GEOLOGY AND TERRITORY
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The Course provides with lessons the essential knowledge for a correct interpretation of the geological processes of a region, in particular those that control the landscape evolution and those that can be seen as Geological Hazard situations.
After attending the first parts of the course the student will be able to apply the knowledge on the Apennines, with field exercises, using a modern geological map.
In field exercises the student can understand the most important geological features of the Apennines and will be able to analyze the outcropping rock units.
The student may also recognizes those particular geological sites that allow geologist to understand the processes of the past and which must therefore be safeguarded and valued as Geological Heritage.
Finally, the student will be able to understand the relationships between Geological Landscape, active geological processes and Land Use, highlighting any situations of Geological Hazard that may interfere with the development of human settlements and related infrastructure.
Course contents summary
After a general overview on the main geological processes and origin of rocks, particularly deidcated to graduates in Biological Sciences, the first part of the Course (3 cfu lessons) covers the main geological features of the Northern Apennines landscape.
It is described the lithostratigraphic composition of the major rock sequences of the Northern Apennines and it is analyzed the structural setting of the main tectonic-stratigraphic units which exert a strong control on the shaping of the landscape.
Focusing on the rocks which better record the sedimentary and tectonic processes occurred in the Geological History of the Northern Apenines, the main steps of the geological evolution of Apennines are presented; the main steps are:
- Oceanic basin
- Convergence phase and accretion
- Ligurian Flysch
- Continental collision and Epi-Ligurian sequence
- Foredeep turbidites
- Neogene thrusting
- Plio-Quaternary orogeny
Those rocks units and landscapes that better preserve and testify the past geological processes are pointed out; they are considered to be Geological Heritage of the Northern Apennines.
The second part of the Course (1cfu lessons) focuses on Geological Hazard over Northern Apennine area.
- Mass wasting and landslides.
- Earthquake-Related Hazard over Tuscan-Emilian Apennines and Po Plain.
- Relative Vulnerability to pollution of the subsurface water resources.
- Natural Subsidence and Subsidence caused by groundwater extraction over Po Plain area.
The third part of the Course (2 cfu, lessons and field exercises) provides the main features of the Geological Landscape of Italy and, with the aid of few days exercises in the field, focuses on the landscape of the different sectors of the Northern Apennines:
- Nucleo metamorfico delle Alpi Apuane
- Valli tettoniche liguri-toscane
- Dorsale tosco-emiliano
- Dorsale ligure-emiliana
- Versante emiliano
- Margine appenninico padano
The Apennine landscape is analyzed for the recent geomorphological evolution and for the geological characters worth to be protected because of their interests for Geological Heritage.
During the same field exercises, the main geological hazard situations are pointed out becasue they can affect human settlements and related infrastructures .
- Marshak S., La Terra. Ritratto di un pianeta. Zanichelli, 2004. Bosellini A., Storia Geologica d'Italia. Zanichelli, 2004,
- Mattauer M., Messaggi di pietra, Un viaggio attraverso le rocce. Zanichelli 2001.
- Casati P. & Pace F., Scienze della Terra. L’atmosfera, l’acqua, i climi, i suoli. Città Studi, Milano, 1991.
- Guide Geologiche Regionali. Guida 6, L’Appennino ligure-emiliano. BEMA, Milano 1994.
- De Marchi A., Guida naturalistica del Parmense. Graphital Ed., Parma, 1997.
- Roberts J. L., Guida alle strutture geologiche, Muzzio Ed., Padova, 1991.
- Tucker M. E., Sedimentary rocks in the field. Wiley & Sons, 1996.
- Doglioni C. & Peppoloni S., Pianeta terra - una storia non finita. il Mulino, Bologna, 2016
Slides projected during the lessons
lessons and field exercises
Assessment methods and criteria
Written test after the first part of the course to test geological knowledge acquired. The test consists of 4 questions with open answers. The test does not give any grade. The test is passed if 3 answers are correct. In the case the test is not passed, the student will be examined on these basic geological knowledge during the oral exam.
The result of the written test will be given 2 weeks after the date of the test.
Final oral examination (45-60 minutes).
Testing the ability to apply the geological knowledge on the Apennines and the ability to connect the different topics covered in the three parts of the course.
Discussion about images of geological landscapes shown during the classes in which the active geological processes have to be detected and the past geological processes have to be reconstructed.
The final grade is noticed immediately after the oral examination.