GEOLOGY 2500 - Sedimentary Geology II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

Sediments, both ancient and recent, cover much of the earth's surface. Sediments are immensely important economically, as the host of petroleum and mineral deposits, and to the environment, as aquifers, sinks for contaminants, and the home to a large part of the biosphere. The sedimentary record is also the ultimate repository of the annals of Earth's history. By deciphering the clues held in this record, geologists have reconstructed the history of the earth surface environment, traced the evolution of life, and determined past climate changes. The sedimentology component of this course will provide a broad background to 1) the description of sedimentary rocks and recognition of sedimentary structures, 2) processes by which sediments are transported, deposited, and converted into rocks, 3) the tectonic setting and features of environments in which sediments accumulate, and 4) use of stratigraphy as a tool in Earth history. The Paleontology component of this course will be an introduction to the fossil record, with an emphasis on the patterns of evolution during the Phanerozoic and the application of biostratigraphy.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOLOGY 2500
    Course Sedimentary Geology II
    Coordinating Unit School of Earth and Environmental Sci(Inactive)
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 5.5 hours per week, plus field trip
    Assumed Knowledge GEOLOGY 1100 or GEOLOGY 1103
    Assessment Exam, practicals, field report
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Stijn Glorie

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Describe sedimentary rocks in hand specimen
    2 Interpret the processes responsible for the deposition of the sediment from the nature of the sediment and sedimentary structures present within the sedimentary rock.
    3 Understand the depositional environment of a sedimentary rock package based on recognition of facies associations
    4 Recognise and explain the methodology of carrying out scientific research in the field of sedimentary geology

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-4
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-3
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3,4
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 4
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 4
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-4
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 2-4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The only required resources are paper, ruler, protractor, pencils and calculator. There will be required reading issued from both the recommended textbook (see below) and from journal articles that will be available through the Library. Course notes (recordings) and digital copies of all slideshows used in lectures and practicals will be readily available on MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    The reading list for the course on a week by week basis will be supplied during lectures and via My Uni. Make sure to keep up with any suggested readings. It is not mandatory to have a textbook, but you are encouraged to obtain the main recommended text if you can.
    This book is:
    • Boggs, S., 2011. Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy. (5th edition) Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey (highly recommended and available at Unibooks)

    Other texts that you may want to refer to (and are available in the library) are:
    • Benton, M., Harper, D., 1997. Basic Palaeontology. Longman, Harlow (1st edition)
    • Reading, H.G., 1996. Sedimentary Environments: Processes, Facies and Stratigraphy. Blackwell, Oxford (3rd edition)
    • Tucker, M., 2001. Sedimentary Petrology. (3rd edition) Blackwell, Oxford.
    Many other textbooks on sedimentology are available in the Barr-Smith Library. A variety of new and used sedimentology texts may also be purchased on the web.
    Online Learning
    MyUni: Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website (
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course consists of two one-hour lecture sessions per week for 12 weeks plus accompanying practical work, most weeks. See section below for details on practical scheduling.

    • 2 x 1-hour lectures/week - see timetable
    • 4 x 4- hour practical work per week. The practicals are hands-on practice for the theory material covered in the lectures. One practical will be a field-based tutorial in a nearby location that is easily accessible by public transport (details will be given during the course).

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1 Physical Sedimentology and Rock Identification
    Week 2 Headlines in Earth history and Oceanographic/Atmospheric circulations
    Week 3 Origin of sediments: chemical and physical weathering and Carbonate sediments
    Week 4 Sedimentary Basins and Structures
    Week 5 Diagenesis, porosity and permeability
    Week 6 Evolution, Palaeontology and Biostratigraphy
    Week 7 No lectures due to Pichi Richi field camp in mid-semester break
    Week 8 Marginal Marine Depositional Environments
    Week 9 Deep Marine Depositional Environments
    Week 10 Terrestrial Depositional Environments
    Week 11 Introduction to Stratigraphy
    Week 12 Practical examinations

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Lecture Test 1 Summative test on lectures 1-6

    Week 4

    25% 1,2,4
    Lecture Test 2 Summative test on lectures 7-10 Week 8 20% 2,3,4
    Lecture Test 3 Summative test on lectures 11-16 Week 11 25% 2,3,4
    Practicals including field based practicals Formative Not assessed- feedback via answers to the practical questions 0% 1,2,3,4
    Practical Exam  Summative
    Exam on all practical materials
    Week 12 30% 1,2,3,4
    Assessment Related Requirements
    To pass this course students must:
    • Attain a minimum of 45% for the lecture tests: Students who attain a final course grade of at least 45% but do not attain a minimum of 45% for the combined lecture tests may be offered an Additional Academic Exam during the Replacement/Additional Assessment period, in line with the Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment Policy.
    • Attain a minimum of 45% for the practical exam. Students who do not attain this minimum requirement will not be offered an additional assessment.
    Assessment Detail
    Lecture Tests: Test material comes primarily from lecture materials, and secondarily from practical materials and assigned readings. The tests are designed to be easily completed within 45 minutes and will consist of a mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions.

    Practical Exam: The practical exam tests the skills that were learned during the practicals. This summative exam is designed to be completed within 2 hours and will consist of a number of questions, covering the practical materials and focussing on (1) identifying rock samples and fossil specimens, (2) performing stratigraphic correlations and basin analysis, (3) interpreting sedimentary logs and sedimentary structures and (4) interpreting sedimentary depositional environments.
    The practicals are not marked and do not need to be submitted. Feedback will be provided in the format of answer sheets on MyUni.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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