Field Geology in South Shropshire (Part 1)
Level 0 (CQFW Level 3), 10 Credits.
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In this tract of the Welsh Borderland is found some of its most attractive scenery and varied geology. Part 1 looks at rocks of Precambrian to Ordovician age: ancient volcanics, intrusives and reddish strata on the Stretton hills, white quartzites near the Wrekin, and fossiliferous sandstones and shales along the Onny Valley. No prior knowledge of geology or the area is assumed.
Please note that you will need to make your own travel and accommodation arrangements, with meetings times and places to be confirmed.
Topics to be covered:
An appreciation of the rocks of central South Shropshire and the striking landforms they have given rise to.
The geological history of the area, which spans the last 700 million years, from late Precambrian times up to the present day. It will be shown that that part of the earth’s crust which is now the southern British Isles, was located in the mid-latitudes of the southern hemisphere when these rocks were formed. The rocks are a product of igneous activity (intrusions, volcanics) associated with, and deposition of continental and marine sediments overlying, an active laterally-moving fault system. This process developed in a zone of tectonic plate collision. Evidence will be provided to show that in the much more recent geological past, the area was uplifted and deeply eroded, removing weaker rocks, leaving those more resistant upstanding, and picking out the positions of the old fault lines. This process of denudation was partially achieved by glaciers and frost action during the Ice Age and an intensely rainy climate soon after.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Anyone enrolling on this course will need to provide their own PPE, as specified below.
- Warm, waterproof jacket and trousers
- Hard hat (tutor can lend to course attendees)
- Strong boots with good tread and ankle support.
Who is this course for?
Anyone who has, or wishes, to develop an interest in practical geology.
Learning and Teaching
Fieldtrips spread across four days with an emphasis on practical observation and recognition of significant features. 20 contact hours.
Students will be taught the basics of geological science, and the geology (including landforms) of the study area firstly through background reading of the handout forwarded to them in advance of the course (includes text, maps and descriptive annotated sketches); they will then be shown many of the aspects described in the handout in the field, having the handout available at all times for reference. Field skills will be taught during the course, including how to observe and record, how to sample good reference specimens, and to be aware of and act on, key aspects of geological conservation and safety.
Coursework and Assessment
To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.
The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.
- Whitten with Brooks. 1974. A Dictionary of Geology. Penguin.
- Kearey. 1996. The New Penguin Dictionary of Geology. Penguin.
- Mondadori. 1977. The Macdonald Encyclopaedia of Rocks and Minerals. Macdonald.
- Van Rose and Mercer. Volcanoes. The Natural History Museum. ISBN 0-565-09138-7.
- British Museum (Natural History). 1969. British Palaeozoic Fossils. London.
- Fortey. 2005. Fossils: The Key to the Past. The Natural History Museum.
- Geological Museum. 1978. Britain before Man. HMSO.
- Hunter and Easterbrook. 2004. The Geological History of the British Isles. The Open
- Earp and Haines. 1971. The Welsh Borderland. HMSO.
- Toghill. 1990. Geology in Shropshire. Swan Hill.
- Toghill. 1992. Onny Valley, Shropshire Geology Teaching Trail. Geologists’ Association Guide No.45.
- Toghill and Beale. 1994. Ercall Quarries Wrekin area Shropshire. Geologists’ Association Guide No. 48.
- Allbutt, Moseley, Rayner and Toghill. 2002. The Geology of South Shropshire. Geologists’ Association Guide. No. 27.
- Phillips and Stratford. 1999. Shropshire Geology. Phillips Tutorials.
- British Geological Survey 1:50 000 scale maps of England and Wales: Sheets 152 ‘Shrewsbury’, 166 ‘Church Stretton’.
Please note that it is not essential that attendees on this course read any of the publications listed in order to complete the course successfully.
Library and Computing Facilities
As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on
(029) 2087 0000.
Accessibility of Courses
Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.
A range of further information can be found on our web site www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn or in Choices. This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.