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Last updated:

December 31, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


Geology is the core discipline of the earth sciences and encompasses many different phenomena, including plate tectonics and mountain building, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the long-term evolution of Earth’s atmosphere, surface and life.

Because of the ever-increasing demand for resources, the growing exposure to natural hazards, and the changing climate, geology is of considerable societal relevance. This course introduces students to the basics of geology. Through a combination of lectures, labs, and field observations, we will address topics ranging from mineral and rock identification to the origin of the continents, from geologic mapping to plate tectonics, and from erosion by rivers and glaciers to the history of life.

Course Curriculum

  • Overview: Introduction to the Introduction of Geology Unlimited
  • Origin and Age of the Earth Unlimited
  • Introduction to Minerals Unlimited
  • Igneous Rocks Unlimited
  • Metamorphic Rocks Unlimited
  • Sedimentary Rocks Unlimited
  • Rock Structure and Deformation Unlimited
  • Geologic Time: Relative versus Absolute Dating Unlimited
  • Volcanoes Unlimited
  • Plate Tectonics Unlimited
  • Earthquakes Unlimited
  • Topography Unlimited
  • Field Techniques Unlimited
  • Rivers Unlimited
  • Landslides and Debris Flows Unlimited
  • Glaciers Unlimited
  • Climate through Geologic History Unlimited
  • Earth History and Geobiology Unlimited
  • Earth Science and Society Unlimited
  • Comparative Planetology Unlimited

About the instructor

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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