The University of Southampton
Courses

SOES2013 Sedimentary Systems and Processes

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

1. To introduce the basic principles of descriptive sedimentology and to illustrate how these are used in the interpretation of sedimentary rocks. 2. To provide an introduction to the physical processes involved in the erosion, transport and deposition of sediments, including the fundamentals of fluid mechanics. 3. To provide a brief review of the full range sedimentary environments, including the processes and sediment facies that characterise each.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the processes by which sediments are eroded, transported and deposited.
  • Be conversant with the chief attributes by which sediments are described and classified.
  • Understand the fundamentals of fluid mechanics relevant to sedimentary processes, and how these interact with sediment to form erosional and depositional features and bedforms.
  • Be aware of the main methods by which sedimentary data is gathered in the field (on land and at sea), and then analysed in the laboratory.
  • Be conversant with the principle environments in which sediments are deposited and be able to identify these in the geological record on the basis of their distinguishing features.
  • Be able to make logical deductions about the origin and depositional environment of a suite of sediments based on their various characteristics.
  • Field recognition of sediments and sedimentary rocks, and the ability to make logical deductions about the origin and depositional environment of a suite of sediments based on their various characteristics.
  • Laboratory investigation of sediment characteristics.
  • Awareness of the main methods by which sedimentary data is gathered in the field (on land and at sea), and subsequently analysed in the laboratory.

Syllabus

The first part of the course considers the fluid dynamics of sedimentary systems. Fluid – sediment interaction, including erosion, deposition and bedform development will be explained. In the second part of the course the full spectrum of sedimentary environments will be discussed – from continental to deep-water – the processes that operate and the facies by which they can be distinguished. This includes alluvial-fluvial systems, beaches and estuaries, tides and waves, deltaic systems and continental shelves, carbonate systems and deep ocean systems. The practical component and field excursion examine modern processes and sediments as well as ancient sedimentary rocks.

Special Features

One day field excursion

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Formal lectures (24 x forty-five minutes): will provide an introduction to sedimentary particles, their origin and properties, and the spectrum of marine environments from continental to deep-water processes. Laboratory Classes: will investigate sediment characteristics and analytical methods. Fieldwork: will develop teamworking and analytical skills by recognition of sediments and sedimentary rocks. A wide range of support is available for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.

TypeHours
Practical classes and workshops33
Fieldwork5
Independent Study88
Lecture24
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Gary Nichols. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Practical examination  (2 hours) 50%
Theory examination  (2 hours) 50%

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: SOES1001 and SOES1008 OR SOES1001 and SOES1002

Pre-requisites

To study this module, you will need to have studied the following module(s):

CodeModule
SOES1001Earth Materials

Co-requisites

To study this module, you will need to also study the following module(s):

CodeModule
SOES1008EARTH & OCEAN SYSTEM
SOES1002Dynamic Earth
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