Learning outcomes of the course unit
The Geology course aims to give the student of the Natural Sciences degree course an integrated and dynamic vision of the Earth and its evolution. The final aim is to provide an outline of the knowledge and methodologies necessary for correct comprehension of environmental systems and the factors that regulate their changes over time. During the course, basic geological topics are dealt with; in addition, the mechanisms that regulate environmental changes, with special regard to global climatic variability, are covered in an introductory manner. The lectures will be integrated with theme seminars, field trips and exercises.
The Geology Course is integrated with the Petrography course and requires prior knowledge of basic elements of Mineralogy and Geography.
Course contents summary
Time and environmental changes: the geological perspective
The Earth as a self-regulated system: the Gaia hypothesis
Rocks and geological processes
Sedimentary rocks and surface processes
Basic principles of Stratigraphy
Meaning and importance of sedimentary successions
Origin and meaning of cyclicity in sedimentary successions
Structure and internal processes of the Earth
Plate tectonics and Geodynamics
The geological evolution of the Alpine and Apennine systems
The course programme also includes seminars on some specific themes concerning large paleoenvironmental changes of the geological past that are of particular interest since they registered by the sedimentary successions of the northern and central Apennines and the Italian seas.
The mass extinctions
The Messinian salinity crisis in the Mediterranean
Genesis and paleoceanographic meaning of sapropels
The recent evolution of the Po-Adriatic basin: climatic and environmental changes over the past 20,000 years.
The exercises (some of which will be carried out in the field) regard rock recognition, reading of geological maps and the basic practices of geological data collection and cartographic representation.
Recommended text books
Press F. & Siever R. Capire la Terra. Zanichelli, Bologna
Ricci Lucchi F. La Scienza di Gaia - ambienti e sistemi naturali visti da un geologo. Zanichelli, Bologna
Bosellini A., Mutti E. & Ricci Lucchi F. Rocce e Successioni sedimentarie. UTET, Torino
Lovelock J. Gaia, nuove idee sull'ecologia. Bollati Boringhieri
Lovelock J. Le nuove età di Gaia. Bollati Boringhieri
Ricci Lucchi F. I ritmi del mare La Nuova Italia Scientifica, Roma
A.A.V.V La Vena del Gesso. Regione Emilia-Romagna, Collana naturalistica
Ricci Lucchi F. Sedimentografia Zanichelli, Bologna
Hallam A. Le grandi dispute della Geologia Zanichelli, Bologna
Classroom lectures and classroom and field exercises; teaching trips in Apennine and/or Alpine areas
Final oral exam