of the region under investigation: the first is an interpretative sketch map from Google Earth; while the second is a brief geological history.

Students undertaking this module will work together as a team to decide on which parts of the region of interest will be visited during the field-class, in a manner analogous to operating a rover on another planet, or a remotely-operated undersea vehicle from a ship. Students who are studying by distance-learning, or who are otherwise unable to attend in person, will be required to attend via Skype or similar method, in order to participate actively in the decision-making process.

You will undertake field studies to determine the geological history of the area you are investigating, including recording data by making field-sketches or annotated photographs, and field-notes about nature of rock-types and the relationships between different rock-types and their relative ages.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • produce an interpretative sketch map of the geological history of the region identified using Google Earth imagery
  • prioritise which areas should be examined in greater detail during the field excursion
  • work in a team to prepare a five-day itinerary of localities to be visited during the field-class
  • prioritise these localities and organise the fieldwork in a logical and timely manner
  • undertake direct geological investigations of the region
  • integrate the results of the fieldwork into your original geological interpretation of the region
  • produce a final report on the geological history of the area.