Introduction to Earth Sciences

Name: Introduction to Earth Sciences
Code: GEO11381L
Duration: 15 weeks/234 hours
Scientific Area: Geosciences

Teaching languages: Portuguese
Languages of tutoring support: Portuguese, English
Regime de Frequência: Presencial

Sustainable Development Goals

Learning Goals

This discipline has 3 integrated modules: geology, Pedology and Hydrology. The integration of these topics aims at giving to students an overview of the geology, the soils formation and the water natural cycle, in order to equip them with essential tools for understanding other disciplines related to the earth sciences.


Geology: The Earth Planet and its origin. The structure and origin of the Universe; The Dynamic of Earth - as a system of interacting components: the climate system, system tectonic and geodynamic system. The Tectonic system - Plate Tectonics; Rocks: The registration of Geological Processes: The Geological Cycle, Rocks: The Igneous, The Sedimentary, The Metamorphic; Weathering and Erosion: Weathering, erosion and geological cycle, physical weathering, chemical weathering, Soil: the residue from weathering;Sedimentary and Continental environments: fluvial and lacustrine, coastal, marine.
Pedology: Soil and environmental services. Soils in space and time. Soil profile, horizons and soil materials. Soil composition. Soil physical properties. Soil chemical properties and nutrient cycling. Introduction to soil classifications. Soil maps of Portugal.
Hydrology: The Water natural cycle; Watershed; Hydrological processes; The water availability and uses usos da água; Extreme events

Teaching Methods

Weekly exposure of structured slide show, practical examples, macroscopic observation of geological samples, exercises and laboratory work in the pedology module and exercises in the hydrology module
2 Frequencies and two final Exams, one related to the theoretical subjects and another one related to practical subjects. Practical works related to hydrological examples.