ERTH322-17B (HAM)

Sedimentary and Petroleum Geology

20 Points

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Faculty of Science and Engineering
Te Mātauranga Pūtaiao me te Pūkaha
School of Science


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Paper Description

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This 20 point paper covers sedimentary processes, depositional environments, economic geology and sequence stratigraphy. The paper also covers practical aspects of seismic interpretation, field mapping, and integrated interpretation of geological and geophysical datasets for both exploration and environmental reconstruction purposes.

Prerequisite(s): ERTH222 (ERTH221 strongly recommended).

A field camp will be held in the Awakino region. Any student with a medical condition that might have a bearing on attendance at the field camp should discuss it with the paper co‐ordinator by 10th August. The teaching staff must be made aware of any food allergies or other significant health issues by this date. Students require stout footwear (boots), a sleeping bag and suitable wet and cold weather gear.

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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Paper Structure

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This course will involve lectures; laboratory sessions; and a field mapping trip.
Lecture 1: Monday 10:00 am I.1.09 (1st 6 weeks only)
Lecture 2: Monday 10:00 am – 12:00 pm F1.14 (2nd 6 weeks only)
Lecture 3: Tuesday 1:10 pm K.G.06
Lecture 4: Wednesday 2:10 pm K.G.06

During parts of the paper (e.g. seismic sequence analysis) lecture material and practical exercises may be intermingled to facilitate learning.

Laboratory: Wednesday 9:00 am - 12:00 am F2.11

NB: Depending on enrolment numbers, two lab streams may need to be run. If this is the case, the laboratory options will be Wednesday 9.00 am ‐ 11.00 am or Wednesday 11.00 am ‐ 1.00 pm, both in F2.11.

Tutorials: From time to time as advised, held in F2.11.

During the second part of the semester, the Monday lecture is extended from 10:00 am ‐ 12:00 noon, and is used as an additional laboratory session in F1.14 for cartography (Adobe Illustrator).

Students will be required to attend a 3‐day field trip and to complete the related field report.

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 (read Field Safety paragraph).

Awakino field trip: Saturday 19th of August to Monday 21st of August inclusive. Trips depart from Gate 9 at 8 am, and will return by 6 pm on the final day.

Students require stout footwear (boots), a sleeping bag and suitable wet and cold weather gear for the trip. A comprehensive report on the field work and associated petrography of rocks from the mapping area will be completed during the second part of Semester B. Students will be required to make a financial contribution ($25 per day) towards the costs of accommodation and food – details around payment will be provided closer to the field trip.

Attendance on the field trip is required. Completion of the integrated field report is compulsory to satisfy the internal assessment in the paper requirements.

The programme of lectures, practicals and tutorial topics are provided in a timetable available on Moodle and in the printed study guide.

The paper is supported by learning resources accessed via Moodle, and printed lecture resources are available for purchase.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Explain the links between the characteristics of sedimentary rocks, Earth surface processes and depositional environments.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Explain the sequence stratigraphic framework and be able to use sequence stratigraphic concepts and field data to predict the location of particular sediment bodies.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Describe the ideal conditions for the accumulation of economic quantities of petroleum and coal, and link these conditions to particular processes and environments.
    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:
  • Interpret seismic data and well logs in terms of geometry and lithology of subsurface bodies.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Communicate scientific information effectively by means of geological reports and written answers to exam and test questions.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Instructions on requirements of the two assignments and report will be given during the practical sessions. Due dates for assessed work are provided in the programme, available on Moodle and in the course pack.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 3:2. 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 3:2 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 mapping assignment
8 Sep 2017
4:30 PM
2. North Taranaki integrated report
6 Oct 2017
4:30 PM
3. Attendance at labs
4. Exam
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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ERTH322‐15B Study Guide, available from Campus Copy. 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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Recommended Readings

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Recommended texts:

G. Nichols, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

O. Catuneanu, Principles of Sequence Stratigraphy

Other useful textbooks:

D.R. Prothero and F. Schwab, Sedimentary Geology ‐ An Introduction to Sedimentary Rocks and Stratigraphy (Freeman)
S. Boggs, Jr., Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (Merrill)
R.G. Walker and N.P. James, Facies Models ‐ Response to Sea Level Change (Geological Association of Canada)

A. Coe, The Sedimentary Record of Sea-Level Change

See also the reading list associated with some of the lecture notes.

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Online Support

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Online support will be provided via Moodle, which is accessible to all students who are enrolled in the paper. PLEASE NOTE: Moodle will be used for class notices, etc., and it is your responsibility to check the site regularly. Students must ensure that they include their preferred email address in their Moodle settings.
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There are 3 lectures and one 2-3‐hour practical session each week and a field trip. Most students should be able to complete most of the laboratory exercises during class time, although some time outside of programmed sessions will need to be devoted to the completion of assessment. Each student will also complete individually a project report that combines data collected during the field trip and several laboratory classes. The North Taranaki report will need to be written up in the students’ own time. A 300‐level 20 point paper in any of the science subjects offered by the University of Waikato typically involves less than 80 hours of supervised study and it is assumed that up to 120 hours will be spent in private study by an ‘average’ student.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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