The University of Southampton
Courses

SOES3005 Sediments: Modern and Ancient

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

1. To provide a detailed analysis of selected modern sedimentary systems and their recognition in the ancient rock record. 2. To consider systematically all aspects of selected sedimentary systems and to critically evaluate the interpretative models currently in use. 3. To introduce students to active research questions and areas of scientific controversy in modern sedimentology. 4. In all of the above, to give particular attention to research areas of particular strength at NOCS.

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • undertaking field investigations
  • communicating appropriately to a variety of audiences in written, verbal and graphical forms.
  • appreciating issues of sample selection accuracy, precision and uncertainty during collection, recording & analysis of data in the field and lab.
  • preparing, processing, interpreting & presenting data,
  • self-development/professional development.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Collecting & integrating several lines of evidence to formulate and test hypotheses.
  • Recognising & using subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts & principles.
Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Have developed a comprehensive understanding of the processes that control sedimentary systems and learnt how to interpret their ancient analogues in the geological record.
  • Be conversant with the comprehensive models that have been developed for sedimentary systems and have an in-depth knowledge of those selected for advanced study.
  • Have built up an extensive knowledge of case study examples from around the world based on reading and field experience which will serve as a means for you to critically evaluate published models.
  • Be confident in the interpretation of sedimentary rocks but realistic as to the limits of your analysis.
  • Understand the main controls that influence the accumulation of sediment in any particular environment, know how these controls interact and be familiar with their effects (i.e. sea level, tectonics, sediment supply, climate and ‘autocyclic’ controls).
  • Be able to find your way through the modern literature jungle in the field of sedimentary geology.

Syllabus

The module is divided into three components: 1. non-marine sediments 2. marine clastic sediments and 3. marine carbonate sediments. Emphasis is placed on practicals that are designed to develop student skills of interpretation of sedimentary rocks in hand-specimen, thin section, drill-core and in the field. Students will become conversant with the comprehensive models that have been developed for continental, and both shallow and deep marine sedimentary systems and have an in-depth knowledge of those selected for advanced study.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Formal Lectures (20 x 45 minute lectures): will consider the theory underlying modern sedimentary systems and critically evaluate the interpretative models currently in use. Where relevant, lecturers’ own research experience in the appropriate fields is brought into the lecturing sessions. Laboratory classes: will exemplify the theory and develop your practical skills of interpretation of sedimentary rocks in hand-specimen, thin-section, drill-core. Field practical: A one day fieldcourse you will further develop your investigative and interpretative field skills. A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.

TypeHours
Lecture22
Fieldwork4
Practical classes and workshops33
Independent Study91
Total study time150

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Theory examination (60%): A two and a half hour written examination comprising three sections. A total of 3 questions to be answered, with one from each section. All are traditional 'essay style' and some are separated into multiple parts. The division of marks for subsections of questions is given as a guide to you on the length of your answers. Tests Learning Outcomes 1-7. Practical examination (40%): For the first 10 weeks, lectures will be accompanied by a non-assessed practical. NB. One of these (TBA, tide dependent) is an all day field course to Portishead. Model answers for each practical will be available at the following practical. You are STRONGLY advised to attend every practical because in the practical slot for week 11 your laboratory skills will be tested in the form of a 3 hour PRACTICAL EXAM. Tests Learning Outcomes 1-7.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Practical examination 40%
Theory examination  (2.5 hours) 60%
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