• 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
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

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 students will learn a toolbox of methods that are used in global stratigraphy. These methods include Magnetostratigraphy, Biostratigraphy, Chemostratigraphy, Seismic Stratigraphy, and Cyclotratigraphy. 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:

  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. Demonstrate an understanding of how magnetostratigraphy is used.
  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.
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of both clastic and carbonate petrology.

Other Information

Indicative field trip costs are approximately $200 and are in addition to the standard course costs. Field trips payments are made through Scienceshop

Indicative Assessment

  1. 5 tutorial exercises (15) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  2. Weekly practical assignments (5 petrology practicals, with an assessed petrology quiz) (15) [LO 7]
  3. Theory exam (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  4. Field trip report (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which will consist of 2 x 1 hour lectures plus 1 x 3 hour practical or tutorial per week.
  • A weekend field trip is planned to the South Coast of New South Wales during the first month of the course.
  • Approximately 56 hours of self directed study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have previously completed EMSC2012 or EMSC2023. Incompatible with EMSC6014.

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.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2021 $4110
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5880
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

There are no current offerings for this course.

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions