GEOTHERM 603 : Geothermal Exploration


2022 Semester Two (1225) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Hydrothermal alteration, clays, fluid inclusions, direct use, subsidence, scaling and corrosion in geothermal wells, production geochemistry, environmental aspects of geothermal development, feasibility study, physical properties of rocks and self-potential (SP), magnetics, thermal methods, gravity, seismic methods, electrical methods, magneto-tellurics (MT).

Course Overview

This course is advanced Geothermal Geoscience and follows on from the Introductory courses of GEOTHERM 601 and GEOTHERM 602.
The course is delivered by a series of daily lectures, labs and tutorials. Each lecture builds on the previous lecture which guides students through a progressive learning experience. This is a multi-disciplinary course that focusses on the roles of a geothermal geologist, geothermal geochemist and a geothermal geophysicist, during geothermal exploration and production. Upon completion of this course, you will have gained specialist knowledge in each discipline and appreciate how and why geothermal geoscience is multi-disciplinary.
There is also a field trip to the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand. The field trip offers a hands-on, field experience, where students can put their newly-acquired specialised knowledge and skills into practice, in a range of geothermal settings.

Course Requirements

Corequisite: GEOTHERM 601, 602 Restriction: GEOTHERM 785

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Apply Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice: A field trip to several geothermal sites within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand provides students with the opportunity to put their newly-acquired geothermal knowledge and skill sets into practice. During the field trip students have the opportunity to use equipment and collect samples and data sets. This provides a hands-on learning experience that supports their classroom lectures and labs. Students will gain confidence in methods used in the field by this hands-on teaching component.
  2. Demonstrate and apply Critical Thinking: Students will use the knowledge gained from lectures to apply critical thinking while working on assignments that involve solving geology, geochemistry and geophysics questions. Students are required to think in a multi-disciplinary manner as each discipline holds a piece of the puzzle. (Capability 3)
  3. To develop Solution seeking: Students will be required to demonstrate the ability to critique and evaluate information, identify potential issues and decide the appropriate order to solve multi-disciplinary problems. (Capability 3)
  4. Use Communication and Engagement: Geothermal geoscience involves team work and good communication between the different disciplines. Students will learn key concepts about geology, geochemistry and geophysics. This will enable students to communicate with, and understand concepts, of each discipline, providing a strong platform for good communication, team work and the development of robust multi-discipline geothermal conceptual models. (Capability 4)
  5. Discover and develop Social and Environmental Responsibilities: In the world of geothermal energy, geoscientists need to interact with a diverse group of people from varying backgrounds and cultures. Students will develop an understanding of their social and environmental responsibilities to land owners and local residents and how to protect the environment to create long-term sustainability of our geothermal resources. (Capability 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Tests 60% Individual Test
Assignments 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5

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 40 hours of lectures, 30 hours of tutorials, 30 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 50 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at lectures but lectures will also be available as recordings.

Attendance is required for labs and tutorials as these will not be available as recordings.

Attendance for the field trip is required.

Attendance on campus is required for the tests.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a block 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.

For the Campus Experience students: If there are no COVID-19 restrictions in place, the course will include a field trip. For the field trip you require your own field boots, warm clothes and good raincoat. Hard hats, ear plugs and safety glasses will be provided.
For the online students, the field trip will be recorded and available as videos.

Health & Safety

For the field trip, students require field boots, a good raincoat and warm clothes.
A health and safety briefing is required prior to the field trip.
A reasonable amount of walking is required during the field trip.
Covered shoes are required for lab visits.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester 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 and respond with summaries and actions.

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

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

There are no changes to the course.

Other Information


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.

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.

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 06/12/2021 04:36 p.m.