Available in 2017, 2018

Course handbook


This course includes theoretical and practical presentation of depositional environments and sedimentary processes, and their recognition in the rock record by using the sedimentologic and sequence stratigraphic techniques.

The topics of the course are organised to introduce Earth's sedimentary rocks and their environments of deposition in a logical progression:

1. Familiarisation with the concept of facies and facies models and their practical applications;

2. Familiarisation with sedimentary structures, how these relate to transport processes and their applications in sedimentary geology;

3. Provision of an overview of the principles of stratigraphy;

4. Introduction to the microscopic petrological description of sedimentary rocks.

Availability2017 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2017
  • Semester 2 - 2018

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the classification systems for sedimentary rocks;

2. Demonstrate an understanding of sedimentary structures and their importance in the interpretation of depositional environments;

3. Understand the concept of facies, facies models, facies associations and how these are related to depositional environments;

4. Demonstrate an understanding of facies models for continental (fluvial), marginal-marine (coastal, deltaic, estuarine) and marine (shelf and deep water) depositional environments;

5. Understand the role of climate, eustacy and tectonics in the development of facies and facies associations;

6. Understand provenance and transport processes of clastic sedimentary rocks;

7. Demonstrate a knowledge of the techniques for the characterisation of sedimentary rocks;

8. Present and interpret data from sedimentary grain populations;

9. Understand diagenetic processes and features in sedimentary rocks;

10. Demonstrate practical interpretive and descriptive techniques in sedimentary microscopy and petrography.


The objectives of the course are met by providing theoretical background on the controlling factors resulting in production, transport and deposition of siliciclastic sedimentary rocks resultant sedimentary structures.  Facies analysis and sequence stratigraphic techniques are employed for the reconstruction of past depositional environments. The course content includes:

  1. The concept of facies, facies models and facies models and their practical application.
  2. Sedimentary structures and how these relate to transport processes and their applications in sedimentary geology.
  3. The principles of stratigraphy.
  4. Introduction to microscopic petrological description of sedimentary rocks.

Field-based and microscopy laboratories provide the necessary link between theory and observation and interpretation of ancient and modern sedimentary environments.


Assumed knowledge

GEOS1040, GEOS1050, GEOS2170

Assessment items

Quiz: 5 In class quizzes

Report: Field Study Report

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: 5 Microscopy Laboratory Reports and Excercises *

Practical Demonstration: Practical Microscopy Test in class *

In Term Test: Applied theory test based on a powerpoint presentation in class *

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Laboratory: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory fieldwork induction.

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • In Term Test: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course.
  • Practical Demonstration: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course.
  • Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course. - Students must obtain a passing grade of at least 50% overall in their laboratory (including field study) reports to pass the course.

Contact hours


Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for 5 Weeks

Timetabled as per the laboratory sessions


Face to Face On Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for 7 Weeks

Laboratory hours include field study as required, and some lectures will be carried out in the field.


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term