GEO164 Earth System Processes (8)

In this subject you will learn about the processes operating in Earth's lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. You will learn how geological processes have shaped the Earth's landforms and how to interpret geological features and the shape of the landscape to develop a historical perspective on landform development. You will also learn about the relationships between the Earth's hydrological cycle and the atmosphere to be able to demonstrate an understanding of the processes affecting weather on a global and local scale including how to forecast the weather.


Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Albury-Wodonga Campus
Port Macquarie Campus
Albury-Wodonga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: GEO164. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Environmental Sciences

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe the key principles and concepts associated with geological processes
  • be able to interpret geological features to develop a historical perspective on landform development
  • be able to describe the key principles of atmospheric processes and climate
  • be able to interpret weather maps and forecast the weather
  • be able to describe the key principles and concepts associated with hydrological processes
  • be able to read, interpret and use topographic maps


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Formation of the Solar System;
  • Internal structure of the earth, continental drift and plate tectonics;
  • Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock types;
  • Topographic maps and geological history interpretation;
  • The hydrologic cycle, weathering and erosion
  • Physical properties of water, air, radiation and heat energy flux;
  • Earth's heat budget, greenhouse effect, seasonality and albedo;
  • Atmospheric circulation models, pressure zones, wind belts and global climates;
  • Adiabatic processes, atmospheric stability and aerological diagrams;
  • Air masses, fronts and synoptic meteorology;
  • El-Nino Southern Oscillation, ozone depletion, enhanced greenhouse effect and environmental consequences of climate change.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of GEO164 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Multiple choice question writing - part 1
Practical 1 topographic analysis - online quiz
Pracs 1 and 2: geology cross-sections and history
Pracs 3 - 6: climate
Multiple choice question and answer - part 2

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.