An introductory course exploring the dynamics of Earth and how it changes through time, from the core to the atmosphere, plate tectonics to volcanoes, glaciers to rivers, mountains to oceans, and mass extinctions to the evolution of life. Through exploration of these processes and their interrelationships with environments and society, including natural hazards, climate change, and earth resources, students will develop their practical, problem solving, and communication skills.
A practical field experience examining volcanological and geothermal deposits of the central North Island. Emphasis will be placed on geologic mapping in volcanic environments, tephrochronology, geothermal processes, geologic hazards and volcanic sedimentology.
Principles of mineral and rock formation, including physical and chemical processes in magmas and volcanic eruption products; optical petrography of minerals and rocks; ore deposits and economic geology.
This course explores the materials that make up planet Earth, and the processes integral to their genesis and distribution. The course covers the principles of stratigraphy and sedimentation, the processes and products of tectonics, and how mineralogy is key to understanding processes operating on Earth.
This course explores surface processes across Earth's dynamic landscapes. Focusing on mountain, hillslope, river and coastal environments, the course investigates how and why these landscapes change over time. The course introduces methods for analysing and predicting landform change, and provides a foundation for managing geomorphic issues impacting society and the environment.
This course provides a hands-on experience of geoscientific fieldwork, from data collection through to analysis and interpretation of these data to explain geological and geomorphological processes. Analyses and interpretations will be applied to land, resource, and hazard management issues in New Zealand.
Introduction to handling and analysis of digital geospatial data. Operation of GIS software, including collection, processing and understanding of data, production of maps and geospatial projection systems. Integration of spatial statistical software with GIS. Introduction to appropriate spatial statistics techniques including kernel smoothing, kriging, point processes and spatially correlated areal data.
233.250 Understanding New Zealand Geology15 credits
The geological strata of New Zealand record a complex interaction between sedimentology, stratigraphy and structural geology. This course concentrates on the geological history of New Zealand through the principles of stratigraphy, the processes and products of sedimentation, the basics of structural geology and geological dating techniques. There is an emphasis on the applications of the techniques and methods presented, such as for volcanic hazards, earthquakes and oil and gas exploration.
A journey of discovery in the world of geospatial information. Learn how to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to store, query and manipulate spatial datasets. Develop an understanding of how these data are gathered using remote sensing techniques and analysed using digital image analysis.
Principles and techniques for investigating and reconstructing past environments in a range of geological time frames and settings, with emphasis on the value of such reconstructions to understand our current environment and predict what may happen in the future.
An exploration and analysis of the nature, causes, impacts, and management of natural hazards, covering earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, weather, floods and coastal hazards. How climate change and human activity influence the hazards facing society.
Quantification, forecasting, visualisation and communication of geoscience system dynamics to solve a range of environmental problems. Problems explored range from environmental pollution and instability of geoengineering structures to problems posed by gravity currents, landslides, tsunamis, floods and coastline changes. Students will learn to solve these geoscience problems quantitatively using modern computational, experimental, and analytical techniques.
233.314 Remote Sensing and Earth Observation15 credits
Principles and applications of Earth observation, remote sensing and spectroscopy in earth and environmental sciences. Spatial mapping and image classification of imagery from a variety of Earth observation and airborne sensors and other observations that contribute to monitoring terrestrial environments. Students will learn how to access, interpret and utilise such satellite and airborne imagery.
An advanced course in processes of soil formation, soils in the landscape, soil classification systems, techniques of description and mapping of soils, soil stratigraphy and properties of soils.
233.705 Volcanology and Tephrochronology30 credits
An advanced course investigating physical volcanology and tephrochronology, including tephra identification, tephra fingerprinting, volcanic mineralogy and geochemistry, and volcanic hazards.
233.706 Environmental Geographical Information Systems30 credits
Application of geospatial analytical techniques within the environmental sciences, with particular emphasis on cartographic modelling, data fusion, database query, decision support and image integration.
Remote sensing of the environment: techniques and applications. The course will emphasise the use of digital analysis of remotely sensed imagery and data. The integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), digital elevation models (DEMs) and remotely sensed data will be studied in detail.
A study of the Earth's geochemical systems, including igneous geochemistry and stable and radiogenic isotope systems. Absolute and relative geochronological methods are a key aspect of this course. Fundamental geochemical concepts, sample preparation, and the use of geochemical standards will be discussed. Analytical techniques of importance to geochemistry will be examined.
This course provides an advanced coverage of key themes in global Quaternary climate change research, including the methods for investigating, and mechanisms which drive, Quaternary climate change. Students attend a two day short course hosted by GNS Science as part of the course requirements.
Advanced study into the historical development and principles of the Quaternary chronostratigraphy of New Zealand. Topics include the Quaternary stratigraphy of selected regions or countries, the effects of climate change on Quaternary deposits, Quaternary tectonics and Quaternary deposits as aquifers.