Interpreting Geological Maps and Stratigraphy

Module code: GL2104

How are strata classified? What are the pros and cons of different stratigraphic methods? How can geological history be reconstructed? 

In this module, you’ll learn how to read the rock record as represented by rocks, stratigraphic columns and maps. In a series of hands-on practical classes and problem solving, training is provided using published geological maps to infer geological histories involving basin subsidence, orogenic deformation, intrusion, and exhumation. This module will help you to develop skills essential for any geoscience career.

Topics covered

  • Understanding geological maps,
  • Construction of geological cross-sections
  • Interpreting unconformities and lateral variations
  • Cross-cutting relations
  • Deducing geological histories.
  • Stratigraphic methods and correlation.


  • 9 hours of lectures
  • 45 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 96 hours of guided independent study


  • Exam, 1½ hours (50%)
  • Coursework (50%)