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    Sediment transport, sedimentology and geomorphology of rivers, evolution of river systems and river management; a project and laboratories as required.

    About this paper

    Paper title Geomorphology
    Subject Geography
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    54 GEOG points
    GEOG 289
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Science
    The content of this paper assumes that students have undertaken at least one introductory paper in Physical Geography, Earth Science or Geology.
    Teaching staff

    Course Co-ordinator: Professor Sean Fitzsimons

    Paper Structure

    The course is divided into three sections that deal with different aspects of geomorphology.

    • PART 1: An introduction to geomorphology that includes a review of the integrated nature of earth system science, the geological background necessary for understanding earth surface processes and a review of the core techniques used by geomorphologists
    • PART 2: A review of key earth surface process regimes including weathering, slope stability, fluvial processes and landforms, erosion and deposition on the coast and glacial processes and landforms
    • PART 3: An examination of large scale issues in landscape development including how active tectonic processes create landscapes, how climate change drives landscape change and the application of understanding of geomorphology to environmental management issues

    Assessment consists of a laboratory programme 45%, three take-home tests worth 15% together and an external examination worth 40%.

    Students taking GEOG 395 will also be expected to complete an independent research assignment as part of the programme of laboratory exercises.

    Teaching Arrangements

    Two lectures per week and eight 3-hour laboratories scheduled over the 13 weeks of semester.

    Bierman and Montgomery (2013) Key Concepts in Geomorphology. W.H. Freeman. ISBN-10: 1429238607
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will have:

    • The ability to "read" landscapes: to understand how they have formed and how they change over time
    • Understanding of the relationships between tectonic and surface processes
    • Understanding of earth surface processes associated with hillslopes, rivers, coasts and glaciers
    • Knowledge of the strength and behaviour of rock, soil and water
    • Knowledge and understanding of the erosion, transportation and deposition processes
    • Knowledge of a range of techniques used in the investigation of earth surface processes and landforms


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    L1 Monday 10:00-10:50 9-13, 15, 17-22
    Tuesday 10:00-10:50 9-13, 15, 17-22


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    P1 Monday 14:00-16:50 9-13, 15, 17-22
    P2 Tuesday 14:00-16:50 9-13, 15, 17-22
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