3101.21 - Earth, Ocean and Atmosphere 1

Course number
Earth, Ocean and Atmosphere 1
B-støddfrøði, B-alisfrøði og C-evnafrøði
To give the students an introduction to the physical environment on planet Earth from a broad natural scientific background. This will be achieved by introducing the three basic geosciences: geology, oceanography and meteorology. Emphasis will be on relating these subjects to the biosphere, and to highlight interactions between these spheres - also on a geological time scales. The environment will be studied physically, and processes taking place in the solid earth, oceans and in the atmosphere will be described and disccussed. The course focuses on local, Faroese case studies, field trips along with classroom exercises.
Part 1: Geology Rock types, minerals, volcanic processes, Faroese Geology, soil, ground water, geological time scale, palaeontology and biostratigraphy. Part 2: Oceanography Currents, light and sound in the sea, waves, mixing, tidal currents and drift, general dynamics of the World oceans, the seas around the Faroe Islands, Faroese waters, the Faroe shelf and fjords. Impacts of the physical environment on marine ecosystems in the Faroese region, including the impact from the subpolar gyre. Part 3: The atmosphere Main focus will be to understand the variable path of the low pressure systems past the Faroe Islands. The Jet stream and its connection to the local weather systems. Key words: The atmosphere, moisture in the air, low pressure systems, winds and weather patterns.
Learning and teaching approaches
Lectures, problem solving and field courses
Learning outcomes
Having passed the course, the student should be able to: o describe and explain physical and chemical properties mineral and rock types o demonstrate knowledge on specific minerals and rock types common in the Faroese geology o demonstrate knowledge on the Faroese stratigraphy o describe the features of weathering in relation to the Faroese landscape o describe the geological time scale and how the physical envirnoment and biology have changed accordingly o describe and explain the main features in the hydrological cycle and basic principles in groundwater geology o describe the basic properties of seawater and explain stability and stratification in the ocean and its impact on plankton growth o describe the tides and the tidal forces o describe the large scale wind driven circulation and the thermohaline circulation o describe key watermasses and the main circulation in the Faroese area (North East Atlantic) o explain the circulation on the Faroe shelf and in fjords and their role in the ecosystems o describe temperature, humidity, pressure and stability, and how this relates to cloud formation o outline the radiation balance, the main vertical structure and the global circulation of the atmosphere o describe the polar front and its relation to the jetstream above o describe cyclogenesis and the general dynamics of the cyclones over the North Atlantic ocean
Assessment method
A 4-hour test. The existing grade scale is used. No help devices or other materials are permitted. Marks are given for written exercises and reports handed in and the weighted average of these marks (33%) and the exam mark (67%) constitutes the final course grade. Written exercises and reports are not included in re-examination grading.
Marking scale
Earth Science 15th Edition (Tarbuck, Lutgens and Tara, 2018) Kapitlar: 1,2,3,8,9,11,12,16,17,18 og 19 Føroya Jarðfrøði (J. Rasmussen, 2005) Havið (B. Hansen, 2000) Chapter 2-9 Hátún et al, 2017. The subpolar gyre regulates silicate concentrations in the North Atlantic. Nature Scientific Reports, 7: 14576 Eliasen et al, 2017. Faroe shelf bloom phenology – The importance of ocean-to-shelf silicate fluxes. Continental Shelf Research 143 (2017) 43–53 Veðurlæra (H. Kjølbro)
Uni Egholm Árting