Earth Resources, Environmental Impacts and Sustainability


The broad, introductory module in resource and exploration geology aims to develop themes that underpin exploitation of the Earth’s physical resources, and that are central to many graduate careers in geoscience. These themes comprise:

  • Resources as bulk materials, aggregates: exploration and evaluation using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). 
  • Hydrocarbon systems and application of seismic reflection and well-logging methods for their exploration;
  • Igneous ore deposits: formation, exploration using gravity, magnetics and remote sensing;
  • Surface and hydrothermal ore deposits;
  • Earth’s energy resources: formation and extraction of oil, gas, coal, ground source, nuclear resources;
  • Resource management and remediation.

The module also included training in the production of concise, structured reports developed to professional standards as expected in industry and employment. Practical components are based on real-world scenarios and where possible link to fieldwork modules. 

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles regulating the distribution of natural resources in a plate tectonic context, and to understand the methods of formation for different natural resources;
  • Evaluate physical resources from geological maps, satellite and geophysical data and identify appropriate extraction and processing techniques for different resources;
  • Describe the principals of acquiring remotely measurable geophysical information;
  • Understand and apply the techniques used in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing;
  • Outline the applications of the principal geophysical exploration techniques;
  • Carry out basic geophysical calculations and analyses;
  • Interpret and integrate geophysical data;
  • Produce reports on to professional standards expected in industry.