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Subject: EVENTI GEOLOGICI GLOBALI (A.A. 2023/2024)


Course year 1
Teaching units Unit Eventi geologici globali
Geology and Paleontology (lesson)
  • TAF: Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class SSD: GEO/02 CFU: 4
Geology and Paleontology (exercise)
  • TAF: Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class SSD: GEO/02 CFU: 2
Teachers: Stefano LUGLI
Exam type oral
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language Italiano
Contents download pdf download


Stefano LUGLI


Aim of the course is to illustrate how the geological record is the only one capable of documenting past changes, providing the general context for assessing the changes induced by human activity and testing the global models developed today to predict future changes. The examined case-studies are:
- astronomical forcings and variations of the Earth's orbital parameters (Milankovitch cycles), with particular reference to their evolution in the future: are we entering a new mini-ice age? When will the next glacial era take place?
- present-day and past variations of terrestrial magnetism and their geological significance. Is a new magnetic inversion on the way? What could be the results on human health and the biosphere? Mode and duration of the last magnetic inversion. Search for evidence of the latest magnetic reversal in the field.
- sea level variations: recognition on the ground of the tectonic and sedimentary components of a marine-continental transition sequence in a context of tectonic uplift and high sedimentation rate.
These objectives will be obtained by:
- rigorously present concepts, procedures and data also from a non-specialist perspective.
- the use of computer to elaborate data, information and results.
For a more complete understanding of the training objectives, please refer to the “expected learning outcomes” paragraph.

Admission requirements

The course is intended for post-graduates with good knowledge of the principles of Earth Sciences.

Course contents

The course illustrates examples of sedimentary successions where global geological effects, such as changes in sea level, climate and magnetic field reversal on Earth are legible and well documented.
Examples and comparisons between global terrestrial events and those of other contexts of the solar system, and in particular of the planet Mars, will also be proposed.
Final exam: oral
Student tutorial timetable: Tuesday 11.00-12.00
Where: Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche e Geologiche, Via Campi 103, 41125 Modena, Tel. 059/2058475, Fax 059/2055887; e-mail:
Personal website:

Teaching methods

Lectures throughout Power point presentations, practical activities in the field, graphic rendering of the key sedimentary successions containing evidence of global changes (Milankovitch cycles, sea level variations, magnetic inversions); analysis of English scientific texts, writing and presentation of individual and group reports. The course language is Italian.

Assessment methods

The test is oral and is aimed to assess the achievement of a sufficient level of knowledge / skills and application skills related to the expected learning outcomes (70%). It will also serve to evaluate overall transversal skills (30%): communication skills, independent judgment and learning ability. The final overall evaluation is expressed with a mark out of thirty. The evaluation consists of an oral test. The evaluation comprises analysis and interpretation of sedimentary sequences of interest for the study of the global geological events; questions on the theoretical and practical aspects covered during the course. The oral exam takes place during the dedicated calendar time frames and the students should apply online using the EsseTre platform.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
Through lectures the student learns: the theoretical principles of investigating global changes; knowledge and interpretation of sedimentary sequences; information on the different methods for the interpretation of the evolution of paleoclimate, paleoenvironments and magnetic inversions sequences.
Applying knowledge and understanding:
Through the field activities and the laboratory exercises the student directly applies the theoretical principles of proxy data application, acquiring the ability to describe and interpret and correlate sedimentary sequences.
Making judgments:
Through the graphics processing of sedimentary sequences and group discussion, the students learn to critically evaluate the data collection and the elaboration of interpretive hypotheses of global changes.
Communication skills:
The drafting of a report and the public presentation of the scientific results allow the student to develop the ability to acquire systematic and solid communication skills, learning to critically discuss data and interpretaions.
Learning skills:
The described activities allow the student to gain a comprehensive approach and solid method for the discussion of complex scientific problems by providing the tools for a comprehensive work in an independent environment and within working groups.
Communication skills:
Clearly communicate the acquired knowledge and understanding skills also for non-specialist audience.
Use correctly and appropriately the studied terminology, concepts and models.


Articoli scientifici forniti dal docente. Sulla pagina del Portale DOLLY e/o Teams relativa all’insegnamento sono disponibili, nel rispetto dei diritti d’autore:
- Le dispense utilizzate dal docente nel corso delle lezioni frontali e delle esercitazioni.
- Copie pdf degli articoli discussi nelle lezioni.