Depositional Processes and Environments

Module code: GL2105

In this module, you'll develop upon the knowledge of sedimentary rocks that you gained in your first year. In lectures, practicals and fieldwork, you'll explore the different environments in which sedimentary strata are formed. 

These environments range from those on land, including deserts, rivers and deltas, to shallow marine environments where tidal and wave forces dominate, including carbonate platforms and coral reefs, to the deep sea, from enormous turbidite fans to abyssal oozes.

The module includes project work, and leads in the third and fourth years to a deeper study of sedimentary processes, and also to a diversity of related topics such as geological resources, urban geology and ancient climate. 

Topics covered

  • The study of different depositional environments, and the key depositional processes that operate in those environments
  • The analysis of how environments may evolve through time to give rise to resulting successions of strata of particular characters
  • The interpretation of different depositional environments by combining observations from a range of sedimentary data including mineral composition, textures and sedimentary structures (in rock specimens, microscope samples and field images), graphic sedimentary logs, palaeoflow measurements and fossils
  • The integration of knowledge of processes and depositional environments to order and interpret stratal successions, both ancient and modern.

Learning

  • 10 hours of lectures
  • 34 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 2 hours of project supervision
  • 2 hours of demonstration
  • 102 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Exam, 2 hours (80%)
  • Group practical (20%)