Quaternary dating methods
Autumn.The course runs only if enough students enrol.
Objectives and Content
The course aims to give an introduction to the principles and methods for age determination of events during the Quaternary period. This includes a critical evaluation of context and geological archives commonly used for reconstruction. The course shall convey understanding of the theoretical basis for radioactivity, radioisotopic methods and effects, as well as other chemical and biological methods.
The course addresses dating methods and techniques, such as radiocarbon and uranium-series dating, cosmogenic nuclides, luminescence, amino acid chronology, tephrochronology and dendrochronology. The course emphasises practical applications of the different dating methods and critical evaluation of dating results.
On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:
The student can
- explain principal terms, definitions and theories (e.g. geologic time, radioactivity, precision and accuracy, uncertainty)
- explain principles and theoretical foundation for the different dating methods
- evaluate reliability of data obtained using numeric and relative methods, as well as correlation methods
- evaluate dating results critically with respect to geochronologic and geologic context
- demonstrate which method that gives results in need of correction and/or calibration
The student can
- select appropriate dating methods for a given material and/or a given scientific question
- perform simple calculations and calculations for dating of geological material, for instance by means of spreadsheets and web-based resources
- summarize observations/data/results/principles graphically
- recognise and discuss different geological processes that have implications for the application of individual dating methods and interpretation of results
The student can
- use a precise geological language to describe and discuss geological processes, archives, material and dating methods
- utilize scientific method and integrate, analyse, interpret and critically evaluate datasets for testing of hypotheses
- use geoscientific knowledge in scientific questions linked to use of method and results
- use libraries and scientific databases to retrieve relevant information, as well as cite sources correctly
Required Previous Knowledge
Basic knowledge in geology, paleontology, sedimentology, marine geology, quarternary geology and geochemistry
Teaching and learning methods
Lectures and exercises.
Lecture and/or exercise, 4 hours per week for 15 weeks
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Exercises. Approved compulsory assignments are valid for 2 semesters after course completion.
Forms of Assessment
The forms of assessment are:
Portfolio evaluation, 40 % of total grade.
Oral examination, 60 % of total grade.
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.
Autumn. Assessment is only provided in semesters with teaching.
The reading list will be available within June 1st for the autumn semester and December 1st for the spring semester.
The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department.
The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.
The course coordinator and administrative contact person can be found on Mitt UiB, or you may contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Faculty for Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Earth Science has the administrative responsibility for the course and program
The student coordinator can be contacted here:
Tlf 55 58 35 19