Module GL3326: Sedimentology
Theory examination (30%); practical examination (20%); in-course assessment (50%)
GL2205 and GL2206
Contact hours & timing:
|Weeks 6-10 & 12-16, seven hours per week|
Module Learning Aims
The module introduces how sediment is produced and transported at the Earth's surface, and the processes that lead to sediment becoming rock. We will investigate the different siliciclastic and carbonate depositional environments, and relate the information preserved in these sedimentary rocks to physical, chemical and biological processes that occurred during their formation.
Sedimentary materials account for most of the Earth's crust, and much of our understanding of Earth history comes from their examination. This course provides an introduction to sedimentary processes and deposits that shape Earth's surface, including their description, formation and interpretation. In particular, the generation, transport, and preservation of sediment are studied as diagnostic tools to link surface processes with the geological records of Earth history and modern environmental change. The origin of a wide range of sedimentary rocks is investigated in theory and in the laboratory using field observations, stratigraphic sections, hand samples, and thin sections to decipher depositional environments and propose stratigraphic models.
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
- classify siliciclastic and carbonate sedimentary rocks;
- provide technical descriptions of common sedimentary rock types and textures from hand samples and thin sections;
- provide basic interpretations of depositional environments from outcrop observations, stratigraphic logs and petrological evidence;
- outline appropriate strategies for field and laboratory investigation of sedimentary rocks.