Spring 2021 - EASC 411 D100

Terrain Analysis (3)

Class Number: 1681

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 8:30 AM – 10:20 AM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 27, 2021
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    EASC 206 and 209W. All with a grade of C- or better.



Application and role of Quaternary Geology in terrain mapping and terrain analysis and will emphasize the British Columbia Terrain Classification System. Applications of terrain maps, including landslide, earthquake and volcanic hazard mapping will be discussed. The lab sessions will cover morphological mapping, surficial material genesis, geomorphic processes and finally, production of a terrain and terrain stability map. The course includes three days in the field to ground truth the map.


This course will review the application and role of Quaternary Geology in terrain mapping and terrain analysis and will emphasize the British Columbia Terrain Classification System. The early lab sessions will emphasize morphological mapping, surficial material genesis, geomorphic processes. The later lab sessions will be used to introduce students to digital terrain analysis and to produce a terrain and terrain stability map based on air photo interpretation. This will hopefully be followed by 2-1 day field trips to ground-truth the maps and collect criteria for slope stability classes.

Course Topics:

  • B.C. Terrain Classification System and procedures for terrain mapping
  • Applications of terrain mapping:
    - Types of terrain stability mapping, including terrain attribute studies
    - Earthquake hazard mapping.
  • Terrain assessments
  • Debris Flows: initiation and run-out
  • Gullies including the Gully Assessment Procedure
  • Urban Geology
  • Drift Prospecting
Course Structure:
There will be one two-hour lectures each week and one three-hour lab. Lectures will be remote and synchronous. Lectures will start in the first week of classes. We have asked permission for to run some face to face labs. Because of Covid and the resulting lack of extra time in the labs, students will be provided with a set of airphotos for the lab exercises and term project. You will also be loaned a stereoscope (for a deposit)

The objective of this portion of the course is to gain practical experience in the construction of an applied terrain map. In this regard, you will produce a terrain and terrain stability map and an accompanying report for a portion of the Chehalis drainage (west of Harrison Lake).


  • Final Exam 30%
  • Labs 20%
  • Seminar 10%
  • Mapping Exercise 35%
  • In-Class Activities 5%



Required Equipment - fieldboots; pack; camera; first aid kit; basic survival gear.


Selected readings - all provided

- Terrain Classification System for B.C.

- Guidelines and Standards to Terrain Mapping in B.C.

- Field Manual for Describing Terrestrial Ecosystems

Registrar Notes:


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Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).