Geology & Geophysics
The School of Geosciences was formed in 1998 to encompass study in Geology and Geophysics along with Geography. There is a long tradition of rigorous graduate research at the University of Sydney: research in Geology commenced in 1866. Current research in these areas is now complemented by an active geophysical program.
University of Sydney Advantage
The School of Geosciences is a leader in the development and application of advanced computational solutions for geoscientific research. The School has expertise in a wide range of geoscience disciplines as demonstrated by its industry-recognised Honours program and active partnerships in a diverse range of collaborative organisations. These include the Spatial Science Innovation Unit (SSIU), the University of Sydney Institute of Marine Science (USIMS), the Cooperative Research Centre for Mining Technology and Equipment (CMTE), BlueNet - the Australian Marine Science Data Network, and the Earth Resources Foundation (ERF). The School is also associated with the Shelf Programme, which is a United Nations Environmental Programme partnership of international organisations, established to assist developing states and small island developing states in defining the outer limits of their continental shelf. The School also administers the University of the Sea, a unique ship-based training and research program for students, initiated by the University of Sydney. It brings together students from across the Asia-Pacific region to participate in hands-on marine science instruction.
The School is well equipped for research in most fields of geology and geophysics. These resources will soon be transferred to new custom-built facilities. This building already contains desktop computer laboratories that are interfaced with the University Computer Centre and modern Geographic Information System (GIS) facilities enable the combined computer analysis of satellite imagery, aerial photographs and map data. GIS facilities are based upon fully featured workstations linked with Arc-Info and IDRISI. This is now the basis of the School’s Spatial Science Innovation Unit (SSIU).
The techniques applied to research in geology and geophysics are diverse and range from those of the traditionally central earth sciences of mineralogy, petrology and palaeontology, through fundamental and applied geophysics to coastal studies and sea-borne marine geology studies of the continental margin. Facilities include sedimentology and environmental geochemistry laboratories, instrumentation for oceanographic shelf and deep-sea work, and a bank of microcomputers integrated with Sun workstations, all linked to the University computer network.
Areas of Research
The School’s areas of research include:
Research encompasses coastal studies, geology and geophysics of the ocean basins, and palaeoceanographic and palaeoclimatic modeling.
Early Earth evolution
Understanding the origin and evolution of early life on Earth, the emergence and dynamic histories of continents, and the links between fluid-rock interactions, tectonics, and igneous rocks.
Environmental geology and geochemistry
Research in this field concentrates on the Sydney region, principally examining marine and estuarine contamination, storm water remediation, river-bank stability and sediment dynamics.
Mineral and petroleum resources
Research includes all aspects of resource exploration, including coal, petroleum, and mineral resources based on petrographic, geochemical, computational and geophysical methods.
Research in geophysics ranges from petroleum exploration geophysics to exploration and global, planetaryscale geophysics based on interactions between the Earth’s mantle, crust, sediments and the oceans, including the modeling of long-term sea level change.
Academic Programs offered
- Graduate Diploma in Science (GradDipSc)
- Master of Science (MSc)
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)