Undergraduate course

Introduction in Historical Geology and Paleontology

Objectives and Content

The Earth's rocks and crustal structure provide comprehensive archives that have been studied over the last few centuries and interpreted to understand the planet's long history. Earth's geological history shows that our planet is a system of interacting lithosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. Understanding this complex system allows us to model interactive processes and predict their long-term consequences. The main aim of this course is to give an overview of the fundamental stratigraphic principles and documented global geological changes that serve to understand the Earth's development from its origin till the present time. Through lecture series, practical exercises and field excursion, the course will give a good overview of such topics as:

1) the evolution of life on Earth, with an insight into the main groups of fossils and their significance;

2) the global development of lithosphere (e.g. continental drift, oceanic spreading and subduction, orogenies) and the accompanying large-scale palaeogeographic and climatic changes, with North America and Europe as regional main examples;

3) the geology of Norway (mainland and continental shelf up to Svalbard), from its oldest Precambrian rocks to the youngest Quaternary deposits; and

4) the regional origin of important natural resources, such as coal, oil and gas.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, the students should be able to:

- describe the main events in the biotic evolution on Earth and the occurrence of major fossil groups through Earth¿s history;

- identify selected fossils from the teaching collection at genus and species level, and to recognize similar fossils in the field;

- describe the development and relative movement of continental and oceanic plates through Earth¿s history;

- explain the origin of the main mountain belts and specify the geological time and geographical area of their formation;

- give various regional examples of major environmental changes in the Earth¿s history and explain their consequences for the evolution of life on Earth.

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Protifolio assessment

    Withdrawal deadline
  • Type of assessment: Written examination

    28.11.2017, 09:00
    4 hours
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam