• Class Number 3185
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Gregory Yaxley
    • Prof Andrew Roberts
    • Prof Gregory Yaxley
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

Do you want to learn how to recognise and interpret rocks in the field and laboratory? In this course you will learn about basic geological concepts around the formation, evolution and deformation of rocks and geological structures in the solid earth. The material learned in this course will give you the background needed to tackle the big questions facing our planet in subsequent courses.

It will be divided into three sections; (i) sedimentology (ii) geological structures and (iii) igneous and metamorphic petrology. Part (i) deals with the formation of sedimentary rocks over a variety of depositional environments. Part (ii) is concerned with recognition and interpretation of basic geological structures such as faults and folds. Part (iii) covers the formation of magmas, igneous rocks and rock-forming silicate minerals, and the mineralogy and textures of metamorphic rocks.
This course is co-taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Classify rocks in hand specimen, in the field and in thin sections.
  2. Identify diverse sedimentary depositional environments from sedimentary structures.
  3. Recognise structures produced by simple crustal deformation.
  4. Map and quantitatively describe structures in simply folded and faulted regions in the field.
  5. Identify common rock-forming silicate minerals in thin sections in situ.
  6. Describe and recognise basic silicate mineral structures and formulas.
  7. Explain the pressure and temperature conditions and the geological settings in which these minerals form.
  8. Interpret geological information
  9. Develop communication and teamwork skills while mapping in the field.

Research-Led Teaching

Parts of the assessment items and field-trip reports will require the students to undertake carefully curated literature based research and present the outcomes in reports. The content of the course as presented in lectures, flipped-resources and practical sessions will emphasis the progression from observation and quantitative measurement of geological phenomena, to formation and testing of hypotheses to explain those hypotheses, to modification of hypotheses.

Field Trips

There will be a compulsory short field trip to the Molonglo Gorge on the 2nd of March from 1 pm to 5 pm (so 2 hrs before the official start time of the practical session in week 2).

There will be a compulsory field trip to the Wee Jasper area, west of Canberra from April 4-8, 2022. The focus will be on sedimentology and structural geology.

Students who are studying the course remotely and cannot attend these field trips will be given an alternative learning and assessment item to cover this material.

Please see the trip information page  for more information for the Wee Jasper trip.

Additional Course Costs

Field trip costs will be $350 per student for the Wee Jasper trip.

Required Resources

No additional resources are required.

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Topics: Sedimentary rocks introduction and weathering Sediment transportation, deposition and lithification Depositional environments – rivers Activities: 3 lectures In-class activity on sedimentary environments Assessment Item 1: Assessible practical on sedimentary environments (8%)
2 Topics: Depositional environments – turbidites Depositional environments – deltas Depositional environments – marine Activities: Molonglo Gorge Field Trip Assessment Item 2: Molonglo field trip practical (9%)
3 Topic: Carbonate sedimentology (L) Other depositional environments (L) Stratigraphy and Earth history (L) Activities: Delta Practical Assessment Item 3: Delta Practical (8%)
4 Topic: Introduction to Structural geology, folding, faulting Activities: Lecture on introduction to structural geology Dip and strike demonstration Itzabrieze 3-point problem
5 Topic: Brittle deformation – faults, joints, veins (video) Geological maps and structural contours (video) Activities: Structural contours and cross-section in-class activity Cross-section exercise in-class activity Assessment Item 4: Assessable practical (5%)
6 Topic: Fold geometry (video) Fold styles (video) Foliation (video) Fold vergence (video) Activities: Salt box Creek map and cross-section in-class activity Field trip briefing Assessment Item 5: Multi-choice quiz on structural geology lectures (2%)
7 Field trip to Taemus at Wee Jasper (6 days) Assessment Item 6 (prepared during Taemas Field Trip in mid-semester break): Stratigraphic column (4%) Geological map (10%) Cross-section (4%)
8 Topic: Introduction to petrology lecture Olivine (video) Garnet (video) Pyroxene (video) Peridotite classification (video) Activities: Peridotite geochemistry in-class activity Peridotite classification in-class activity Olivine chemistry in-class activity
9 Topic: Olivine binary phase diagram (video) Mafic rock classification (video) Activities: Petrographic microscopes introductory lecture Peridotite + basalt microscopy in-class activity Olivine binary phase diagram in-class activity
10 Topics: Mafic volcanic rocks (video) Mafic plutonic rocks (video) Feldspar minerals (video) Activities: Phase diagrams in-class activity Phase diagrams in-class activity Structural formulas in-class activity Assessment Item 7: Assessable practical (8%)
11 Topics: Metamorphic rock classification (video) Blueschist facies (video) Greenschist facies (video) Amphibolite facies (video) Eclogite facies (video) Activities: Hand specimens in-class activity Metamorphic rock microscopy in-class activity Subduction and water in-class activity Assessment Item 8: Assessable practical (5%)
12 Topics: Mantle melting (video) Granitoid rocks (video) Activities: Gabbroic and granitoid rocks microscopy in-class activity Padloping picrites in-class activity Crystallisation of basalts in-class activity Assessment Item 9: Multi-choice quiz on igneous petrology lectures (2%)
13 Topics: Garnet-cpx thermometry lecture Activities: Thermometry in-class activity Metamorphic worksheet in-class activity Assessment Item 10: Optical mineralogy test (10%)
14 Final exam on igneous and metamorphic petrology Assessment Item 11: Final exam on igneous and metamorphic petrology (25%)

