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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE5753M Geodynamics and Basin Evolution

15 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr Richard Collier

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of this module students will have an understanding of the influence of lithospheric and plate scale tectonics on the evolution of sedimentary basins. It will be separated into two parts.

Part 1 – Divergent plate geodynamics will address the current understanding of magma-rich and magma-poor margins, and the processes involved in lithospheric extension. These concepts will be applied to regional seismic data and students will use simple python scripts to conduct basin analysis (e.g., time-to-depth conversion, subsidence analysis, heat flow modeling).
Part 2 – Convergent plate geodynamics will be field-based in the Spanish Pyrenees. We will consider the entire system including: plate reconstructions, compressional tectonics, sediment-structure interaction, fault-controlled basin formation, impact on paleo-climate, understanding of the associated geo-resources.

Learning outcomes
- Understand the differences between magma-rich and magma-poor margins
- Apply appropriate techniques, including seismic interpretation and coding, to analyse margin-scale data, including depth conversion, subsidence and heat flow analysis
- Construct cross-sections from geological maps and be able to apply appropriate structural models to areas of uncertainty
- Use field observations to test, validate and develop hypotheses with respect to cross sections and basin structural evolution
- Consider the application of field observations and field analogues to sub-surface data and resource evaluation


The module comprises two parts:
- The first part will consider lithospheric extension, models of continental extension, influence of stretching factors, and implications on heat flow. This will be applied to a number of active research project from associated teaching staff. .
- The second part considers the influence of lithospheric compression on basin evolution. This will involve an extended fieldtrip to a compressional belt.

Prior to the trip students will generate regional scale cross-sections. These will be tested in the field to consider how small scale deformation is associated with larger scale processes.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours50.00
Total Contact hours100.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

- Writing up field data and preparing material (58 hours)
- Fieldwork is split into 12 days (70 hours) and involves personal, group and class observation, discussion and presentation on the outcrop.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Presentations on extensional regimes will have feedback sessions associated with them.
- Reports and oral presentations and cross-section preparation will be supported with formative feedback, including in the field, to provide guidance and support progress

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentPart 2 - Preliminary interpretation, regional cross-section0.00
PresentationPart 2 - Outcrop-based, lightning talks (team)0.00
AssignmentPart 2 – Annotated sketches, photos, google earth images, throughout fieldwork0.00
PresentationPart 2 – Verbal presentation (group) on key themes from trip15.00
PresentationPart 1 - Verbal presentation (group)0.00
ReportPart 1 - Interpretation Report30.00
FieldworkPart 2 - Field notebooks to be submitted at end of trip15.00
Poster PresentationPart 2 - Individual poster presentation, including cross-section40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)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: 26/05/2022 14:15:16


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