Past Climate and Sea Level: Processes and Proxies (part 1)

Course content

The course is composed of theory and case-studies. The theory part comprises an introduction to selected climate archives, marine and terrestrial system processes, and additional proxies complimenting the processes introduced in Past climate and sea level – Processes and proxies (2). Important sedimentary and geochemical proxies, including isotopes, are covered and students are trained in critical reading of key scientific literature. Cases may deal with past climate change, long term carbon cycle and/or seawater geochemical changes, on time scales ranging from millions to millennial years. Focus will be on pre-Quaternary systems, but items treated may change from year to year. Data collected during laboratory and/or field work are analysed and critically evaluated.
 

The aim of the course is to provide an overview of past climate and sea-level changes focused on how these changes are observed in the sedimentary records; what processes, interactions and feedback between the components of the climate system may have led to the signal in the sedimentary archives. The course is composed of theory and case-studies. The theory part comprises an introduction to climate archives and marine and terrestrial system processes. Important sedimentary and geochemical proxies including isotopes are explained and students are trained in the evaluation of data. Cases may deal with past climate change, long term carbon cycle and seawater geochemical change and on time scales ranging from millions to millennial years. At the end of block 1, students read key papers and produce a review report or write a report about field/laboratory work. The student should have the necessary background for understanding the importance of observations and hypothesis testing. The student may have developed skills in: analysing of multiple datasets and interpretation of which processes feedbacks lead to the observations; evaluating the validity of geological data archives and model results through comparative studies.

Education

MSc Programme in Geology-Geoscience
MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics
MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics with a Minor Subject

Learning outcome

Knowledge:

  • Describe the main drivers and patterns of the Climate system of the Earth
  • Understand what controls sea-level changes
  • Relate sea-level change and climate evolution at different timescales
  • Describe some of the most important Marine and terrestrial system processes
  • Apply sedimentary, biotic and geochemical proxies to reconstruct past climates
     

Skills:

  • Critical evaluate scientific literature
  • Interpret geological climate signals
  • Place interpretations of climate archives or climate systems in a wider perspective
     

Competences:

  • Read scientific literature on climate systems and geological climate archives
  • Use relevant definitions and terms
  • Describe data from geological climate archives
  • Give professional-style oral presentation
  • Write a concise report

The form of teaching is theory exercises combined with ad hoc lectures and 3 days field trip. For the teaching plan, please see Absalon.

Please see Absalon course page.

BSc in Geology-Geoscience or equivalent.

Students shall pay for their own travel to and from the field-work area, as well as entry visa (if required), vaccinations (if required) and personal medicine (e.g. malaria medication) and 125 DKK per day for food and lodging. For outside DK destinations the students are required to take out a private illness and repatriation insurance covering the field period. Detailed information about payment can be found on the Absalon course page.

ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
The written assignment is prepared during the course and must be handed in prior to the exam week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. There is no preparation for the oral exam. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list. A combined grade is given after the oral exam.
Aid
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Please see of learning outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Theory exercises
  • 35
  • Project work
  • 35
  • Excursions
  • 36
  • Preparation
  • 100
  • English
  • 206