Spring 2024 - EASC 403 D100

Quaternary Geology (3)

Class Number: 1458

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Fri, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 17, 2024
    Wed, 3:30–6:30 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    EASC 201, EASC 209W or GEOG 213, and EASC 308. All with a grade of C- or better.



Stratigraphy and history of the Quaternary Period with emphasis on glaciation, glacial sediments, and landforms. The course includes several 1-day trips and at least one 3-day trip.


This course is intended for senior EASC undergraduate students and others who possess a general background in geology and can also have some training in related science disciplines such as geography and biology. The course provides an in-depth examination of Quaternary geology (i.e., the geology of the past 2.6 million years). Topics include Quaternary processes and sediments, stratigraphy, geomorphology, surficial geology, and Quaternary geochronology. The emphasis is on developing an understanding of (1) the recent geologic record in four dimensions (time being the fourth dimension), (2) important natural process that have shaped the landscape during the Quaternary and (3) Quaternary sediments and landforms. Principles and concepts are illustrated with examples from Western Canada and the adjacent northwestern U.S. The course has a strong field emphasis within the constraints imposed by winter weather.

Course Organization:
There will be a 2-hour lecture each Friday. I may also lecture in at least a portion of the lab period. On 4-5 Fridays, however, field trips will replace the lecture. DO NOT schedule any other courses on Friday. In addition to Friday field trips, we will hopefully have a 3-day excursion to the Channeled Scablands in central Washington in March or the beginning of April. Since we are crossing the border, proper identification (passport) is required and possibly a visa for non-Canadian residents.


  • Term Presentation 20%
  • Mid-term examinations 20%
  • Final examination 35%
  • Class participation (overall class mark of "no-whows" reduced 5%) 5%
  • Scabland Field trip report 20%


There will be a supplementary fee of $85.00

**You should also budget for all field trip expenses. As we will be in the field a minimum of 8 days in late winter/early spring, be prepared for cool wet weather. You will need a backpack, field boots with ankle support, a camera, and standard items including a field notebook, pen, and pencils.

Be aware that during the field trip there will be periods of strenuous hiking, hiking close to cliffs and crossing roads with busy traffic. Appropriate clothing and footwear should be worn. Further details regarding safety, food, housing and field supplies will be discussed prior to the field trip.



Fieldgear required.


Assigned readings:
A collection of research papers will be distributed during the class. The articles provide information on the Quaternary geology of British Columbia; some articles are pertinent to the field trips.


Glacial Geology; Ice Sheets and Landforms. 2nd edition Bennett, M.R. & Glasser, N.F. 2010. John Wiley & Sons.
ISBN: 978-0-470-51691-1


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html