Field Course in Carbonate Environments

Course code GEOS3260Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Science and Information TechnologySchool of Environmental and Life Sciences

This course introduces students to the stratigraphy, sedimentology, facies and facies associations of carbonate environments. This is chiefly attained by taking part in a one week to 10 days field excursion to ancient carbonate depositional systems preceded by Introductory Lectures and workshops and followed by self -conducted research project on campus tied to the fieldwork which includes the acquisition of petrographic observations, diagenetic studies and bibliographic research. Field locations are not fixed, and may even be overseas, whereby the exact timing will depend on the best climatic conditions for fieldwork in the selected area. Fieldwork would commonly take place within the semester break or before the start of semester 2 (if overseas). Details of the area, timing and duration of the field work will be provided in Blackboard well before the corse commences (15 days) if field area is in Australia. Notice of field area overseas will be given one year in advance to collect expressions of interest and allow for flights organization. Note that the course runs every two years.

This course has a compulsory course component and in order to pass the course, students must obtain a passing grade of at least 50% in the field/research report.

Not available in 2015

Previously offered in 2014
ObjectivesAt the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. demonstrate an understanding of field stratigraphy;
2. demonstrate an understanding of facies and facies associations within a tectonically active context;
3. demonstrate the capability to recognise boundaries and use them in correlations
4. demonstrate the capability to use notes, sketches and photos as the working material necessary to draw interpretations;
5. demonstrate the capability to carry out field work independently;
6. demonstrate knowledge relative to the theorethical and analytical tools needed to solve field-based problems;
7. write a well-researched, synthetic scientific report that processes field and campus laboratory data to obtain results, and discusses the results incorporating literature hypotheses to formulate conclusions.
ContentGEOS3260 is conducted at different field areas where outstanding carbonate complexes outcrop. The syllabus consists of a six (6) to ten (10) day field mapping program, with lectures in the morning and workshops in the evening. Student's field notes will be the core of the interpretative report back at The University of Newcastle.
Lectures will cover:
1) principles of carbonate formation (bio-mediation, bio-precipitation, chemical precipitation;
2) the concepts of carbonate factory;
3) evolution of carbonate environments and carbonate factories with time with focus on their relation to global climates and mass extinctions;
4) the importance of carbonate factories in the global Carbon cycle, and as reservoirs of hydrocarbons and high quality water resources;
5) Basic concepts of carbonate geochemistry, including isotope geochemistry, and how this is applied in economic and academic research.
Replacing Course(s)N/A
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeGEOS2200, GEOS2280 and/or GEOS2050.
Modes of DeliveryExternal Mode
Internal Mode
Teaching MethodsField Study
Self Directed Learning
Assessment Items
Other: (please specify)- Field Q/A
The aim of this assessment is to test engagement in field lectures and laboratories
Presentations - Individual- Research Presentation
The aim of this assessment is to test the capability of students to present in acceptable scientific format the results and conclusions achieved in the major field report and essay. This is a fundamental graduate attribute.
Reports- Major field report and essay
This includes: Field log/notes; and Individual Research project.
This component has an essential criterion. A mark of at least 50% for the research report is required to demonstrate that the student has fulfilled course objectives 1-5. On achieving the minimum required mark for the report, a final mark will be given in the course and it will be recorded that the student has satisfied the essential criterion.

Those who fail to satisfy the essential criterion 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 essential criterion.
Contact HoursLaboratory: for 30 hour(s) per Term for Full Term
Field Study: for 26 hour(s) per Term for Full Term
Workshop: for 6 hour(s) per Term for Full Term
Lecture: for 14 hour(s) per Term for Full Term