Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
CT0592 (AF:379984 AR:198902)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
Go to Moodle page
Module 3 will provide the bachelor student in Environmental Sciences with a comprehensive view of the Earth system including its dynamics and evolution through time. In particular, the students will acquire a broad knowledge about the internal structure of the Earth and the geological processes related to its endogenous and exogenous dynamics. The theoretical part of Module 3 is strongly integrated with the practical activities of Module 4 aimed at providing the needed skill for the interpretation of geological thematic maps.

The final aim of the whole course, comprehensive of the four modules, is to provide an overview of the Earth Sciences basic principles and, on a broader perspective, increase knowledge of the physical world. In this way, the graduate student in Environmental Sciences will acquire the competences needed to communicate with the Earth Science specialists during his/her future professional career.
After studying all materials and resources presented in the course, the student will be able to:
i) Comprehend the natural processes operating on and in planet Earth.
ii) Acquire knowledge on plate tectonics, the resulting evolution of Earth’s litosphere through time and its relation to world-wide volcanic and seismic activity.
iii) Understand the processes operating on the surface of the Earth, in terms of weathering and erosion, and the development of landforms and landscapes related to hydrologic, glacial, atmospheric, and oceanic systems.
iv) Describe and explain the geological structures derived from deformational processes.
v) Comprehend the rationale of geologic time, and the temporal sequence of Earth events and lithologic units through geologic observations of rocks, structures, and landforms.
vi) Use topographic and geologic maps to interpret landscape evolution and geologic history.
vii) Employ specific reasoning skills, laboratory and field observations together with scientific inquiry, as a means of studying geological materials, processes, and features. Moreover, students will increase knowledge of the physical world and develop valuable skills including critical thinking, technical literacy, teamwork, and problem solving.
viii) Understand that the planet is a completely integrated, continually evolving and dynamic system, and acquire awareness on how geology affects our life and our responsibility to the planet and its future.
The lectures of Module 3 are closely tied to the lab activities of Module 4 and it is then necessary to attend both modules in parallel. It is also strongly recommended to attend the Modules 1 (theoretical lectures) and 2 (laboratory exercises) of the “Earth Sciences: Principles and Laboratory” course.
A general description of lecture topics included in this course are listed in the Learning outcomes section of this syllabus.
• Inner structure of the Earth
• Earth's magnetic field
• Plate tectonics and Earth crust evolution
• Volcanism: volcanic edifices, processes and products
• The climate system
• Shaping Earth morphologies: gravitational phenomena, fluvial, eolian, glacial and marine processes
• Sedimentary environments and processes
• Principles of Stratigraphy
• Principles of Structural geology
• Relative and absolute chronology
• Earth and life evolution through geological time
Required Textbook:
John P. Grotzinger, Thomas H. Jordan, Capire la Terra. Zanichelli, Bologna, 2016. Terza edizione italiana condotta sulla settima edizione americana. A cura di Elvidio Lupia Palmieri, Maurizio Parotto. ISBN: 9788808821232

Optional textbook:
Alfonso Bosellini, Storia geologica d'Italia - Gli ultimi 200 milioni di anni. Zanichelli, Bologna, 2005. ISBN: 9788808075277
Attendance. Participation in the two field trips and in practical classes of Modules 2 and 4 (at least 75%) is mandatory for admission to the final exam. A sign-in sheet will be provided at the start of each laboratory session so that attendance will be taken every class period. In addition, it is also mandatory to deliver the topographic maps with measurements of the strata attitudes taken during the field trips. Part-time students are asked to contact us so that we can organise the laboratories in such a way that we allow them to meet their requirements.

Exam. Assessment strategy of Modules 3 and 4 will be carried out through written examinations (closed-book exams). a) Laboratory exam: the written/practical examination consists in an evaluation of the geological and topographic map understanding and of the field activities. b) Lecture exam: questions will be drawn from the topics and concepts that were covered during Module 3; exams will consist of open answer and multiple choice questions.

Evaluation/Grading. Overall, examinations of Modules 1-2-3-4 will concur to the final mark of the entire course of “Earth Sciences: Principles and Laboratory”.
This course will be taught in the classroom in a lecture format illustrated with PowerPoint presentations. The lecture is closely tied to the laboratory sessions of Module 4, and in the lab the students will learn to make observations and directly experience many of the principles addressed in lecture. In this way, the lecture and lab sessions will generally complement each other, but the lectures focus on general geological topics, while the lab exercises will show the students how to apply that knowledge in practical ways.

This will be followed by two one-day field trips in the Euganei Hills and in the Dolomites (during Modules 2 and 4), which will give students “hands-on” experience with materials and concepts introduced during lectures.

The lectures and the supplementary materials for practical exercises and field excursion (e.g. topographic basemaps) will be available in pdf format on the University Moodle platform.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Climate change and energy" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 29/06/2022