|Instructor||Dr. Eckart Stein, Dr. Sabine Sané|
Introduction to Earth and Environmental Sciences
Recommended: Earth Sciences
Observing Nature, Elective
This course takes place in form of seven field excursion to different areas close to Freiburg during the whole summer semester. Students will explore geological and geomorphological features, their related processes (e.g. rock and soil formation, weathering), natural phenomena (e.g. soil erosion) and different vegetation characteristics according to them. Students will additionally get an overview on fundamental techniques and methods of their analyses and documentation. They will also practice orienting in the field using topographic maps. The course provides hands-on experience in the determination and documentation of different types of rocks, geological features and vegetation characteristics using various techniques e.g. hand lens, geological compass, drilling of boreholes, geologic profiles and topographic/geologic maps.
Different rock types will be analyzed and classified according to actual geological observations and interpretations. One field trip will lead us to an outcrop, which exposes clastic sediments. We will describe all visible geological features and will try to reconstruct its sedimentological history and its paleo-environmental conditions (facies analysis). Another field trip introduces us to chemical sediments. Again we will get to know different rock types of the same lithology, which are due to different depositional and different climate conditions during sedimentation. A third outcrop will provide us with metamorphic rocks which nevertheless tells us a story of a hazardous event next to Freiburg, but hundreds of million years ago. From all these different outcrops we will get insight to different lithologies but also to very different paleo-environmental, paleo-climatic and paleo-biological conditions. After we have reconstructed parts of the very old history of the Freiburg area, we will combine that knowledge with the todays landscape and its development through time.