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FIELD & TEACHING FACILITIES

Over the years the Department has developed the basic infrastructure and laboratories for imparting education to students as well as for faculty research. The Department maintains well equipped geological, hydrogeological and geophysical instrumentation laboratories, Geological Museum, educational tools including projection and reprographic facilities, multimedia projectors, well furnished classrooms, seminar hall for graduate students, library, computational laboratories and e-Lab etc. These details are listed on the Department's website. Examples of these equipments and instruments are: Polarizing Microscopes, Scanning Microscope, XRF, XRD, Microprobe, GIS system, Absolute Gravitymeter, Proton Precession Magnetometer, Broadband Seismometers, etc. The Library of the Department maintains a good collection of both Topographical and Geological Maps for greater part of Quadrangles in the Kingdom. The Department also has the basic infrastructure arrangement for Summer Field Training of the students.

 

A- DEPARTMENT LIBRARY

 

  The Department of Geology and Geophysics has a small library that is located on the second floor of building-4 of the College of Science. The library has a small reading hall surrounded by shelves that carry a good collection of textbooks, journals, geological and topographic maps. This library serves the students of the Geophysics Program in parallel with the University Central Library (Prince Salman library). Regarding the Geophysics Program, both libraries suffer from the lack of up-to-date geophysics books. However, this shortcoming is overcome by the use of the digital library that is made available to the University staff and students.

B- GEOLOGICAL MUSEUM

 

The Department maintains a Geological Museum for students' training and other educational programs wheredifferent types of rocks and minerals, identifying the earth's constituents, are maintained. The Museum was founded in 1406 H (1986) and is  a valuable resource for students, research workers, and other enthusiasts with an interest to learn about geology in general, and Saudi Arabia in particular. This is more so, since Saudi Arabia encompasses a stable shield, huge sedimentary basins and a large igneous province where a wide variety of rocks, minerals and fossils are found. Moreover, geologists view Saudi Arabia as the gateway between Africa and mainland Asia; a fact of high importance in studying the natural history of the earth. The Museum supports teaching and research in Earth Sciences and Natural History at the University. It also supports active fossil-research program in the Department. Furthermore, as a museum of Practical Geology, it illustrates the application of geology to the useful purposes of life.

The Museum contains a large number of rock samples and fossils collected from Saudi Arabia and the regions worldwide; these are cataloged as rock, mineral and fossil specimens. It includes collections of minerals, rocks and fossils of more than 20,000 samples.Meteorites and their effects on the earth surface are also considered within the main topics of the museum. Mineral collections are exhibited according to the crystal chemical classification whereas geological processes form the basis of the rock and ore collections. Paleontological collections provide an introduction to the development of life on earth.The museum collection is furnished with modern show-cases.

The Museum is housed on the second floor in the Department. It is open to  visitorsdaily for two hours between 10-12 a.m., from Saturday to Wednesday. Visits are organized by the Museum Supervisor, and arrangements for visits can be made by contacting the Chairman of the Department (Tel. 467-6212).

C- LABORATORY/RESEARCH FACILITIES

 

  1. Petrographic Preparation Laboratory: equipped with Rock Cutting Machines, Polishing and Thin-section preparation.
  2. Petrologic research microscopes with attached photographic facilities.
  3. GIS Laboratory with a server, 5 terminals, one A0 scanner, one A0 plotter, and 3 color laser printers.
  4. Geophysical exploration equipments, including 24-channel Seismometer, Magnetometer, Gravimeter, Resistivitymeter and Ground Penetrating Radar.
  5. Borehole logging and Video Imaging Systems.
  6. Petroleum Geology Laboratory.
  7. Surveying equipments, which include three electronic total station units, Hand GPS – 20 numbers, Theodolites - 2 numbers.
  8. Computer Laboratory for processing and interpretation of geological, geophysical and hydrogeological data.

D- TEACHING CLASSROOMS

   While The Department of Geology and Geophysics shares lecture halls with other College Programs within the College of Science, it also contains many laboratories, that are used as lecture classrooms and they are located in the Department. The capacity of the lecture classrooms varies from 30 to 40 students per classroom. Most of these classrooms are equipped with audiovisual facilities as follows:

 

 

Lecturing classrooms

Location

Capacity

Facilities

54 1B

Department

30

Data show

60 1B

Department

30

Data show

62 1B

Department

30

none

68 1B

Department

30

none

70 1B

Department

30

Data show

72 1B

Department

30

none

48 1B

College

40

audiovisual facilities

41 1B

College

40

audiovisual facilities

 

 

E- FIELD ACTIVITIES

 

The field experience in the Geology and Geophysics Programs is achieved through short field trips (up to three days) and one long field training course (35 days). The field activities supervision staff  help in planning and scheduling activities for the students, provide students with material support (geophysical tools, maps, air photos, software), moral support ( advices , teaching, knowledge , experience, encouragement,  etc), and assessment of performance, practices, activities and aptitude. The Students are thoroughly prepared, through briefings and descriptive material, for participation in the field activities through the following procedures:

  1. Make an announcement to the students to join the field trip before at least the mid of the 2nd semester.
  2. Study the students’ applications and their academic applicability to join the trip.
  3. Offer lectures to explain the plan and targets of the field trip and the students’ duties and responsibilities.
  4. Offer lectures on safety aids.
  5. Distribute notices about the requirements the field (e.g. camp gear, clothing, shoes, drafting supplies, etc.).
  6. Distribute notices about safety in the field and risks.
  7. Arrange follow up meetings and classes with staff and students at least one week before the beginning of the field trip to allow the students to reflect on, and explore, the knowledge vistas of their field experience.

 

 

The Department arranges a summer field training camp for students  in areas of geological interest within the Kingdom where the students are trained on geological and topographic mapping techniques, to study geologic relationships with emphasis on stratigraphic interpretations of rocks.The students are trained toidentify, describe, classify and interpret the different faunal contents and different geological structures.

The students are also trained, In the field, on how to carry out different geophysical surveys including the seismic (refraction and reflection), gravity, magnetic, electrical, and electromagnetic methods.  Training is also imparted to students on geophysical data analysis and their geologic interpretation. For effective training purposes, the students are grouped and guided by the Department's faculty and staff. Students are required to prepare written field reports upon completion of field training for evaluation.

F- PROVISION OF FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT

 

Each year King Saud University Council assigns a budget for the provision of equipments to the College of Science and consequently the Dean of the College divides the received amount equally among the College departments and requests from the chairmen of the departments to submit their needs for equipments in relation to the available budget. The Equipment and Laboratory Committee in the  Department submits to  the Chairman a list of the required equipments in accordance with the priorities agreed upon by the Committee in the light of the questionnaire collected from the Department'sfaculty members.

The budget allocated for the Geological and Geophysical Programs depends on the available budget at the University to be distributed equally among the different departments, and not on the needs of the specific program. However, the program manager could ask for more funds, if he has a good specific reason, and within the availability of more funds in the University, this request could be met.

The Equipment and Laboratory Committee in the Department is responsible for setting the financial planning and management, and formulating the evaluation scheme, in coordination with the Chairman of the Department and with the  previous the Chairman, to reach practical and realistic conclusions.

 

G- RESEARCH

 

               Faculty members have several research activities extending to the participation in projects supported and funded by international and national organizations. Furthermore, the University Research Centre annually calls for the submission of small research projects and funds them. Most of the research is published in cited scientific journals and most faculty members supervise students'research projects both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, in addition to the field studies incorporated in these  programs. Moreover, the Department is actively involved in enhancing the role of faculty members in conducting studies and projects for the community in the light of the expertise of the Department in offering solutions to local problems.