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An introduction to geology

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An introduction to geology Copyright free Icon

Everything we use that has not been grown either contains or relies on materials that have been sourced by a geologist. In this free course, An introduction to geology, you will be introduced to some key geological processes that impact everyday life, as you discover the link between volcanoes and your mobile phone, and find out why tiny marine wildlife is at the core of the plastics industry.

You will learn about the various types of rock, and explore how, where and why different rocks and natural resources form across the Earth. You will also look at some of the environmental and sustainability considerations that geologists need to take into account when extracting and processing these resources.

This course material was originally written for FutureLearn in 2016. It was published on OpenLearn in April 2019.

This OpenLearn science course is produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education, the educational arm of The Exilarch's Foundation.


Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • identify different igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks
  • apply and use numerical and graphical methods to interpret quantities and concentrations of different natural resources
  • assess and understand the origin, occurrence and availability of some natural physical resources associated with metals, oil and building stones
  • describe and appreciate societal and environmental issues associated with the sustainability of the Earth’s physical resources.

First Published: 24/01/2017

Updated: 05/02/2020

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