The field is the best natural laboratory for developing a real understanding of all aspects of the subject. Led by our expert field geologist staff, field work allows you to put into practice theories learnt in lectures, seminars and lab classes.
“The overlapping diversity of disciplines here at Plymouth makes it a great place to study geology, and our fantastic geological ‘backyard’ is ideal for an outstanding range of fieldwork experiences.”
Current field courses
Dartmoor. The mineralization at Sourton produces a remarkable geophysical signal showing up in many of the techniques we use. Examining this allows you to gain experience using a wide range of geophysical instruments.
Death Valley (USA) (optional). This trip takes in active faults, volcanoes and awe inspiring landscapes in the area around Death Valley, which lies to the south of the major continental rift system of the Basin and Range Province. Here we can see in detail how extensional tectonics interact with climate to control surface processes, geomorphology, stratigraphy, geological hazards and resource distribution. This area also includes the sites of recent, and potentially future, volcanic activity, including the Long Valley Caldera, one of the most carefully monitored volcanic areas in the world. We also examine the interaction between human activity and the environment in such a tectonically active and hot, arid region.
Sicily (optional). This field trip gives an introduction to volcanology. Not only will you visit an active volcano and learn about its four distinct evolutionary phases, you’ll also visit the Etna Volcano observatory to meet the geologists who monitor this volcano daily.
Year 4 (MGeol only).
Cyprus. The unusual geology of Cyprus provides us with information normally below the sea. You will study the evolution of an area of crust in the context of a regional-scale plate tectonic framework, gaining detailed insights into a range of plate tectonic processes and resulting georesources.
Please note these are our current field courses, though we continually review our field provision and trips may change in future.
"The third year trip to Sicily was the most striking as the ability to see geology in action by climbing the active volcanoes Etna and Vulcano, and studying their respective impacts on the geological record was amazing."
BSc (Hons) Geology student