EARTH312-23B (HAM)

Sedimentary Geology

15 Points

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The University of Waikato
Academic Divisions
Division of Health Engineering Computing & Science
School of Science
Earth Sciences


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What this paper is about

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The ultimate goal of sedimentary geology is to reconstruct the history of the Earth's surface. This paper explores the links
between sedimentary rocks and past environments through two major strands: (1) reconstructing depositional environments and, (2)
understanding the effects of sea level change on sedimentary processes and stratigraphy. A third strand explores the economic
and environmental aspects of sedimentary geology, in particular aspects of hydrogeology, carbon capture and storage, and petroleum
geoscience. The paper includes an integrated lab-field component, with a three day field mapping trip to the North Taranaki region.

This paper involves 3 days of field mapping of sedimentary deposits and students are expected to have suitable footwear and clothing to
cope with a range of conditions, and be prepared to stay overnight. Students will be required to sign an acceptance of the Codes of
Practice for Health and Safety in the Field before embarking on any field trip (see Field Trip Guide).

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How this paper will be taught

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This course will involves two weekly lectures; one weekly laboratory session; and a three-day field mapping trip to Awakino (Taranaki Coast).

The paper is supported by learning resources accessed via Moodle, and a textbook that students are required to have access to in
either print or electronic form.

The Awakino field trip will run from August 29th to 31st 2023 (Tuesday to Thursday). Students will produce geological maps, compile a field note book, and collect data that will contribute to their term report.

Students require stout footwear (boots), a sleeping bag and suitable wet and cold weather gear for the trip. A weatherproof fieldnotebook is required: the Rite in the Rain Geological Field Book (No 540F) is recommended and can be purchased from suppliers suchas Amazon, or Trig Instruments.

Students will be required to make a financial contribution towards the costs of accommodation and food ($25 per night = $50 total) – details around payment will be provided closer to the field trip. Please make payment direct to the University Bank Account according to the EARTH312 Fieldtrip Payments notice to be downloaded from the Moodle page, making special attention to the what you should include in the 'Particulars' and 'Reference' fields.

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Required Readings

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G. Nichols, 2009, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, 2 Edition, Wiley-Blackwell

Additional notes covering lectures, laboratories, and field trips will be available to all enrolled students on the Moodle University Web site.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Explain the sequence stratigraphic framework and be able to use sequence stratigraphic concepts and field data to predict the distribution and characteristics of geobodies
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Interpret seismic data and well logs in terms of geometry and lithology of subsurface bodies
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Make field observations leading to the production of a field map, stratigraphic logs, and a geological report, and interpret these observations in terms of depositional environment and geological history
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Communicate scientific information effectively by means of geological reports and written answers to exam and test questions
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  • Describe the ideal conditions for the accumulation of economic energy resources (petroleum and coal), or for the storage of carbon dioxide in aquifers, and link these conditions to particular sedimentary processes and environments
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Explain the links between the characteristics of sedimentary rocks, Earth surface processes, and depositional environments
    Linked to the following assessments:
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How you will be assessed

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Students must download further information and supporting documents from Moodle.

Internally assessed work consists of laboratory-based exercises (seismic interpretation, wireline log interpretation, sedimentary petrography) as well as an integrated laboratory-field based report. Theoretical aspects of the paper will be assessed in the final exam.

The laboratory-based exercises will be provided to students in class and posted on Moodle. Students will work on these in allocated laboratory time but will require further work outside of class time to complete successfully. The laboratory-field report will be worked on in laboratory time but will also require additional work outside of class time.

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 60:40. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 40% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 60:40 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 40% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Taranaki shelf seismic and wireline mapping assignment
25 Aug 2023
4:30 PM
  • Hand-in: Assignment Box
2. Field trip notebook and map
31 Aug 2023
6:00 PM
  • Other: To staff at the end of the field trip
3. Awakino petrography exercise
6 Oct 2023
4:30 PM
  • Hand-in: Assignment Box
4. North Taranaki integrated report
13 Oct 2023
4:30 PM
  • Hand-in: Assignment Box
5. Exam
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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