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Geological processes in the British Isles

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The landscape of the British Isles has undergone dramatic changes during the history of the Earth, from shallow sea to desert to the familiar terrain of the 21st century. In this free course, Geological processes in the British Isles, you will explore the processes that have shaped the British landscape over time, gaining insight into the geological evolution of the entire planet.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • summarise and identify descriptions of the principal features of the main lithotectonic units of the British Isles, namely the Precambrian Basement, the Caledonian Orogenic Belt, the Variscan Orogenic Belt, the Older Cover and the Younger Cover
  • identify any of the main terranes making up the British Isles on the basis of a description of its age, main rock types, dominant structures, and plate tectonic setting.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 9 hours
  • Updated Thursday 24th March 2016
  • Intermediate level
  • Posted under Geology
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Geological processes in the British Isles


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This course provides an introduction to the processes that have shaped the evolution of the Earth, with many detailed examples from the geology of the British Isles. These are studied through the use of the British Geological Survey bedrock geology maps. This course also helps to give a theoretical foundation for any students considering the residential school for the SXR260 The geological history of the British Isles course, based in the north of England.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 2 study in Science [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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