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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE2062 Sedimentary Processes

10 creditsClass Size: 110

Module manager: Prof Jeff Peakall

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

Any of SOEE1570, SOEE1580, equivalent level 1 module, A level Geology or A level equivalent.


SOEE1570Geology 1
SOEE1580Geology 2

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Sedimentary rocks cover approximately 75% of the Earth's surface. Their mere abundance alone would be a compelling reason for their study, however, they are also unique in the information that they provide. Sediments provide a record of past environments, climate change, and catastrophes. They also contain almost all of the world's hydrocarbons (oil, gas and coal), along with much of its mineral wealth. Sediments and sedimentary processes are also critical in shaping the Earth around us, from river channel dynamics, to coastal erosion, carbonate platform development, and pyroclastic flows. This course provides a broad introduction to sedimentary processes and their deposits; and as such is a key module for any student with an interest in Earth processes. The course fits particularly well with other modules in Environmental sciences including Physical Geography. Pre-requisites for the course are any of SOEE1570 and SOEE1580, or equivalent level 1 module, or A-level Geology. Topics covered include: sediment erosion and transport, bedform dynamics, the deposits of rivers, deltas, deep-sea sediments, the formation of carbonates, and the development of modern carbonate platforms (e.g., Bahamas). This module is taught in semester 1 and is assessed by an examination.


On completion of this module, students should be able to provide a detailed understanding of the physical processes of sedimentation and the nature of sedimentary facies in both clastic and carbonate sedimentary environments.


Physical processes of sedimentation: Basics of flow and sediment transport; bedforms generated in unidirectional, oscillatory and multidirectional flows; soft sediment deformation and erosional sedimentary structures. Depositional environments and facies analysis. Principles of facies analysis; alluvial, deltaic and deep-sea clastic sedimentary environments and products; carbonate reefs and mounds; shallow platform carbonates; peritidal carbonates. Carbonate grains.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Drop-in Session101.0010.00
Private study hours62.00
Total Contact hours38.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

33 hours: 2.5 hours reading per lecture;
12 hours: project;
25 hours: revision

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The laboratory sessions allow student progress to be monitored. The answers to individual practicals are given the following week to allow students to further self-assess their progress.

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Open Book exam48 hr 100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 10/08/2020 08:46:33


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