Postgraduate Course: Geology for Earth Resources (PGGE11173)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||The 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 the fundamentals: the three rock groups, the geological timescale, geological maps, the basic petroleum system as an analogue for CO2 storage and other geoenergy applications. 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 that 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.
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
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. You will match the samples to the descriptions given.
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.
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.
5. Course revision session
Question and answer session on any aspect of the course.
Field Trip date and exact location to be confirmed as the trip is dependent on weather, tides and University arrangements for fieldwork due to Covid-19 situation.
The field trip will either be 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, or an excursion in the local Edinburgh area to examine similar rocks and structures.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
||Block 1 (Sem 1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 24,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||50% Field Report
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 is a key component of your learning experience, and something that 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. 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.
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S1 (December)||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- - A broad, integrated knowledge of the basics of geology associated with petroleum exploration, carbon storage or groundwater provision.
- - A critical understanding of the origin and physical properties of clastic and carbonate sedimentary rocks which form the majority of reservoirs and aquifers
- - Familiarity with common sedimentary rock types and their description.
- - Introductory experience of field 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
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Keywords||petroleum exploration carbon storage CO2 storage
|Course organiser||Dr Stuart Gilfillan
Tel: (0131 6)51 3462
|Course secretary||Ms Kathryn Will
Tel: (0131 6)50 2624