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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.
By the end of this free 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.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Landscape formation
- 2 Geological time-scales – a brief review
- 3 A global view of Earth history
- 4 Plate tectonics reviewed
- 4.1 Introduction
- 4.2 Revealing past plate tectonic events
- 4.3 Continental extension
- 4.4 Closure of an ocean
- 4.5 How wide were the oceans?
- 4.6 Continental collision
- 5 The main lithotectonic units of the British Isles
- 6 Unit summary
- 7 Unit questions
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Geological processes in the British Isles
This unit 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 unit 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 unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from The geographical history of the British Isles (SXR260) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Geology courses or view the range of currently available OU Geology courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Wednesday, 11th May 2011
Last updated on: Wednesday, 10th October 2012
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
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