Fieldwork

Fieldwork

Fieldwork is an important aspect of studying in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. It provides the opportunity for students to develop field and equipment-based skills and provide context to the theoretical knowledge learnt during lectures. Many students identify fieldwork as being the more enjoyable and rewarding part of their degree - and with trips ranging from the South Coast of NSW to Western NSW, and even across the ocean to New Zealand, we can definitely see why!

GEOS206 - Marine Depositional Environments

The GEOS206 (Marine Depositional Environments) field trip visits modern delta, beach and lagoonal environments along the South Coast of NSW. We compare the distributions of the sediments in these modern environments with Permian sedimentary rocks exposed between Kiama and Batemans Bay to build the skills necessary to understand geological processes in modern and ancient marine environments. We examine evidence for past marine depositional environments, including sediment transport, sedimentary textures and structures, and even glaciogenic sedimentary features. We also examine igneous rocks, including dykes that penetrate the sedimentary succession, and basalt lava flows. On the fieldtrip the students work in small groups led by a tutor, and the focus is on directed observations and interpretations. There is an emphasis on recording information in field notebooks, the drawing of rocks and sediments in outcrop, the documentation of stratigraphic sections, and constructing block diagrams.

GEOS207 - Field and Laboratory Studies in Geoscience

Eurobodalla National Park and Cooma, New South Wales
Field work is the best part of geology and is essential for your training. It tests your motivation and initiative
as well as the knowledge and skills you have learned in lectures and practical classes. The main skills of the
geologist in the field are systematic observation and accurate recording of field data. Though fieldwork is
undertaken for a variety of purposes, and the appropriate techniques may be different, the advice is the
same – collect as much information as you can while you are in the field and record it as clearly and as
neatly as possible. Remember that you may not know, when you are collecting field data, which observations
will be critical to your interpretation or report so collect a lot of data. This field trip is designed to give you
experience in the field examination of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks and geoscience field
techniques, such as mapping (at various scales) and fold analysis.

GEOS272 - Geology of Australia

GEOS272 Narrabeen Field Trip: This three hour practical in the field will familiarise GEOS272 students with the key evidence found in
rocks that indicate past sedimentary environments. We will visit the Narrabeen headland and examine the Narrabeen Group of the Sydney Basin to interpret the paleo-environment that these rocks were deposited in.  We will be also making observations of modern sediments and depositional environments (e.g. velocity of current, etc) at the eastern end of the Narrabeen Lagoon and Lake system. This will allow students to make a comparison of the sediments and sedimentary structures that occur in modern environments with those preserved in rocks that were made 245 million years ago.

GEOS272 Goulburn Field Trip: Most of the state of NSW is underlain by Paleozoic rocks that are known as the Lachlan Orogen. During this field trip students will look at typical lithotectonic units in the Lachlan Orogen, with the aim of developing a dynamic view of the interaction between part of Gondwana and the paleo-Pacific plate in a long-lived convergent margin setting (~540-100 Ma) that is preserved in the rock record of eastern Australia. This trip will focus on the Ordovician to the Carboniferous part of this geological history.

GEOS373 - Active Geosystems

We will journey from Auckland to Queenstown over two weeks, examining key outcrops and large-scale features of the New Zealand landscape. This will enable us to reconstruct the geological evolution of the continent from its position on the margin of Gondwana 500 million years ago, through its split from the supercontinent approximately 100 million year ago, and its own tectonic evolution once established as the smaller landmass ‘Zealandia’. We will see outcrops related to volcanism, tectonism, sedimentary deposition and climate change which vary on both temporal and spatial scales. The philosophy of the trip is centred around understanding the greater relevance of the outcrops studied each day, interpreting the processes which formed the deposits, and putting these into both a local and regional context.

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