Run by School of Ocean Sciences
20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Margot Saher
Overall aims and purpose
To provide an understanding, and practical laboratory experience, of the range of physical, biological and biogeochemical techniques used to reconstruct the history of the oceans.
To understand the role of the ocean in the global climate system over geological timescales and its feedback response to anthropogenic perturbations.
To understand the major causes of changes in ocean circulation and structure and their influence on climate.
The module is divided into two parts: (1) Quaternary palaeoceanography, the study of the history of the oceans during the last 2.5 million years, and (2) critical events in ocean history during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. Part 1 is taught through a series of lectures and Part 2 through a series of student-led seminars reviewing key papers. The module will be delivered by Professor James Scourse.
Part 1 focuses on how we detect changes in water mass distribution and circulation through time, how we know when these events occur, and their role as part of the global climate system. Key topics include: Deep ocean sediments and climate change; deep sea core stratigraphy, correlation. Dating techniques. Physical palaeoceanographic proxies: multi-sensor core logger data, spectrophotometry, XRF scanners: the sortable silt index. Principles of palaeoecology; distribution of organisms in water masses and sediments. Important fossil groups. Indicator species and transfer functions. Oxygen and carbon isotope stratigraphy; ice volume and sea-level change; palaeoproductivity and atmospheric CO2 fluctuations; comparison with ice core data. Trace element geochemistry. Organic biomarkers. Sea-level change. The causes of climate change; tectonic, solar, orbital and feedback mechanisms.
Part 2 addresses a number of specific events in ocean history, including Mesozoic anoxic events and the origin of biogenic sediments, the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), the onset of glaciation in Antarctica, the closing of the Isthmus of Panama, the Messinian salinity crisis, the onset of Arctic glaciation and the establishment and disruption of the global thermohaline circulation. Cross-cutting tectonic themes will include the origin of the North Atlantic, the closure of Tethys and the break-up of Gondwanaland.
Demonstrating a basic ability to integrate varied palaeoceanographic data, to relate these data to non-marine archives of environmental change and to describe, sample, analyse and interpret a marine core.
Demonstrating a good ability to integrate varied palaeoceanographic data, to relate these data to non-marine archives of environmental change and to describe, sample, analyse and interpret a marine core.
Demonstrating an excellent ability to integrate varied palaeoceanographic data, to relate these data to non-marine archives of environmental change and to describe, sample, analyse and interpret a marine core.
Relate palaeoceanographic data to other archives, e.g. from ice cores, terrestrial and lacustrine records
Integrate a complex of data of different kinds into synthetic reconstructions of ocean history
Describe a marine core, generate micropalaeontological datasets and integrate these with secondary data into a coherent account of ocean history
Appreciate the problems and potentials of the major techniques used in palaeoceanography
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Teaching and Learning Strategy
Lectures (2 per week for 9 weeks)
Seminars (2 days organised as a Conference, 6 hours per day)
|Practical classes and workshops||
Practical (1 practical, 2 sessions, 6 hours per session)
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/osx-3012.html
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- F650: BSC Geological Oceanography year 3 (BSC/GEO)
- 8S54: BSc Geological Oceanography (with International Experience) year 4 (BSC/GEOIE)
- F7F6: BSc Ocean and Geophysics year 3 (BSC/OGP)
- F652: MSci Geological Oceanography year 3 (MSCI/GO)
- F734: MSci Physical Oceanography year 3 (MSCI/PO)
Optional in courses:
- F803: BSc Geography with Environmental Forestry year 3 (BSC/GEF)
- F804: BSc Geography with Environmental Forestry year 4 (BSC/GEF4)
- F800: BSC Geography year 3 (BSC/GEOG)
- F802: BSc Geography (with International Experience) year 4 (BSC/GEOGIE)
- CF17: BSC Marine Biology/Oceanography year 3 (BSC/MBO)
- F710: BSC Marine Environmental Studies year 3 (BSC/MES)
- F713: BSc Marine Environmental Stud with International Experience year 4 (BSC/MESIE)
- F700: BSC Ocean Science year 3 (BSC/OS)
- F801: MGeog Geography year 3 (MGEOG/G)
- F805: MGeog Geography with International Experience year 4 (MGEOG/GIE)
- F712: MSci Marine Biology and Oceanography year 3 (MSCI/MBO)