Pyrenees (Spain) field trip

Kick-off your second year by attending a 10-day field course in the dramatic Spanish Pyrenees. See the effects of plate tectonics and mountain building and learn about the effects of tectonics on sedimentary processes and products. You will learn to identify and record sedimentary successions using a variety of techniques relevant to a range of future careers. In addition, the field area is an outstanding area for developing an understanding of the subsurface, a critical skill unique to Earth Scientists. 

Back in Plymouth, lectures and practicals will continue to develop themes introduced in the field course and you use data collected in Spain to develop your understanding of sedimentary environments and how these have changed through time. You will also learn how different rock properties (such as porosity and permeability) are critical for managing subsurface fluids (e.g., water, oil, carbon dioxide) and implications for storage of such materials at depth. You will also learn about how fractures and different tectonic settings can dramatically control a range of properties. These technical concepts will be placed into context by learning about how rock properties and the subsurface are core skills in a range of industries including geothermal energy, carbon-capture and storage, hydrogeology, underground storage of radioactive materials and the petroleum industry.

We only travel overseas to learn about and observe geological features that we can’t see in the United Kingdom. Where ever possible we use our local geology to reduce travel and environmental costs. So although this course involves attending a 10-day field course Spain, we will observe the effects of recent plate tectonics and mountain building that we don’t have in the UK. In addition, to building your geological skills you also get experience of working in a different environment. In your final year you will have the opportunity to attend one of our optional field courses that typically visit regions of active geology such as the Volcanic area of Sicily, or the tectonically active Western United States. These are again entirely optional and visit volcanoes and active faults that we do not have nearer to home”

Topics covered:

  • field skills including geological mapping
  • sedimentary facies analysis
  • basin analysis.

Death Valley, Geology fieldwork
Death Valley, USA
Clearing 2019 - students on Dartmoor with climbing instructor