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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Helmsdale 3rd Year Field Excursion and Interpretation Exercise (EASC09041)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe exposures of Jurassic rocks along the coastline near Helmsdale, NE scotland, are world-class examples of fault-related clastic sedimentation. A study is made of the structural, sedimentological and stratigraphic relationships exposed. The interpretation exercise focuses on seismic reflection profiles constrained by knowledge of the structures and sedimentary succession at the basin margin near Helmsdale.
Course description - basic field geology;
- petroleum geology (reservoirs and seals);
- sedimentology especially in relation to fault tectonics;
- use of industry-standard seismic interpretation software (PETREL);
- volumetic calculation for oilfield
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Any Third Year Earth Science student would have the experience to take this elective.
Additional Costs The cost of this fieldtrip in 2013/14 was 130.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesEvidence of experience in field or basic geology required to the satisfaction of the Course Organizer.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Use of onshore outcrops to build up an overall picture of a sedimentary basin - how and when rifting initiated, sedimentary facies, susidence history.
  2. Understand the effect of fault segmentation of the Helmsdale Fault on sediment dispersal within the basin.
  3. Understand how geological constraints impact on the seismic interpretation.
  4. Practice and enhance basic field geology skills including field observation; keeping a notebook; synthesis of observations into geological history.
  5. Gain basic familiarity with industry-standard seismic interpretation software (PETREL) including a simple volumetic calculation for an oilfield.
Reading List
There is a guide book to the area (Excursion guide to the geology of East Sutherland and Caithness by Nigel Trewin and Andrew Hurst; either 1st or 2nd edition is fine)

Otherwise, Geological field Techniques by Angela Coe (not in library?) is good (the sedimentary section, not the rest of it).

There are also:

*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?)

The excursion always has students with a wide range of field expertise, we do expect some people without much geology. The books below on general sedimentology would be suitable background reading (these are in library):

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

Finally, there are a number of papers on the area, which are a bit more tricky but might help, the most reelvant is PALEOECOLOGY AND SEDIMENTOLOGY ACROSS A JURASSIC FAULT SCARP, NE SCOTLAND, 1993, WIGNALL, P.B. & PICKERING, K.T., JOURNAL OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY v. 150 p.23-340.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Report writing; working in groups
Additional Class Delivery Information For 2015/16 field excursion runs from Tuesday 8th to Friday 11th September. NOTE this is before the start of Semester 1.

Residential excursion, with 3 nights in the Belgrave Arms Hotel, Helmsdale (Tel. 01431 821 242), bed, breakfast and evening meal. You buy your own lunches.

The weather can be cold and wet, please bring warm and waterproof clothing.

Notebook, hand lens, tape measure etc required.
Course organiserDr Mark Wilkinson
Tel: (0131 6)50 5943
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Thomas
Tel: (0131 6)50 8510
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