Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 30 Hours. Up to 10 x 3 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written examination, with the title of the essay on the ODP component, worth 33%, announced in advance.  100%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   100%

Learning Outcomes

On succesful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of :-

  • methods by which the sea floor is investigated
  • the types of sediment which occur from a delta to the deep ocean floor
  • the processes which control ocean sedimentation
  • the operation of the ODP
  • the relationships between tectonics and the ocean basins
  • the types of minerals and other resources of the ocean


The scope and range of Oceanography. The variety of methods and techniques used in the investigation of the marine geological environment. The processes and products of marine sedimentation from continental shelves to the deep oceans including biological and bacterial influences.


An introduction to Oceanography. The methods and techniques used in marine geological investigations and the processes and products of marine sedimentation.

Topics to be addressed:

_An introduction to Oceanography
Overview of oceanography. Open University Video

_Techniques in Marine Geology
Marine Navigation; GPS. Research Vessels
Seabed and subseabed sampling; dredge and core sampling; divers; ROVs; submersibles; boreholes.
Satellite bathymetry. Single beam echo sounding. Swath bathymetry
Side Scan Sonar; basic physics of method; distortions; shelf surveying; GLORIA and TOBI surveying of the deep ocean.
Seismic reflection; basic physics of methods; analogue single channel reflection profiles; multi-channel digital reflection profiles.

_The Ocean Drilling Programme (ODP)
Marine and laboratory techniques; evolution and range of the project; case studies on convergent plate margins.

_Continental Shelves, Ocean basins, Tectonics and Sedimentation
Plate tectonics and the oceans; climate, waves, tides and ocean currents. Shallow marine siliciclastic sedimentation. Shallow marine carbonate sedimtation. Deep water sedimentation, turbidites and oozes.

Video linked into separate lecture courses above.
Waves Open University Video
Currents Open University Video
Oceans and Climate Open University Video
Global Sea Level Open University Video
The Ocean Floor Open University Video
Rockall Open University Video
Jamaica and the Sea Open University Video
Polar Science Open University and other videos
Marine Minerals Other videos
Deep Marine Life Other videos

Reading List

Recommended Text
Kershaw, S. (2000) Oceanography: An Earth Science Perspective Stanley Thornes Publishing Primo search
Supplementary Text
The Ocean Basins: Their Structure and Evolution. Open University. Primo search (1991) Waves, Tides and Shallow Water processes. Open University. Primo search

Summerhayes, G.P. and Thorpe, S.A. (eds) (1996) Oceanography : An illustrated guide. Manson Publishing. Primo search
Consult For Futher Information
Future ocean drilling plans are outlined at:- Latest information on the ODP is at:- Logging aspects are covered at:- Proposed European contribution to ocean drilling is summarised at:-


This module is at CQFW Level 5