EARTHSCI 713 : Tectonic Geomorphology


2023 Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

New Zealand is an ideal location in which to investigate the interplay between tectonics and geomorphic processes. This will be demonstrated by combining relevant case studies and field practice whereby students will develop skills in report writing and handling of some of the data, literature and tools necessary to conduct field research in active tectonics and landform generation.

Course Overview

Earth Science 713, Tectonic Geomorphology, explores the surface expression of plate tectonics, and interactions between tectonic, volcanic, and surface processes, and their role in landform development.  Regardless of a student's background, this course provides transferable digital, quantitative, data gathering and communications skills that prepare students for research at postgraduate-level or other professional opportunities in the natural sciences.

Students are guided each week through seminal literature and case studies to develop in-depth understanding of the geological, geomorphic, and structural tools that can be applied to address outstanding scientific questions in tectonic geomorphology and neo-tectonics. A variety of observational tools are adopted to understand and quantify how the Earth's surface deforms, with implications for landscape evolution, surface hydrology, and volcano-tectonic processes and hazards. Laboratories primarily focus on exploring dynamic earth surface processes at real-world field sites. Through remote analysis techniques, student's independently interpret, map and quantitatively examine tectonic landforms, landscapes and volcano-tectonic features observed at the Earth's surface and near-surface.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. To attain a high level of competency in mapping and data collection of surface landforms indicative of active tectonic processes (Capability 1 and 2)
  2. Independently apply scientific principles in tectonics and tectonic geomorphology to solve outstanding questions in neo-tectonics research (Capability 3 and 5)
  3. Critically evaluate and synthesise scientific literature in tectonics and tectonic geomorphology (Capability 1, 2, 4 and 5)
  4. Prepare and present regional-scale datasets in a manner that effectively communicates and provides solutions to ouststanding questions in tectonics (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Coursework 100% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4


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Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect to meet for 4 hours each week for a mixture of lectures, class discussions, and lab tutorials, ~40 hours of reading and thinking about the content, and ~60 hours of work on assignments.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including lectures, labs, tutorials and class discussion sessions to both complete and receive credit for components of the course. Rare lectures will be recorded, and all laboratory learning activities will have associated recordings. The course will include live online events including group discussions and tutorials. The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable delivery.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

There are no specific textbooks required for this course. Required readings focus on published scientific papers, with the references for these provided on Canvas for the first day of class.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

No major changes, as the class this year was too small to meet the requirements for SET reports (3 students).

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 01/11/2022 10:43 a.m.