Geology of Coalfields and Fuels

Course code GEOS3160Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Science and Information TechnologySchool of Environmental and Life Sciences

Fuels are currently the mainstay of our energy industry. However, environmental concerns, and a desire to optimise efficiency in the energy industry mean that the fuels and energy area is subject to great change. Geology of Fuels deals in part with formation of, exploration for, recovery and utilisation of fossil fuels, specialising in coal. The course deals with tectonics of coal and petroleum formation, evolution of the flora and fauna from which they form, environments of formation, maturation, marketing, utilisation and environmental aspects of energy generation. Students present a seminar on a topic of their choice related to fuels or energy, to develop an area of specialisation prior to entering the workplace, or undertaking research.

In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory Workplace Health and Safety requirement. Students will receive full information on this compulsory course component in the course outline provided by the school.

This course fulfils the key graduate attribute requirements of the Earth Science (Geology) program for high level professional knowledge and ability, and therefore has a compulsory course component in theoretical and practical knowledge in order to meet that goal. As well as an overall passing grade (50%), students must receive a minimum 50% in the laboratory component of the course to show that they have successfully met the course objectives.

Available in 2015

Callaghan CampusSemester 1
Previously offered in 2014
ObjectivesOn successful completion of this course, students will:

1. be able to describe the types of tectonic and basinal environments in which fossil fuel resources are found; the development of hydrocarbon-forming flora; and phenomena required for the formation of significant coal measures;
2. be able to identify the microscopic material components of coal and be able to interpret this knowledge in the modelling of a coal resource, and evaluation of its marketing and utilisation potential;
3. be able to describe the characterisation methods used routinely and in research to classify coal deposits in terms of their utilisation and marketing potential; be able to describe the key technologies using coal for energy, steelmaking and high technology, value-added carbon products;
4. be able to present verbal and written scientific information coherently, by researching and presenting a seminar in class concerning fuel science and writing articulate essays/reports showing understanding of the Fuels course material for the purpose of Professional Development.
5. be able to apply practical field methods routinely used in fuels exploration, such as logging of drill core onto computerised systems, plotting of logged data, interpretation of geological and geophysical logs of core, mapping of seam outcrops and sections from drillhole data, interpretation of coal seam gas field data for assessment of prospects, and assessment of the quality and validity of the data obtained. These skills are assessed by 6 practical exercises which make up the practical component of the course.
6. have completed a practical field mapping exercise at a local minesite and have had experience of the skills, duties and environment of the fuels geologist in the local area by visiting a local mining operation for induction and education by the mine geologist. This minesite visit is one of the practical exercises contributing to assessment of the practical component of the course.
ContentLectures in GEOS3160 cover:
- depositional environments of peat formation
- tectonic environments of peat/coal deposits
- evolution of flora/fauna which contribute to organic deposits
- maturation of organic deposits
- geochemistry of organic deposits
- mineral matter in organic deposits
- coal exploration methods
- utilisation of coal and developing technologies
- origin, source, migration, and entrapment of coal seam gas
- world distribution of coal and coal seam gas
- techniques used in the detection, evaluation and recovery of fossil fuels
- carbon dioxide sequestration methods

Laboratory sessions and excursions increase the practical component of the course and raise students' exposure to the application of the course content in the industry itself.
Replacing Course(s)NA
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeGEOS1040 and GEOS2200
Modes of DeliveryDistance Learning : IT Based
Internal Mode
Teaching MethodsField Study
Assessment Items
Examination: Class
Examination: FormalThis component has an compulsory course component. A mark of at least 50% in the final formal examination is required to demonstrate that the student has fulfilled course objectives 1-4. On achieving the minimum required mark in the final exam, a final mark will be given in the course and it will be recorded that the student has satisfied the compulsory course component.

Those who fail to satisfy the compulsory course component will have the normal avenues of appeal open to them and additionally, the oportunity to re-sit the final exam.
PracticalPractical Exercises:
Students undertaking this course are required to demonstrate practical and theoretical competency by completing all the scheduled laboratory exercises and obtaining an overall grade of at least 50% in the Practical component of the course. These are required to demonstrate a student's understanding of Course Objectives 5 and 6 which refer to the application and understanding of concepts and skills, particularly field geology skills. This is not addressed in other assessment items in the course. On passing the laboratory exercises, a final mark will be given in the course and it will be recorded that the student has satisfied the compulsory course component.

Those who fail to satisfy the compulsory course component will have the normal avenues of appeal open to them. In the event of a successful appeal the student will be given a supplementary assessment to determine whether the student has satisfied the compulsory course component.
Contact HoursLecture: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Practical: for 4 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Compulsory Components
Compulsory Course ComponentWHS-Safety Induction or Risk Assessment. Compulsory Course Component: In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory safety and/or fieldwork induction.
Timetables2015 Course Timetables for GEOS3160