Geology

CSM2183 - Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (2019)

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MODULE TITLESedimentology and Stratigraphy CREDIT VALUE30
MODULE CODECSM2183 MODULE CONVENERProf Stephen Hesselbo (Coordinator)
DURATION: TERM 1 2 3
DURATION: WEEKS 11 10 0
Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) 30
DESCRIPTION - summary of the module content

This module will provide the fundamentals of sedimentology, tracing the physical and sedimentary processes from source terrain to sedimentary rock. You will review depositional sedimentary environments and the observations required to infer these from sedimentary successions. Practical work will include optical microscopy and hand specimen description. A central part of the module is a six-day field course to the Wessex Basin of southern England where your ability to describe and interpret sedimentary rocks in the field will be developed. You will also learn about the principal techniques used to date, correlate, and interpret the origin of sedimentary strata. In this module you will learn how fossils, stable and radioisotopes, orbital cycles, rock magnetic properties and geophysical or geochemical logs can be combined to provide an integrated understanding of how we date rocks and how sediments are deposited. In addition, you will be introduced to sedimentary basins and the stratigraphic methods used to reconstruct their depositional histories.

AIMS - intentions of the module

1. Provide an understanding of sedimentary processes and resultant sedimentary products;

2. Allow an understanding of process-based sedimentology to be applied to recognise a range of siliciclastic and carbonate depositional environments from the rock record;

3. Introduce the principal classes of sedimentary basin, explore their origins and history of infill, and discuss how the interactions of tectonics, sea-level change, sediment supply and palaeoclimate affect the sediment infill;

4. Provide a grounding for petrographic descriptions and interpretations of siliciclastic and carbonate deposits;

5. Provide grounding in the principal techniques in stratigraphy, particularly isotope stratigraphy, cyclostratigraphy, geophysical log interpretation, and magnetostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy.

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILOs) (see assessment section below for how ILOs will be assessed)

On successful completion of this module, you should be able to:

Module Specific Skills and Knowledge:

1 Be able to interpret depositional history and process from field, borehole and seismic reflection datasets;

2 Understand the principles of sedimentology covering weathering, fluid flows at the Earth’s surface, mechanisms of sediment erosion, transportation and deposition;

3 Describe and measure commonly occurring physical, chemical and biological sedimentary structures and interpret their process of formation and significance;

4 Understand how to interpret sedimentary facies and have an ability to apply this knowledge to the recognition and process-based interpretation of a range of both siliciclastic (e.g. fluvial, deltaic, shallow marine, deep marine) and carbonate (e.g. carbonate platforms, pelagic carbonates) depositional environments;

5 Describe and interpret the detrital and diagenetic mineralogy of clastic and carbonate sedimentary rocks based on transmitted light microscopy and hand specimen description;

6 Understand the basis for commonly used methods of stratal correlation, be able to use these methods in a range of depositional settings, and understand their significance for reconstruction of planetary history;

7 Understand and explain the methods by which geologists construct absolute and relative chronology for sedimentary successions;

8 Have a knowledge of sedimentary basins, their likely origins, and the major controls on their sedimentary infill;

Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge:

9 Integrate stratigraphic observations across a variety of scales and using a variety of methods;

10 Describe and interpret sedimentary rocks whilst carrying out geological fieldwork;

11 Use your field and microscope based descriptions of sedimentary rocks to reconstruct past environmental changes;

Personal and Key Transferable/ Employment Skills and Knowledge:

12 Manipulate, integrate and interpret a variety of time series data to arrive at reasoned explanations and predictions;

13 Develop report writing, field notebook keeping and team work skills.

SYLLABUS PLAN - summary of the structure and academic content of the module

Term 1:

- Introduction; weathering and soil formation, sediment transport and deposition. Introduction to sedimentary basins;

- Sediment transport, fluid dynamics and sedimentary structures;

- Modern sedimentary processes field class (1/2 day);

- Sedimentary environments and processes: alluvial to fluvial;

- Sedimentary environments and processes: aeolian and lacustrine;

DORSET FIELDCLASS (including sedimentary basins):

- Sedimentary environments and processes: deltaic to shallow marine;

- Sedimentary environments and processes: shallow marine carbonates;

- Sedimentary environments and processes: deep water clastics;

- 
Sedimentary environments and processes: pelagic;

- Overview and significance of diagenesis;

Term 2:

- Sequence stratigraphy;

- Downhole geophysical logs (gamma);

- Magnetostratigraphy;

- Sediment provenance;

- Carbon-isotope stratigraphy;

- Oxygen-isotope stratigraphy;

- Cyclostratigraphy and astrochonology;

- Sr-isotope stratigraphy;

- Radioisotope dating and timescale;

- Revision session.

