SUSTech Summer Sessions | Environmental scientists exploring the mysteries of the planet
Chris Edwards | 08/06/2020

Every summer, Southern University of Science and Technology creates abundant opportunities for its students to partake in scientific research outside of the laboratories, and to learn new skills. This year, SUSTech students go all over the country to broaden their horizons and expand their knowledge.

The Class of 2022, taking an earth science class within the School of Environmental Science and Engineering (ESE), took a two-week field excursion to Qinhuangdao City in Hebei Province. They traveled the ancient stratum and the coast to appreciate billions of years of changes in the Earth’s surface. It gave them an appreciation of the earth sciences, as part of their interdisciplinary education at SUSTech.

Students developed their skills in several different areas of fundamental geological fieldwork. These skills included using topographic maps and compasses, using fixed field points, occurrence measurements & description records. They also mastered the relationship between the stratigraphic sequence and discontinuity.

Students used all their skills to study and get a better understanding of the rock formations in the area. They examined the Majiagou Formation, which included a wide variety of geological structures as well as vegetation. The group traipsed up and down Jiguan and Liangjia Mountains to see the different fault lines and diabase intrusions.

As part of their studies, the students got a clearer insight into the development and utilization of water resources, mineral resources, and tourism resources. They also examined the impact of human activities on the environment.

They examined the weathering, surface water, groundwater, ocean, and other geological processes that affected the local surface geology. The students also considered the internal geological processes such as the magmatism, metamorphism, and tectonic movement.

There was much interest in the more than a hundred oolites found in the limestone at the Zhangxia Formation. At the same time, the Wuzhuang Anticline Fold Structure inspired considerable discussion about the cause of its collapse.

The students noted that the sound and smell of the ocean was always with them, even at night. They reflected on how the sea had eroded the landforms they were studying and would continue to do so in the future. They saw the changes that had influenced the Earth. It gave them the motivation to continue their exploration of the environment in the future.

Mr. Jintai XU led the students and assisted them with their enhanced understanding of the local geology. The students appreciated his intimate knowledge of the discipline while enjoying the unique experience of living with their classmates in the field.

The ESE students agreed that they had gained a lot from their field excursion. It had hardened their resolve to make the best possible use from their new-found knowledge. The hardships experienced would not stop them from working together to make new scientific findings for China that support societal progress.

2020, 08-06
By Chris Edwards

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Education

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Translated and Adapted By SUSTech Newshub

Proofread ByYingying XIA

Photo BySchool of Environmental Science and Engineering

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