• Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Earth and Marine Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Energy Change, Geology, Environmental Science

This course is not offered in 2019

Sedimentary basins are the source of all our fossil fuel resources, paleoclimate records and make our planet distinctive. This course will cover sedimentary basin development and the methods used to correlate sedimentary sections around the world. The architecture of large sedimentary basins (greater than 500 km across) will be investigated, with an emphasis on how and why they form. Correlation of rock units in time and space rely on global stratigraphic methods, with emphasis placed on 'event' stratigraphy such as Oceanic Anoxic Events and warm intervals from the sedimentary record like the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) and other times of 'Extreme' climate that occurred during the past 100 million years. The skills learned in this course provide the building blocks of climate reconstructions.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the skills and knowledge to:
  1. Assess large scale sedimentary basin architecture using seismic stratigraphy, well logs, coring and in some cases outcrops.
  2. Describe depositional history of selected basins using case studies from the literature and my personal research. Demonstrate an understanding of how magnetostratigraphy works.
  3. Evaluate how constructing stratigraphies using stable isotopes of oxygen and carbon is accomplished.
  4. Develop a working knowledge of how paleotemperature and atmospheric CO2 are reconstructed.
  5. Analyse and understand how extreme climate events such as the PETM and OAEs are reconstructed.
  6. Critically analyse how the stratigraphic record can inform us about future climate change and sea level rise, examples from Pliocene stratigraphic study.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:
  • 6 quizzes 30% (LO1-7)
  • Weekly practical assignments (6 assessed, including the field trip; LO1-7) 30%
  • Theory Exam (LO 1-7) 40%

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There will be 24 hours of lectures and 24 hours of practical/workshops in total. One local field trip is planned.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have previously completed EMSC2012 or EMSC2023.

Prescribed Texts

There will be no set text, but a series of journal articles will be included in the course material.

Assumed Knowledge

Basic Geology.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3610 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View

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