Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Practical 30 Hours. Practicals / Field Days. 10 x 3 hours (3 practicals involving field sampling)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment In-Course Assessment:  10%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Short answer/data response/short essay exam:  90%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Short answer/data response/short essay exam.  90%

Learning Outcomes

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

  • demonstrate knowledge of safe laboratory procedures.
  • produce appropriate sampling and analytical procedures for a variety of sediments.
  • distinguish sediments from a variety of depositional environments.


To furnish students with sampling, interpretational and analytical skills, permitting them to analyse natural materials.


This practical module provides instruction in the laboratory methods of the analysis of natural materials. All stages of sediment analysis are included in this course, from field sampling to sample preparation, analysis and interpretation. Both coarse and fine fraction sediment analysis techniques are utilised to discriminate between the sediments sampled from different environments of deposition. Three practicals, towards the end of the course, are devoted to further sediment sampling and analysis techniques.

The following practical timetable is planned for this module:

  1. Introduction to sediments
  2. Fieldwork: sediment sampling
  3. Fieldwork: sediment sampling
  4. Coarse fraction analysis: dry sieving
  5. Coarse fraction analysis: dry sieving
  6. Fine fraction analysis: hydrometer method/pipette method/sedigraph
  7. Fieldwork: suspended sediment sampling
  8. Physical properties of sediments
  9. Environmental Discrimination
  10. Compilation and analysis of results
In the interests of safety, all students will be required to purchase a laboratory coat for use during the practical classes.

Reading List

Dackombe, R.V. and Gardiner, V. (1983) Geomorphological Field Manual Allen & Unwin Primo search Goudie, A. (1990) Geomorphological Techniques Unwin Hyman Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5