Geomorphology: Tectonics and Surface Processes EARTH4076

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

The course provides an integrated view of the surface processes that shape our planet and of the complex feedback between these processes and tectonics, at a series of temporal and spatial scales.


Four classes per week for 3 weeks (2 hr lecture and 1 hr lab per class). Local 1 day field class.

Requirements of Entry

Normally completion of Level 3 Geology courses or Level 3 Earth Science courses at a mean of D3.

Excluded Courses

EARTH4026 - Tectonic Geomorphology

EARTH4068 - Macrogeomorphology


Numerical modelling set exercise (50%)

Report on a key geomorphological concept (50%) 

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses


Course Aims

The course aims to provide an in-depth knowledge of the key concepts of geomorphology, focusing on the mechanisms that link tectonic and surface processes, their interaction, and complex feedback loops. During the course, the students will learn how to quantify these processes, using an array of methods that are sensitive to different spatial and temporal scales.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Describe and critically assess key hypotheses in geomorphology and landscape evolution

■ Explain the key processes that drive landscape evolution and how they are recorded in the landscape morphometry

■ Use and evaluate numerical, geochemical and GIS methods to quantify landscape evolution

■ Appraise methods for studying surface and tectonic processes at an appropriate scale

■ Evaluate the application of geomorphology to natural hazards and climate change.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.