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Unit of study_

GEOS2114: Volcanoes, Resources and Sustainability

Semester 1, 2022 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Through the millennia, volcanoes have provided key material for hominids extending from fertile soils and obsidian spear points, to copper for wind turbines. On occasion, their explosive behaviour has also ended civilisations. In this unit of study, you will develop an understanding of the formation and dynamics of volcanoes, their role as a carbon-source during their build-up, carbon-sink through their weathering and the production of fertile soils. You will explore how volcanoes sustain biodiversity hubs from the deep ocean-floor (black and white smokers) to the green slopes of volcanoes such as Kilimanjaro. You will develop a deep understanding of key magmatic processes that underpin the formation of Earth resources critical for a transition to a clean economy and a sustainable future. You will observe, document and analyse magmatic rocks in the field (during a 2-day field trip to study an extinct volcano in New South Wales or an optional 10-day trip to New Zealand's North Island).

Unit details and rules

Unit code GEOS2114
Academic unit Geosciences Academic Operations
Credit points 6
Prohibitions
? 
GEOL2111 or GEOL2911 or GEOS2914
Prerequisites
? 
6 credit points from (GEOS1XXX or GEOL1XXX)
Corequisites
? 
None
Assumed knowledge
? 

None

Available to study abroad and exchange students

Yes

Teaching staff

Coordinator Derek Wyman, derek.wyman@sydney.edu.au
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Take-home short release) Type D final exam Final exam
Open Book. Medium (half page) to Long (to 2 page) answers
40% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11
Assignment Practical reports
Written report
20% Multiple weeks Varies per report
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11
Assignment group assignment Field trip
Field Report- Part Individual; Part Group
15% Week 07
Due date: 23 Apr 2021 at 10:00
5 Hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11
Tutorial quiz Quiz
Written quiz: multi-choice - fill in the blanks.
10% Week 09 10-12 questions
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO11 LO10 LO9 LO8 LO5 LO2
Assignment Pathways to Sustainability
Literature Synthesis
15% Week 13
Due date: 27 May 2022 at 16:00

Closing date: 27 May 2022
4 Hours of class time
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11
group assignment = group assignment ?
Type D final exam = Type D final exam ?

Assessment summary

  • Final exam: The exam will cover all material in the unit from both lectures and practical classes. The exam will have a mixture of multiple choice-fill in the blank and short andf long answers.If a second replacement exam is required, this exam may be delivered via an alternative assessment method, such as a viva voce (oral exam). The alternative assessment will meet the same learning outcomes as the original exam. The format of the alternative assessment will be determined by the unit coordinator. 
  • Practicals: Complete questions relating to hand specimens, microscopic thin sections and structural problems.
  • Field Excursion: Complete wrtitten report on observations made in the field
     

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range

Description

High distinction

85 - 100

Work awarded a distinction grade will usually achieve the following
minimum standards or present the described characteristics
  • Accurately answers the question in an impressive, compelling, or
  • highly persuasive manner
  • Presents relevant material accurately in a thoroughly convincing
  • or forceful manner or with the facts well‐integrated into an extended
  • and comprehensive explanation or argument
  • Accurate quotation and/or source identification when appropriate.
  • Evidence of exhaustive independent research
  • Evidence of extensive critical analysis of concept, and/or innovative
  • perspective on the topic, and/or deep understanding of problem
  • Answers demonstrate striking originality, an innovative approach,
  • or impressive analytical skill
  • Answers are exceptionally well written, with excellent structure expression
  • Is otherwise exceptional in some way

Distinction

75 - 84

Work awarded a distinction grade will usually achieve the following
minimum standards or present the described characteristics
  • Accurately answers the question in a convincing, confident manner
  • Presents relevant material accurately in a concise manner or with
  • the facts well‐integrated into a comprehensive explanation or argument
  • Accurate quotation and/or source identification when appropriate.
  • Evidence of extensive independent research
  • Evidence of extensive critical analysis of concept, and/or innovative
  • perspective on the topic, and/or deep understanding of problem
  • Answers are well written, with clear structure and cogent expression

Credit

65 - 74

Work awarded a credit grade will usually achieve the following minimum
standards or present the described characteristics
  • An appropriate, accurate and reasonable detailed answer or response
  • is provided
  • Appropriate key point or points (facts) and/or concepts clearly presented
  • without significant errors or misconceptions
  • Presents relevant material concisely with facts clearly integrated
  • into the explanation
  • Accurate quotation and/or source identification when appropriate.
  • Evidence of some independent research or critical analysis of concept
  • or problem
  • Answers are easily understood with both clear expression and
  • structure if appropriate

