Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


A.Y. Credits
2015/2016 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Mario Tramontana

Assigned to the Degree Course

Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course introduces the basic concepts of Marine Geology and focuses on main survey techniques applied in marine areas. Moreover, considering the great geological and environmental interest of the coastal zone and its economic and social importance, the course provides the basic knowledge on this area, dealing also with problems related to its vulnerability (natural or induced) and protection, as a necessary starting point for its proper management.
The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the main topics, building a coherent framework of information that can be useful to those who want to develop their professional activity in these fields.


The course will address the following topics.

Introduction. Morphology of the oceans. Continental margins, ocean basins and their structure. Data required in marine-geological surveys and equipment needed. Sediment sampling methods. Deep-Sea Drilling. Geophysical exploration of the sea floor. General principles of seismic prospecting. Seismic reflection acquisition systems. Analysis and interpretation of seismic lines. Seismostratigraphy.
Littoral system and Coastal Zone. Coastal processes. Sediments and their classification. Hydrographic regime. Tides, waves and induced currents. Classification of coasts. Coastal cliffs. Coastal depositional systems. Beaches. Beach profiles. Sedimentary balance of the beaches. Coastline changes. Sea level variations. Survey techniques for the coastal environment. Causes of coastal retreating and coastal protection. Coastal defence systems: sea walls, breakwaters, groins and their action. Artificial beach nourishments. New and not conventional techniques. Principles of integrated management. Coast vulnerability and coastal risk. Future scenarios.
Field didactic excursions.

Bridging Courses

Not required.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

- The student must demonstrate the acquisition of basic knowledge provided by the teaching, even in the context of its relations with other disciplines of the Earth Sciences.
- The student must show an understanding of the concepts that were illustrated, demonstrating the ability to collect and processing geological data concerning both coastal areas and more in general the sea floor. Moreover he must know the application contexts of different works for coastal zone protection.
- The student must demonstrate its ability to reason, following the logic of the teaching. In particular it must be able to take operative decisions in different contexts, planning, organizing and implementing the most appropriate activities.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

Not planned.

Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


Lectures, applications and practical exercises (classroom), didactic excursions.


No obligations.

Course books

Kennett J.P. - Marine Geology. Prentice-Hall Inc., 1982.
Seibold E. & Berger W.H. - The Sea Floor. Third Edition. Springer, 1993.
AA.VV. (2007) - Atlante delle opere di sistemazione costiera. APAT, Roma.
Bird E.C.F. (1996) - Beach management. J. Wiley & Sons
Pilarczyk K.W. & Zeidler R. B. (1996) - Offshore breakwaters and shore evolution control. A.A. Balkema.
Pranzini E. (2004) - La forma delle coste - geomorfologia costiera, impatto antropico e difesa dei litorali. Zanichelli.
Ricci Lucchi F. (1992) - I ritmi del mare. La Nuova Italia Scientifica.
Sunamura T. (1992) - Geomorphology of rocky coasts. J. Wiley & Sons.
Didactic material provided by the teacher.


Oral examination.
The test used was chosen because it allows to verify adequately the preparation reached by the student.


The student can request to sit the final exam in English with an alternative bibliography.

« back Last update: 13/12/2015


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