Geological Field Methods

Module code: GL2100

Module co-ordinator: Dr Dave Holwell

Arguably the most important technical skill for any geologist is fieldwork. It is essential in providing the context for our interpretations of multiple and complex datasets in a range of applications, including the search for minerals, the suitability of ground for engineering uses, the location of groundwater aquifers - as well as a fundamental understanding of the geological history of our planet. Geologists must be able to ‘read’ rocks in the field, and know what to look for in order to make reliable and sound interpretations.

Through a number of field courses (including trips to Spain and Anglesey) that cover a range of geological environments, you will gain a comprehensive range of field skills that will equip you for a career as a geoscientist, and also prepare you to be an independent field geologist.

Exploring the spectacularly exposed geology of south-east Spain will help develop the skills to document and interpret a range of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks. In an outstanding coastal geopark on Anglesey you will develop your skills in recognising and documenting a range of geological structures and fabrics. You'll learn how to analyse these to create structural maps and cross-sections and to deduce the polyphase deformation history of an area. 

This module will also help you to develop highly relevant employability skills, including working in challenging outdoor environments, an assessment of health and safety, problem solving, small group-working activities and independent decision making.

Topics covered

  • Geological mapping
  • Measuring and recording structural features
  • Identification of geological features and structures
  • Logical approaches to data recording
  • Logging
  • 3D visualisation
  • Predicting geology in areas not yet encountered