This course aims to provide the students with a broad knowledge in the area of the Geosciences, in particular on the origin and evolution of Earth, the interaction between the different earth systems, as well as the importance of Geology as an applied science and as a support to decision making in Environmental Engineering.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ligia Nunes de Sousa Pereira de Castro


Weekly - 3

Total - 54

Teaching language



No pre-requisites required.



Press, F.; Siever, R.; Grotzinger, J. & Jordan, T.H. (2003).  Understanding Earth. W.H. Freeman & Co. (NY), 4th ed.
Montgomery, C.W. (2013). Environmental Geology. McGraw Hill (NY), 10th ed., 560 p.
Jackson, R.E. (2019). Earth Science for Civil and Environmental Engineers. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1st Ed., 492 p.
Vallejo, L.I.G. (Coord.) (2002).  Ingeniería Geológica. Prentice Hall (Madrid), 744 p.

Teaching method

The course is characterized by theoretical and practical classes. Activities will include laboratory experiments, writing up of results and presentations. The students have access to rocks and mineral samples and interpret geological maps and construct geological sections.

Evaluation method

Course evaluation consists of Theoretical and Practical assessments and is obtained by 5 evaluation moments: T1 - theoretical part 1; T2 - theoretical part 2; P1 practical part 1 (maps); P2 - practical part 2 (rocks). 

The final classification (F) is calculated as follows:

F= (T + P)/2, where T = (T1+T2)/2 and P = (P1+P2)/2

For final approval: F> = 9,5 and P1>= 6,0 (in a 0-20 scale) 

Students who obtain approval are exempt of the final examination period.

Subject matter


1. Introduction to basic earth science concepts. Important earth resources that have affected humankind and society.

2. Minerals and rocks. Origin, characteristics, textures, compositions, and modes of formation of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Methods for interpreting them. How different rock types are distributed on the Earth’s surface.

3. Sedimentary processes, depositional environments and diagenesis, based on the interpretation and classification of sedimentary rocks.

4. Processes that create the landforms. Origin and development of landforms, landform classification, and geomorphological processes. Methods of geomorphological analysis and topographic map interpretation.

5. Origin and evolution of the Earth. Analysis of the concepts of geological time and biological evolution. Concentration on geological field relations and determination of relative history. Geological map of Portugal.

6. The deformation of the Earth’s crust. The description and classification of geological structures and theoretical and physical analysis of rock deformations. Neotectonics and sismic risk. Neotectonic activity in Portugal.

7. Water resources. Origin, nature, distribution, movement, exploitation, and conservation of surface water and groundwater.

8. Applying geological methods, principles and information to engineering and related fields. Analysis of Earth materials, rocks and soils, their properties and processes significant to modern engineering projects.

9. Geology of Portugal and “Geomonuments”. Geological heritage and geoconservation. A survey of geological processes and phenomena as exemplified by features of our “geological parks” and monuments.

10. Geology and the Environment.

Laboratory classes

1. Topographic maps. Geological maps: sections and interpretation.

2. Essential minerals. The rock cycle. Macroscopic analysis of the main types of rocks and related geological processes. Location in Portugal and major applications of different kinds of rocks.