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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Geology for Earth Resources (PGGE11173)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course provides an overview of the basics of geology associated with petroleum exploration, carbon storage or groundwater. The focus is on sedimentary rocks, in which almost all petroleum is located, and in which almost all CO2 storage will occur. We start with fundamentals: the 3 rock groups, the geological timescale, geological maps, the basic petroleum system as an analogue for CO2 storage. We then focus on the origin and physical properties of clastic and carbonate sedimentary rocks which form the majority of reservoirs and aquifers. We further examine how Earth movements make the traps that hold petroleum / CO2. Finally we will introduce the geophysics of CO2 detection in the subsurface, and to the seismic method which is used to image the subsurface. The course includes a single day field excursion, a report of from which will contribute to the assessment with the remainder by examination.
Course description Lectures
1. Introduction to Geology: Rock types: Igneous, sediments, metamorphic
- Sediments: beds, basins, Walther's Law
- Basic petroleum system as analogue for trapping
- The Geological Timescale, dating of rocks
- Unconformities and sequence stratigraphy and Geological Maps
2. Geology of Sandstones: Origin (weathering and erosion, provenance)
- Depositional models, reservoir heterogeneity
- Physical description (porosity, packing, permeability, bedding)
- Porosity decline with depth;
- Petrology and classification;
- Diagenesis and secondary porosity
3. Shales and others: physical description (porosity, permeability, capillary seals)
- Depositional models
- Petrology and classification
- Evaporites: Depositional models, poro-perm, dissolution, diapirism
- Coals
4. Carbonates: Depostional environments, morphology and reservoir quality
5. Structural Geology and Introduction to Geophysics:
- Plate tectonic models, basins
- Reconnaissance exploration techniques, seismic surveying, magnetic surveying, gravity surveying

Practicals - to be completed in students own time and reviewed the following week.
1. Basic Rock types
6 geological samples will be provided for you to examine. Match the samples to the descriptions given
2. Sandstones
You will describe sandstone samples and then assess their potential as reservoir rocks
3. Carbonates
6 geological samples will be provided for you to examine. You will match the samples to the short descriptions given and write your own more detailed description

Field Trip - Date to be confirmed as trip is dependent on weather and tides - we will leave the from the Grant Insitute at 9am on the day.
One day trip to Berwick-upon-Tweed to examine rocks along the coast to observe potential reservoir (sandstone, limestone), seal (shale) and structure (folds, faults) exposures. We will aim to return to the Grant Institute by c. 5pm.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  20
Course Start Block 1 (Sem 1)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 24, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 74 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 50% Field Report
50% Exam
Feedback Feedback is a key component of your learning experience, and something which is given a high priority in the Geology for Earth Resources course. Students will have the opportunity to receive feedback in the following instances:

- Personal 1-to-1 feedback during the practical sessions, as students progress on the exercises during the course (once a week). Feedback will be provided by teaching staff.
- Personal 1-to-1 feedback during the one day field trip to Berwick upon Tweed. Feedback will be provided by teaching staff.
- Individual feedback will be provided on each students report summarising the major geological events shown by the rocks observed on the fieldtrip. This will include recommendations as to how you can improve your grades.
Students are expected to build on this feedback to progress and produce work of good standard. Course team members are happy to give individual feedback to students who ask.
Examples of feedback can be found here:
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have a broad and integrated knowledge of the basics of geology associated with petroleum exploration, carbon storage or groundwater
  2. Understand the origin and physical properties of clastic and carbonate sedimentary rocks which form the majority of reservoirs and aquifers
  3. Understand and be familiar with the common sedimentary rock types and their description
  4. Apply their introductory experience of field geology
Reading List
Basic Geology:

Understanding the Earth:
Chapter 15, Sedimentary Basins
Chapter 16, Clastic Sediments

Earth's Dynamic Systems 9th Edition:
Chapter 5, Sedimentary Rocks
Chapter 10, Weathering

Sedimentology & Sedimentary Basins, from Turbulence to Tectonics (M. Leeder)
Part 6: Continental sediments
Part 7: Marine sediments

Elements of Petroleum Geology, Selley, R.C., 2nd Edition, 1998, Chapter 6: The Reservoir.


Geological field Techniques by Angela Coe (the sedimentary section only).

Sedimentary Rocks in the Field (Geological Field Guide) by Maurice E. Tucker,

The Field Description of Sedimentary Rocks (Geological Society of London Handbook Series) by Maurice E. Tucker (same book but older?)

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Lectures: Thursdays, Week 1-5, 10am-12pm, Crew Annexe Teaching Lab 3
Practical class: Thursdays, Week 1-5, 10am-12pm, Crew Annexe Teaching Lab 3
Keywordspetroleum exploration carbon storage CO2 storage
Course organiserDr Stuart Gilfillan
Tel: (0131 6)50 7010
Course secretaryMiss Susie Crocker
Tel: (0131 6)51 7126
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