Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Sedimentary Environments
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Practical 1 x 2 Hour Practical
Field Trip 1 x 4 Hour Field Trip
Lecture 8 x 2 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   'Open Book' unseen exam  50%
Semester Assessment Fieldwork report  1500 words  50%
Supplementary Exam 1.5 Hours   'Open Book' unseen exam  50%
Supplementary Assessment Fieldwork report  1500 words  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. outline the fundamental controls on sedimentary processes (erosion, transport, deposition);
2. apply terminology, concepts and methods of sediment observation, description, classification and interpretation in both laboratory and field settings;
3. assess and interpret the main changes to sedimentary environments in field settings, or from published accounts of modern or ancient sediments;
4. evaluate the relative importance of natural factors (e.g. climate, tectonics, sea level) and human activities in influencing sedimentary environments.

Brief description

The module will examine sedimentary environments worldwide, and will include overviews of: (i) weathering/denudation, sediment delivery and sediment deposition in different settings globally; (ii) the processes of sediment transport and deposition that lead to generation of sedimentary structures and successions in specific (mainly terrestrial) sedimentary environments; (iii) laboratory and field techniques for the analysis and interpretation of sediments and sedimentary successions; (iv) the main natural and human controls leading to temporal and spatial changes in sedimentary environments. Laboratory and fieldwork exercises will provide opportunities to apply the concepts and techniques introduced in lectures to the analysis of 'real world' sediments and sedimentary environments.


1. Introduction to the module: context, concepts & techniques
2. Weathering, sediment delivery, & sedimentation concepts
3. Fluvial sedimentary environments
4. Glacial sedimentary environments
5. Glaciotectonic, paraglacial & periglacial sedimentary environments
6. Coastal & aeolian sedimentary environments
7. Volcanic sedimentary environments
8. New sedimentary environments: the Anthropocene & extraterrestrial

In addition, there will be laboratory sessions with self-directed learning exercises and a half-day local field trip.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Relatively simple equations will be presented during some lectures and students will be expected to apply these. Students will be expected to use descriptive statistical measures in their analyses of sediments (e.g. mean, median, mode etc).
Communication Students will be expected to read academic literature and to communicate their knowledge in laboratory and fieldwork reports and exam answers using appropriate written scientific language. Oral communication skills will be develop through team work (see below).
Improving own Learning and Performance Self-directed laboratory exercises will provide opportunities for improved performance at an early stage in the module. Students will be encouraged to improve background knowledge through independent reading from reading lists. Students will be encouraged to be aware of their own learning styles, personal preferences and needs, and barriers to learning.
Information Technology Students will need to be familiar with basic word processing software, and will be expected to research and present data and information using IT sources.
Personal Development and Career planning Sediment description and analysis is a fundamental skill for physical geographers, earth and environmental scientists, and is commonly used in many environmental consultancy professions. The ability to communicate using appropriate scientific language is also a generic skill applicable to academic and consultancy settings.
Problem solving Students will be presented with problems relating to the nature and origin of sediments during lecture-based, laboratory and fieldwork exercises. Students will be expected to explore potential solutions to these problems based on material introduced through lectures, laboratory/field classes and independent reading
Research skills Students will develop expertise in a range of research methods, including planning and conducting research, and producing academic reports. These skills will be practiced and developed through laboratory and fieldwork exercises. Students will be expected to use journal/web-based sources appropriately and effectively.
Subject Specific Skills Application of specialised terminology, concepts and methods relevant to sedimentary environments.
Team work Some team work in small groups will form part of the laboratory and field exercises. Students will be expected play an active part in group activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 5