GE436 Sedimentology

Course description for academic year 2021/2022

Contents and structure

The course gives an introduction to sedimentology and to a selection of sedimentological methods. After a short introduction, students learn about the composition and formation of the main types of sedimentary rocks and learn to describe, classify and analyze sedimentary deposits and rocks. Transport processes, deposition of sediment and resulting sedimentary structures will be emphasized. Diagenetic processes and especially prerequisites for the formation of petroleum-bearing rocks will be reviewed. Students actively contribute with the presentation of parts of a scientific article in sequence stratigraphy and presentation of one of the field sites. In the field, students learn to describe the geological record and recognize aeolian, fluvial, limnic and shallow and deep marine environments guided by theoretical knowledge acquired beforehand. Facies analysis, drawing of sedimentary log, sketch and geoscientific report writing are skills that will be emphasized and tested through the final assessment.

Learning Outcome

Students should be able to:

  • define sedimentology, explain why it is studied and apply classification forms for sediments and sedimentary rocks
  • describe and analyze texture (incl. grain size) for the terrigenous clastic sediments and sedimentary rocks
  • determine and explain the origin and composition of volcanic clastic sediments, limestones and evaporites

Students should:

  • recognize and name different sedimentary structures and be able to relate sedimentary structures and texture to the underlying deposition process
  • recognize and name different deformation structures
  • have an overview of the diagenetic processes that lead to sediments becoming sedimentary rocks and to organic-rich deposits being converted to hydrocarbons

Students should have knowledge of:

  • the geological processes during weathering and transport of sediments
  • basic stratigraphic principles and dating techniques
  • current processes and morphology of various continental and marine depositional environments
  • different types of printed and digital sources and key Norwegian scientific databases

Students should be able to:

  • use the most common methods for sediment analysis in the laboratory
  • describe and classify sediments and sedimentary rocks
  • apply the lithostratigraphic framework and geological time units
  • summarize observations made in the field using field images, sedimentary log and sketch in a written field report
  • devide into facies, units and interpret depositional processes based on the composition and sedimentary structures in sedimentary rocks or deposits
  • relate the sedimentary record to sea level changes, tectonics and sediment supply
  • search and find relevant scientific literature in key Norwegian databases

  • Students should be able to describe and analyze sediment and sedimentary rocks with emphasis on interpretation of deposition processes, paleo environment and sequence stratigraphy

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge

GE-406 Introduction to Geology

GE-408 Mineralogy and Petrography

Teaching methods

  • Asynchronous digital teaching through slides, videos and multiple choice tests
  • Field and lab exercises with written assignment for 3 of those
  • Seminar with oral presentations and student peer review
  • 5 days of field practice with oral student presentations, writing of field diary and supervision

Compulsory learning activities

  • Approved written assignments from field and lab exercise (3/6)
  • Participation, presentation and student peer review during seminar
  • Approved multiple choice tests (8/8)
  • Participation in field practice (5 days) and writing of field diary
  • Preparation and presentation of one field location


Assignment (Individual reports). Grading A-F.

Examination support material

All support material allowed.

More about examination support material