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Last updated:

April 21, 2022

Duration:

Unlimited Duration

FREE

This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration

Description

Everything we use that has not been grown either contains or relies on materials that have been sourced by a geologist.

In this course, An introduction to geology, you will be introduced to some key geological processes that impact everyday life, as you discover the link between volcanoes and your mobile phone, and find out why tiny marine wildlife is at the core of the plastics industry.

You will learn about the various types of rock, and explore how, where and why different rocks and natural resources form across the Earth. You will also look at some of the environmental and sustainability considerations that geologists need to take into account when extracting and processing these resources.

This course material was originally written for FutureLearn  in 2016. It was published on OpenLearn in April 2019.

This OpenLearn science course is produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education, the educational arm of The Exilarch's Foundation.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify different igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks
  • Apply and use numerical and graphical methods to interpret quantities and concentrations of different natural resources
  • Assess and understand the origin, occurrence and availability of some natural physical resources associated with metals, oil and building stones
  • Describe and appreciate societal and environmental issues associated with the sustainability of the Earth’s physical resources.

Course Curriculum

    • Introduction to Week 1 00:10:00
    • What is a rock? 00:15:00
    • Igneous rocks 00:10:00
    • Sedimentary rocks 00:10:00
    • Metamorphic rocks 00:10:00
    • Watch out for concrete 00:02:00
    • Rock textures 00:10:00
    • Identifying rock textures 00:07:00
    • Identifying rocks: going into the ‘field’ 00:20:00
    • The rock cycle and plate tectonics 00:20:00
    • So, how old is the Earth? 00:15:00
    • And how do we know that? 00:02:00
    • Relative dating 00:10:00
    • Absolute dating 00:15:00
    • What is plate tectonics? Continental drift and sea floor spreading – part 1 00:30:00
    • What is plate tectonics? Continental drift and sea floor spreading – part 2 00:10:00
    • Plate tectonics – part 1 00:20:00
    • Plate tectonics – part 2 00:10:00
    • Week 1 quiz 00:05:00
    • Summary of Week 1 00:10:00
    • Introduction to Week 2 00:05:00
    • Opening up a smartphone 00:15:00
    • Where do the metals come from? 00:15:00
    • Pegmatite 00:20:00
    • Bauxite – amazing things that a lot of rain can do 00:20:00
    • From soil to soda cans 00:15:00
    • Soda cans from bauxite 00:03:00
    • Another source of Al 00:15:00
    • Sand, sandstone and quartzite 00:15:00
    • The geological sorting hat 00:25:00
    • From sands into sandstone and quartzite 00:15:00
    • Copper 00:15:00
    • Porphyry ore deposits 00:20:00
    • Bursting balloons of copper mineralisation 00:15:00
    • Porphyry copper ring of fire 00:05:00
    • Under ancient seas 00:15:00
    • What type of rock is oceanic crust? 00:02:00
    • Hydrothermal vents 00:15:00
    • Black smokers 00:15:00
    • How much ore for a metre of Cu cable? 00:03:00
    • Zones at Parys Mountain 00:15:00
    • Ancient people and metals 00:20:00
    • From ancient peoples to modern mines 00:10:00
    • Mineral maps 00:10:00
    • Week 2 quiz 00:05:00
    • Summary of Week 2 00:10:00
    • Introduction to Week 3 00:05:00
    • Oil comes from the ground 00:07:00
    • Plastics and transport fuel 00:20:00
    • Fertilisers 00:20:00
    • What is oil? 00:15:00
    • Where does it come from? 00:20:00
    • Why doesn’t it just rot? 00:15:00
    • It’s a trap! 00:20:00
    • If it’s buried, how do we find it? 00:15:00
    • Seismic exploration – part 1 00:10:00
    • Seismic exploration – part 2 00:07:00
    • Biostratigraphy 00:15:00
    • Economics of oil production 00:25:00
    • More economics of oil 00:25:00
    • Week 3 quiz 00:05:00
    • Summary of Week 3 00:05:00
    • Introduction to Week 4 00:03:00
    • Breaking and fixing our planet 00:07:00
    • Geological (extraction) in your pocket 00:15:00
    • Ice ages build the modern world 00:15:00
    • Aggregate extraction 00:20:00
    • Impact of dredging 00:20:00
    • Rare earth elements 00:20:00
    • Extraction and processing 00:20:00
    • Geoengineering: crazy ideas or will they save the planet? 00:20:00
    • The atmospheric bath tub 00:20:00
    • Interviews on Leverhulme centre for climate change remediation 00:10:00
    • What’s wrong with Dave Beerling’s big idea? 00:15:00
    • Small bugs solve a lot of problems 00:15:00
    • Toxic waters escape, but toxic conditions remain 00:20:00
    • Geology to the rescue! 00:15:00
    • Bioremediation – what survives, thrives 00:10:00
    • Week 4 quiz 00:03:00
    • Final conclusion and goodbye 00:15:00

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