GEO233 Glacial Environments

Level 2
Credits 20
Availability Approved for BA Geography; BSc Geography; Environmental Science; Geography & Planning
Semester Autumn
Prerequisites GEO101 and GEO108
Description This module covers topics relevant to glacial environments of the world, including both contemporary and former ice sheets and glaciers. Firstly we examine how glaciers and ice sheets come into existence through an understanding of climate and the concept of glacier mass balance. How glaciers work (ice flow, interaction with their beds etc) is dealt with via sections on glaciology and glacier hydrology. How glaciers modify the underlying landscape is dealt with via a section on glacial geomorphological processes and landforms, and the sedimentary products of glaciation via a section on glacial geology.

This module aims:

  1. To introduce the components of the cryosphere, with a focus on glaciers and ice sheets
  2. To understand how glaciers flow attempt to maintain a balance with their climate drivers
  3. To understand the processes that act to erode and shape glacial landforms and landscapes
  4. To illustrate the diversity of glacial environments and near-glacial (periglacial) environments
Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, a candidate will be able to demonstrate an understanding of glaciology, glacier hydrology, glacial geomorphology and geology. Students should gain insight into how research approaches have produced such knowledge and be appreciative of levels of uncertainty in our current understanding, and the main challenges for the future.

Delivery Methods Lectures
Student Contact Hours 24
Supporting Texts
  • Benn & Evans (1998) Glaciers & Glaciation
Assessment Methods Examination (67%), coursework (33%)
(convenor underlined)
Professor Mark Bateman, Professor Chris Clark, Dr Darrel Swift

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