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Geodesy is the study of the Earth's dynamic shape, size and gravitational field. Modern space geodetic observations underpin not only our ability to determine precise location on Earth and in orbit, but a broad number of scientific fields that address questions of direct societal relevance; the study of regional and global changes in mean sea level, quantifying changes to polar ice caps, determining the velocity of tectonic plates, measurement of surface deformation associated with geo-hazards and understanding changes in hydrology based on time variable gravity and associated ground deformation.

The unit is comprised of 5 problem-based modules that each address a particular application of geodetic science in understanding our dynamic planet. In completing these modules, students will also learn about the modern geodetic observation techniques including GNSS, VLBI, SLR, altimetry and space gravity. The practical components of the modules provide students with hands-on experience in analysing real-world data to investigate processes including sea level change, climate signals, glacial motion, plate tectonics and earth deformation.

Summary 2021

Unit name Geodesy: Observing Our Changing Planet
Unit code KGG307
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences
Discipline Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences

Dr Rachael Hurd

Teaching staff

Prof Matt King, Dr Christopher Watson

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



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Teaching Pattern

1 hr Lecture per week, 2-4 hrs of self-directed learning per week (MyLO) and 3 hrs Tutorial\Practical class per week


Quizzes (15%), Pracs (45%) and  Exam (40%)

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