Courses & Units

Earth's Surface KEA208



Compulsory 5 day excursion in the week before the start of semester.

For more information refer to Excursion 2020 (PDF 410KB).


Have you ever wondered about the tale that can be told by a grain of sand?  Or why some volcanoes erupt violently and others effusively? Learn how to unlock the secrets held in minerals and rocks in KEA208. After an introduction to Earth Sciences in KEA101 and KEA102, this unit offers you the opportunity to delve further into geological processes that occur at and near the Earth’s surface. There is a particular emphasis on the minerals and processes that form sedimentary and volcanic rocks. You will also be introduced to the petrographic microscope as a means of identifying and studying Earth materials at the microscale and to remote sensing as a means of mapping and interpreting the geology and geological history of the Earth's surface. This 12.5% unit also includes a five-day pre-semester trip on the scenic east coast of Tasmania, which provides an opportunity to hone your geological field skills.


Unit name Earth's Surface
Unit code KEA208
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Earth Sciences

Sebastien Meffre

Teaching staff

Dr Sasha Stepanov, Dr Martin Jutzeler

Level Intermediate
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International International Domestic Domestic


International students
Domestic students

Please check that your computer meets the minimum System Requirements if you are attending via Distance/Off-Campus.

Units are offered in attending mode unless otherwise indicated (that is attendance is required at the campus identified). A unit identified as offered by distance, that is there is no requirement for attendance, is identified with a nominal enrolment campus. A unit offered to both attending students and by distance from the same campus is identified as having both modes of study.

Special approval is required for enrolment into TNE Program units.

TNE Program units special approval requirements.

Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 22/2/2021 23/3/2021 12/4/2021 30/5/2021

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes


Identify minerals, mineral groups and textures in rocks formed at and near the Earth’s surface from their optical and physical properties in order to classify and differentiate rock types


Deduce the formation processes and settings for a range of sedimentary and volcanic rocks based on their mineralogy and texture


Appraise geoscientific information and surface/near-surface geological processes at a range of scales


Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
010703 $993.00 $993.00 not applicable $2,354.00

1 Please refer here more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses can be found here
If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.




Teaching Pattern

3 x 1-hr lectures and 1 x 3-hr lab work weekly throughout semester 1, plus 5 days of field work before semester 1


ATT1 - 2-hr theory exam (30%)

ATT2 - Practicals (30%)

ATT3 - 10 quizzes  (15%)

ATT4 - Excursion Report (10%)

ATT5 - Compulsory excursion held in the week before start of semester, by field tests and report (15%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Information textbook requirements is available in the Unit Outline.

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

The University reserves the right to amend or remove courses and unit availabilities, as appropriate.