LEARNING AND TEACHING
LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS (given in hours of study time)
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities 106.00 Guided Independent Study 204.00 Placement / Study Abroad 0.00
DETAILS OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS
Category Hours of study time Description
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities 15.5 Term 1 Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities 15.5 Term 1 Practicals
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities 4 Term 1 Non-residential Field Course
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities 48 Term 1 Residential Field Course
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities 13.5 Term 2 Lab practicals
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities 13.5 Term 2 Lectures
Guided Independent Study 204 Private Study

 

ASSESSMENT
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT - for feedback and development purposes; does not count towards module grade
Form of Assessment Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Practical Exercises for Each Topic 1-2 hour 1-7 Whole Class
Field Course Evening Discussion 1-2 hour 1-13 Whole Class
       

 

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (% of credit)
Coursework 50 Written Exams 50 Practical Exams 0
DETAILS OF SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
Form of Assessment % of Credit Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method

Report

20 10 pages 1-13 Written

Lab Book

15 6 pages 5, 10, 11 Written
Practical Examination 15 1.5 hours 1, 6-7 Written
Examination Term 1 25 1 hour 1-13 Feedback via Tutor
Examination Term 2 25 1 hour 1-13 Feedback via Tutor

 

DETAILS OF RE-ASSESSMENT (where required by referral or deferral)
Original Form of Assessment Form of Re-assessment ILOs Re-assessed Time Scale for Re-reassessment
Summative Assessment Assessment As Above August Ref/Def period
Examination Examination As Above August Ref/Def period

 

RE-ASSESSMENT NOTES

As above, 1 to 3 pieces of Coursework (up to 50%), and/or 1 to 2 Exams (25% each).

RESOURCES
INDICATIVE LEARNING RESOURCES - The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of
information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener

Basic reading:

ELE – http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/

Other resources:

Gradstein, F. M. et al. 2012, The Geologic Time Scale, 2012, Elsevier

Weedon, G.P., Time-Series Analysis and Cyclostratigraphy: Examining Stratigraphic Records of Environmental Cycles, Cambridge University Press

Rider, M.H., Kennedy, M. 2011, The Geological Interpretation of Well Logs, Rider-French Consulting Limited

Leeder, M.R., 2011, Sedimentology and Sedimentary Basins, Wiley-Blackwell

Nichols, G., 2009. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Wiley-Blackwell

Tucker, M.E., 2001, Sedimentary Petrology, 3rd Edition, Wiley-Blackwell

Reading list for this module:

Type Author Title Edition Publisher Year ISBN Search
Set Bridge, J.S. & Demicco, R.V. Earth Surface Processes, Landforms and Sediment Deposits, Electronic Cambridge 2010 [Library]
Set Adams, A.E., Mackenzie, W.S. and Guildford, C. Atlas of Sedimentary Rocks Under the Microscope Longman 1984 [Library]
Set Nichols, G. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy Blackwell 2009 [Library]
Set Tucker, M.E Sedimentary Petrology 2nd Blackwell 1991 [Library]
Set Tucker, M.E. Sedimentary Rocks in the Field Wiley-Blackwell 2011 [Library]
CREDIT VALUE 30 ECTS VALUE 15
PRE-REQUISITE MODULES CSM1030, CSM1035
CO-REQUISITE MODULES
NQF LEVEL (FHEQ) 5 AVAILABLE AS DISTANCE LEARNING No
ORIGIN DATE Thursday 06 July 2017 LAST REVISION DATE Thursday 18 July 2019
KEY WORDS SEARCH Sedimentology; Earth Surface Processes; Environments; Stratigraphy