The Earth's Resources ADED11571

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 0
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course considers the role of geology in the exploration for mineral deposits, hydrocarbons, coal and water. We will examine where these resources are found, how we find them, and how they form. The link to plate tectonics will be explored. Practical work includes mineral recognition, description of common mineral and rock assemblages of economic importance, and methods of hydrocarbon exploration including seismic sections and sequence stratigraphy. Examples from around the world, as well as from Britain, will be described.


Blocks 1 and 2

Weeks 1-20

2 hours per week for 20 weeks

Thursdays 14.00-16.00

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





No summative assessments will be undertaken

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aims of the course are to:

■ Provide an introduction to the role of geology in the exploration of the earth's natural resources

■ Enable students to understand where economic mineral deposits and hydrocarbons are found, how they formed, and methods of exploration.

■ Enable students to recognise common minerals and interpret seismic sections.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Identify common minerals using their physical properties of colour, lustre, streak, cleavage, fracture, habit, specific gravity, and hardness.

■ Understand where minerals, including rock-forming minerals, economic minerals, hydrocarbons and coal are found and how they formed.

■ Describe the geology of mineral deposits - hydrothermal deposits, vein deposits, disseminated deposits, pegmatites, kimberlites, sedimentary mineral deposits, placer deposits, evaporites.

■ Understand the concepts of seismic and sequence stratigraphy as applied to hydrocarbon exploration.

■ Describe the principles behind groundwater and surface water exploration and storage.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Not applicable to a non-credit bearing course