Environmental and Sedimentary Geology (GEOS3103)


Sediments and sedimentary rocks cover most of the Earth's surface, record much of the Earth's geological and climatic history and host important resources such as petroleum, coal, water and mineral ores. The aim of this unit is to provide students with the skills required to examine, describe and interpret sediments and sedimentary rocks for a variety of different purposes. Specific foci of the unit will be the identification of the recent or ancient environment in which sedimentary materials were deposited, the environmental controls which produce sedimentary structures, and the processes that control the production, movement and storage of sediment bodies. On completion of this unit students will be familiar with the natural processes that produce and modify sediments across a range of environments at the Earth's surface, including fluvial, aeolian, lacustrine, marginal marine and deep marine environments. The various controls on the sedimentary record such as climate and sea-level change, as well as diagenesis and geochemical cycles will also be discussed. Practical exercises will require students to examine global datasets, and determine the properties and significance of sediments and sedimentary rocks. The course is relevant to students interested in petroleum or mineral exploration, environmental and engineering geology as well as marine geoscience.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Two 1 hour lectures and one 3 hour tutorial/practical class per week


One 2 hour exam, practical reports and quizes (100%)


Course notes will be available from the Copy Centre and an appropriate set of reference texts will be placed on special reserve in the library.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


((GEOS2124 or GEOS2924) and (GEOS2111 or GEOS2911 or GEOS2114 or GEOS2914 or GEOS2113 or GEOS2913)), or ((GEOS1003 or GEOS1903) and 24 credit points of Intermediate Science units of study)

Assumed knowledge

(GEOS1003 or GEOS1903) and GEOS2124



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.