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Geology 320

GEOL 320

SEDIMENTARY PETROLOGY AND STRATIGRAPHY

Catalog Entry
GEOL 320. Sedimentary Petrology and Stratigraphy
Three hours lecture; three hours laboratory (4).
Prerequisite: GEOL 310.

Introduction to origin, composition, texture, classification, transportation and deposition of sediments and interpretation of sedimentary deposits. Laboratory emphasis on collecting and analyzing sediments and sedimentary rocks, including hand samples and thin-sections.

 

Detailed Description of Content of Course
The major topics covered in this course include sedimentary petrology and stratigraphy. These two subjects are so interrelated that they are traditionally taught together as one course.

Sedimentary Petrology details the study of siliciclastic and nonsiliciclastic sediments through their description, classification, and interpretation. Sediments are described in terms of texture, composition, and structures. They are then classified using a variety of the most accepted classification schemes. Interpretation is a broad subject that begins with studies of modern sedimentary processes and uses them to interpret ancient sedimentary rocks. This includes the environments in which sediments formed and in which they were deposited and lithified. The concept of facies and depositional environments is strongly emphasized.
Stratigraphy is the study of rock layers. Overlapping with sedimentary petrology, it deals with the description and classification of rocks, but its major concern is with their temporal (vertical) and spatial (horizontal or lateral) distributions and relationships. This is achieved by examining geologic time, the naming of rock strata, the correlation of rock strata, and the techniques (generally graphic) for presenting the data. Emphasis is placed on current views of cyclic sedimentation and the relationship between tectonics and sedimentation.

 

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course
The course includes three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory a week. Lecture presents the basic information of sedimentary petrology and stratigraphy. The student is asked to read related journal articles as a supplement to lecture. Laboratory includes collection and analysis of sediments and sedimentary rocks, including work with thin-sections; working with measured sections, correlation, and subsurface stratigraphic interpretations.

 

Goals and Objectives of Course
1. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the basic principles, processes, and facts of sedimentary petrology and stratigraphy.
2. Students will be able to describe the textures, compositions, and sedimentary structures of sediments and sedimentary rocks, in hand specimen and thin section, and use them to classify sediments and sedimentary rocks.
3. Students will demonstrate their ability to interpret ancient sedimentary rocks as facies and to recognize their depositional environments through studies of modern sedimentary processes and depositional environments.
4. Students will apply techniques for presenting stratigraphic data.
5. Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills that can be used for further study in advanced courses, graduate school, and in industry.

 

Assessment Measures
Assessment is based on a number of lecture exams and laboratory exercises. Lecture exams will assess the student's knowledge of the basic principles, processes, and facts of sedimentary petrology and stratigraphy. Lecture exams and laboratory exercises will assess the student's skill in recognizing textures, compositions, and sedimentary structures of sediments and sedimentary rocks and how to use them to classify sediments and sedimentary rocks.  

 

Other Course Information

Approval and Subsequent Reviews

March, 2010