EAE2522 - Sediments and basins - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Jeffrey D. Stilwell


Associate Professor Jeffrey D. Stilwell

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


One of EAE1011, EAE1022, ESC1011, ESC1022 or ENG1002




Geologists study our Earth by digging through millions (and even billions) of years into the 'deep time' past. Older interpretations have been integrated with bold, new insights into a grand scenario of a dynamic planet 'on the move'. Continents break apart and reassemble; ocean floors open up and deepen into grand basins; volcanoes blow their tops; and even huge mountains systems rise up from originally quiet seas, a seemingly perpetual pageant of dynamic geologic processes. By studying and surveying global basins and their diverse infill of sediments and associated fossils, we can piece together the grand geologic puzzle through the ages. Fossil remains assist greatly in reconstructing ancient global continental connections, environments and climate, punctuated by global catastrophes to arrive at a picture of the evolution of life through time. This 'big picture science' is accomplished by diverse disciplines, including tectonics, sedimentology, stratigraphy, paleontology, geophysics, and field work, the latter of which is a significant skills set for the geologist. Ultimately, we endeavour to reconstruct our great earth jigsaw through the ages and in the modern age use the rock record of basins for global energy needs (i.e., water, oil, gas, and coal). In doing so, we enrich humanity by peering into unfamiliar and previously unknown ancient environments around the globe and by supplying important resources.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Appreciate global tectonic settings in the formation of basins and demonstrate a broad, integrated overview of crustal processes on planet Earth, including volcanologic impacts;
  2. Comprehend and assess stratigraphic principles and the diverse sedimentologic, terrestrial and marine archive and how geologists date rocks in basins;
  3. Understand basin evolution from tectonic processes as evidenced by geophysical techniques and evaluate/interpret the volcanological, sedimentological and palaeontological record of basins;
  4. Apply geological principles to basins for the purposes of assessing the prospectivity of crucial resources, including water, oil, gas, and coal by using real life, industry problems and solutions;
  5. Reconstruct past Earth environments using the rock and fossil record and be able to apply this knowledge during on-site field trip(s).


Assessed practical work: 45%

Examination (2 hours): 40%

Field trip: 15%

Workload requirements

  • Three hours of lecture per week
  • One 3-hour practical per week
  • One 1-day field trip

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study