General information

Module title Field Geology
Language English
Module lecturer Wojciech Stawikowski
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position adiunkt
Faculty Faculty of Geographical and Geological Sciences
Semester 2021/2022 (summer)
Duration 45


Wednesdays, 11:30 am - 1:15 pm

7 meetings (organizational meeting on 2nd March)

AMU Institute of Geology (Collegium Geologicum UAM), room 054 (groundfloor)

Plus 4-day field trip to moutains in Spring (in May or June)

Module aim (aims)

The aim of course is to introduce the methods and goals of modern geological fieldwork as a example of scientist's work in the field. This objective refers to different topographic areas (from mountainous regions built of lithified crystalline and/or sedimentary rocks to lowlands covered by young, soft deposits). As the course is established on the basic level, it is addressed not only to the students of geology (international and Polish ones), but also to the students of other natural sciences (geography, environmental sciences, biosciences) and other disciplines (e. g. archaeology, tourism). The course presents different scopes of fieldwork from the most important one, which is the basic geological mapping through deposit prospecting to environmental monitoring, protection and geotourism. In a friendly way, the course combines basic theoretical knowledge with practical exercises, both laboratory and open-air. It includes the field practicum (field trip), aimed to give a student the possibility of trying to practice geological fieldwork. The additional purpose is to develop scientific vocabulary of the participants, with a special concern to its practical use, trained during the group tasks. The important component of the course is a 4-day field trip to the Polish mountains. These field exercises make the possibility to visit numerous geological exposures (with practical work there), observe the landscape in relation to geology, visit places connected with mineral and rock resources expliotation, today and in the past, visit the geotouristic attractions.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

Basic knowledge in Earth sciences (at the secondary school level).


Week 1 Introduction to field geology; objectives of fieldwork in geology, role of fieldwork in modern basic and applied geology, elements of geologist’s field equipment, rules of save and efficient fieldwork. Week 2 Basics of geological mapping in the field, part 1 - modern methods: preparatory materials (aerial and satellite images, topographic maps, archive materials), application of GIS and airborne techniques in field geology, techniques of mapping in mountainous and Quaternary cover areas, vegetation as an indicator in geological fieldwork. Strategies of geological mapping. Week 3 Basics of geological mapping in the field, part 2 – map construction techniques: orientation data in geology (orientation notations and symbols), geological compass. Exercises on presentation of orientation data (recalculation of numerical notations, graphic presentation of orientations). Week 4 Geological structures at the maps and in the field: geometrical fundamentals of geological maps and cross-sections (structure contours, intersection line, intersection module). Organization of geological fieldwork documentation. Rules of geological notebook, techniques of outcrop description and rock sampling.Graphical exercises on presentation and interpretation of uniformingly-dipping strata at geological maps (horizontal, inclined and vertical bedding). Week 5 Igneous rocks in the field: description of igneous rocks (composition, classification, structures, textures); volcanic, pyroclastic and plutonic rocks and bodies in the field. Types of igneous features. Laboratory (1 h): Drawing of geological cross-section. Week 6 Sedimentary rocks in the field: description of sedimentary rocks (composition, classification, structures, textures); identification and description of mesoscopic features in organogenic, chemical and clastic deposits, loose and lithified sediments. Paleontological record – field observations, sampling strategies, role in stratigraphy. Week 7 Metamorphic rocks in the field: mesoscopic description (composition, classification, structures, textures); tectonic structures in metamorphic rocks (foliations, lineations etc.)Tectonic features in the field, identification and measurements of small-scale tectonic structures (folds, faults, joints etc.), interpretation of large, map-scale tectonic structures (folds, faults, shear zones etc.). Summary of the course. 4-day field trip Field exercises (labs): 4-day field trip (practicum) to the Sudety Mountains (SW Poland); field description of rocks (with special concern to magmatic and metamorphic rocks), recognition and intepretation of geological structures, outcrop profiling (sketching), sampling in the rock exposures, practical measurements of geological structures orientation with geological compass, synthesizing knowledge from field observations, geotouristic significance of visited exposures.

Reading list

Supporting literature:
Allaby M. (2008); A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. Oxford University Press Bennison G. M., Moseley K. A., (1997). An introduction to geological structures and maps. Arnold. Coe A. /ed./ (2010); Geological Field Techniques. Wiley-Blackwell. Compton R. R. (1985); Geology in the Field; Wiley and Sons. Foster R. J. (1983); Physical geology. Merrill Publ. Comp. Fry N. (1991); The Field Description of Metamorphic Rocks. Geological Society of London. Jerram D. & Petford N. (2010); The Field Description of Igneous Rocks. Wiley and Sons. Lisle R. et al. (2011); Basic Geological Mapping. Wiley and Sons. McClay K. R. (1991); The Mapping of Geological Structures. Geological Society of London. Tucker M. E. (2010), Sedimentary Rocks in the Field. Wiley and Sons. In Polish: Czubla, Mizerski, Świerczewska-Gładysz, (2017). Przewodnik do ćwiczeń z geologii. (Practical guide to geology). PWN. Mizerski W. (2018) Geologia dynamiczna (Dynamic Geology). PWN.