NIGK17002U Past Climate and Sea Level: Processes and Proxies
MSc Programme in Geology-Geoscience
MSc Programme in Environmental Science
The course is composed of theory and case-studies. The theory
part comprises an introduction to selected climate archives, marine
and terrestrial system processes, and additional proxies. Important
sedimentary and geochemical proxies, including isotopes, are
covered and students are trained in critical reading of scientific
key literature. Cases may deal with past climate change, long term
carbon cycle and/or seawater geochemical changes, on time scales
ranging from millennial to millions of years. Focus will be on
pre-Quaternary systems, but items treated may change from year to
year. Data collected during laboratory and/or field work are
analysed and critically evaluated.
The aim of the course is to provide an overview of past climate
and sea-level changes focused on how these changes are observed in
the sedimentary records, and what processes, interactions and
feedbacks between the components of the climate system may have led
to the signal in the sedimentary archives. The course is composed
of theory and case-studies. The theory part comprises an
introduction to climate archives and marine and terrestrial system
processes. Important sedimentary and geochemical proxies, including
isotopes, are explained and students are trained in the evaluation
of such data.
Cases Examples may deal with past climate
changes, long-term carbon cycle perturbations and/or modifications
of seawater geochemistry on time scales ranging from millennial to
millions of years. In the last weeks of the course, students read
key papers and produce a review report or write a report about
field/laboratory work/data. The students should have the necessary
background for understanding the importance of observations and
hypothesis testing. They should have developed skills in analysing
multiple datasets and in interpretation of which process feedbacks
lead to the observations; and they should be able to evaluate the
validity of geological data archives and to model results through
• Describe the main drivers and patterns of the Climate system of the Earth
• Understand what controls sea-level changes
• Relate sea-level change and climate evolution at different timescales
• Describe some of the most important Marine and terrestrial system processes
• Apply sedimentary, biotic and geochemical proxies to reconstruct past climates
• Critical evaluate scientific literature
• Interpret geological climate signals
• Place interpretations of climate archives or climate systems in a wider perspective
• Read scientific literature on climate systems and geological climate archives
• Use relevant definitions and terms
• Describe data from geological climate archives
• Give professional-style oral presentation
• Write a concise report
Please see Absalon.
Students shall pay for their own travel to and from the field-work area, as well as entry visa (if required), vaccinations (if required) and personal medicine (e.g. malaria medication) and 125 DKK per day for food and lodging. For outside DK destinations the students are required to take out a private illness and repatriation insurance covering the field period. Detailed information about payment can be found on the Absalon course page.
- Project work
- Theory exercises
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- Written assignment, OngoingOral examination, 20 minutes.The written assignment is prepared during the course and must be handed in prior to the exam week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. There is no preparation for the oral exam. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list. A combined grade is given after the oral exam.
- Without aids
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- External censorship
Identical to ordinary exam.
The student has the following options:
Is the quality of the written assignment not acceptable, the student can choose to either hand in a new or revised report.
Is the quality of the written assignment acceptable, the student can choose to either hand in a revised report or resubmit the original report from the ordinary exam.
The written assignment must be handed in prior to the re-examination week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list.
Criteria for exam assesment
See learing outcome.