University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
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 geoenergy applications such as petroleum exploration, carbon storage or geothermal energy provision. The focus is on sedimentary rocks, in which almost all petroleum is located and where most geoenergy applications will occur. We start with fundamentals: the three 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 and could be used for CO2 or energy storage. Finally we will introduce the geophysics of gas detection in the subsurface, and the seismic method which is used to image the subsurface. The course includes a single day field excursion, a report from which contributes to the assessment, with the remainder assessed by examination.
This course is not available for undergraduates

Course description
1. Introduction to geology: Rock types: igneous, sediments, metamorphic
- Sediments: beds, basins, Walther┐s Law
- The basic petroleum system as analogue for subsurface trapping
- The Geological Timescale and the dating of rocks
- Unconformities, 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, seals and others: physical description of seal rocks (porosity, permeability, capillary seals)
- Depositional models
- Petrology and classification
- Evaporates: Depositional models, poro-perm, dissolution, diapirism
- Coals

4. Carbonates: Depositional environments, morphology and reservoir quality
- Depositional environments of carbonates
- Causes of heterogeneity
- Control of seawater chemistry and their reactivity

5. Structural Geology and Introduction to Geophysics:
- Plate tectonic models, basins
- Reconnaissance exploration techniques, seismic surveying, magnetic surveying, gravity surveying

Practical exercises are to be completed in students own time following each weeks lecture. These will be reviewed as a group in 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. Shales, Seals and Coals
Examples of these rocks will be provided for you to examine and describe, along with an assessment of their potential as seals.
4. 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 the trip is dependent on weather and tides - we will leave the from the Grant Institute at 9 am on the chosen day.
The field trip is a one day excursion to Berwick-upon-Tweed, where we examine rocks along the coast to observe potential reservoir (sandstone, limestone), seal (shale) and structures (folds, faults) exposures. We will aim to return to the Grant Institute by ~5pm.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  40
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

Exam: Students will answer TWO essay type questions (out of a selection of FOUR) covering the entire range of the course in two hours (Each question will be equally weighted and hence worth 50 % of the final exam mark).

Course work: A short report (3000 words maximum) summarising your observations from the fieldtrip including photographs and sketches with citations to the literature where appropriate. This will comprise 50 % of the course mark.
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.

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. - A broad, integrated knowledge of the basics of geology associated with petroleum exploration, carbon storage or groundwater provision.
  2. - A critical understanding of the origin and physical properties of clastic and carbonate sedimentary rocks which form the majority of reservoirs and aquifers
  3. - Familiarity with common sedimentary rock types and their description.
  4. - Introductory experience of field geology.
Reading List
Basic Geology:
Understanding the Earth: Chapter 15, Sedimentary Basins and Chapter 16, Clastic Sediments
Earth's Dynamic Systems 9th Edition: Chapter 5, Sedimentary Rocks and Chapter 10, Weathering
Sedimentology & Sedimentary Basins, from Turbulence to Tectonics (M. Leeder)
Part 6: Continental sediments and 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

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Keywordspetroleum exploration carbon storage CO2 storage
Course organiserDr Stuart Gilfillan
Tel: (0131 6)51 3462
Course secretaryMs Kathryn Will
Tel: (0131 6)50 2624
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information