Pass

50 - 64

Work awarded a passing grade will usually achieve the following
minimum standards or present the described characteristics
  • An appropriate but superficial answer or response is provided
  • Presents relevant material in a superficial manner or in a simplistic
  • descriptive style
  • Correctly identifies key point or points (facts) but does not develop
  • an appropriate explanation or argument if this is required
  • Contains some minor errors or presents minor inaccuracies and
  • misconceptions
  • Little or no evidence of in‐depth analysis or deep understanding
  • of the concept
  • Answers can be understood but may be poorly worded or somewhat
  • flawed due to poor grammar, expression or structure

Fail

0 - 49

Work may fail for any or all of the following criteria

  • No answer or response is provided
  • Does not address or otherwise answer the question
  • Contains numerous minor errors or presents a significant misconception
  • Presents irrelevant material
  • No evidence of research or analysis
  • Presents a significantly inaccurate or flawed argument
  • The answer is incomprehensible or difficult to understand due to
  • significant problems with grammar, expression or structure

For more information see sydney.edu.au/students/guide-to-grades.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Magmas, oceans, atmosphere, life & continents: The volcanic "Big Picture" Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO9 LO10 LO11
Rock (re-)familiarization: Hand specimen characteristics Practical (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO9 LO10 LO11
Week 02 From microscopic minerals to volcanic landforms Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO9 LO10 LO11
Introduction to the optical microscope Practical (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO9 LO10 LO11
Week 03 Making magmas in the Subduction Zone Factory Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO9 LO10 LO11
Mafic rocks under the microscope Practical (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO9 LO10 LO11
Week 04 From Basalts to rhyolites Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO9
Intermediate rocks under the microscope Practical (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO9 LO10 LO11
Week 05 Eruptions styles, Hazards, and Volcano Morphology Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO8 LO9
Felsic volcanic rocks under the microscope Practical (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO9 LO10 LO11
Week 06 Trace Elements - Quantifying Volcanism and other Earth Processes Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7 LO9
Week 07 Mt Canobolas Excursion Field trip (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11
Isotopes: answering the volcanic when, how and why Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO7 LO9
Week 08 Elemental cycling in subduction Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Igneous Rocks under the microscope - Review Practical (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11
Week 09 Volcanic roots: granites and the continental crust Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO9
Week 10 Magmas, Hot Water and Strategic Minerals Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Strategic Minerals in Nature Practical (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO9 LO10 LO11
Week 11 Post-subduction magmas and metals Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Strategic Minerals under the microscope Practical (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11
Week 12 Continental Rift Magmas: the economic impacts of crystal fractionation Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 13 Spaceship Earth and the Solar System Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

  • Textbook: Van der Pluijm, B. and Marshak, S. (2010). Earth structure. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: W.W. Norton & Co.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand key petrological and structural concepts relevant to deep crustal and mantle processes
  • LO2. apply these concepts to analyse igneous rocks, and unravel their mineralogy, structure and geochemical evolution
  • LO3. identify the main types and settings of Earth’s volcanism
  • LO4. understand the main variables that contribute to the evolution and diversity of magmas
  • LO5. understand the selective processes associated with the formation of ore deposits and factors that contribute to economically and socially responsible resource extraction
  • LO6. Employ geochemical data to assess the origin and evolution of various magma types.
  • LO7. Employ isotopic data to assess the origin and evolution of various magma types.
  • LO8. source and analyse information, assess its reliability and significance
  • LO9. communicate scientific information appropriately, both orally and through written work
  • LO10. engage in team and group work for scientific investigations and for the process of learning
  • LO11. develop a sense of responsibility, ethical behaviour and independence as a learner and as a scientist

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
GQ1 GQ2 GQ3 GQ4 GQ5 GQ6 GQ7 GQ8 GQ9

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Field trip held earlier to avoid snow on Mt Canobolas.

Additional costs

There will be additional field trip costs.

Work, health and safety

We are governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and Codes of Practice. Penalties for non-compliance have increased. Everyone has a responsibility for health and safety at work. The University’s Work Health and Safety policy explains the responsibilities and expectations of workers and others, and the procedures for managing WHS risks associated with University activities.

General Laboratory Safety Rules

  • No eating or drinking is allowed in any laboratory under any circumstances 
  • A laboratory coat and closed-toe shoes are mandatory 
  • Follow safety instructions in your manual and posted in laboratories 
  • In case of fire, follow instructions posted outside the laboratory door 
  • First aid kits, eye wash and fire extinguishers are located in or immediately outside each laboratory 
  • As a precautionary measure, it is recommended that you have a current tetanus immunisation. This can be obtained from University Health Service: unihealth.usyd.edu.au/

Disclaimer

The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.