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Sedimentary environments practical 8 % 04/03/2022 1,2,4,8,9
Molonglo Gorge field trip practical 9 % 11/03/2022 1,2,8,9
Delta Practical 8 % 17/03/2022 3
Structural geology practical on dips, striked and structural contours 5 % 31/03/2022 3
Structural geology multiple choice quiz 2 % 30/03/2022 3
Taemus Field Trip assessment items on geological mapping 18 % 21/04/2022 1,2,3
Assessable practical on ultramafic and mafic rocks 8 % 12/05/2022 5,6,7,9
Igneous petrology multiple choice quiz 2 % 11/05/2022 5,6,7,8,9
Assessable practical on subduction zones and water 5 % 26/05/2022 5,6,7,9
Optical mineralogy test 10 % 25/05/2022 5,6,7,9
Final exam 25 % *

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Assessment Task 1

Value: 8 %
Due Date: 04/03/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,8,9

Sedimentary environments practical

Value 8%

A practical activity completed in class during the week 1 practical session.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 9 %
Due Date: 11/03/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,8,9

Molonglo Gorge field trip practical

Value 9%

A practical exercise to be completed following the Molonglo Field Trip, conducted on March 2.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 8 %
Due Date: 17/03/2022
Learning Outcomes: 3

Delta Practical

Value 8%

A practical activity completed in class during the week 3 practical session.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 31/03/2022
Learning Outcomes: 3

Structural geology practical on dips, striked and structural contours

Value: 5%

In class practical exercise on dips, strikes and structural contours.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 2 %
Due Date: 30/03/2022
Learning Outcomes: 3

Structural geology multiple choice quiz

Value: 2%

Multi-choice quiz on structural geology lectures

Assessment Task 6

Value: 18 %
Due Date: 21/04/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Taemus Field Trip assessment items on geological mapping

Stratigraphic column (4%)

Geological map (10%)

Cross-section (4%)

Assessment Task 7

Value: 8 %
Due Date: 12/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 5,6,7,9

Assessable practical on ultramafic and mafic rocks

Value: 8%

A written practical exercise on the interpretation of phase diagrams

Assessment Task 8

Value: 2 %
Due Date: 11/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 5,6,7,8,9

Igneous petrology multiple choice quiz

Value 2%

Multi-choice quiz on igneous petrology lectures

Assessment Task 9

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 26/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 5,6,7,9

Assessable practical on subduction zones and water

Value 5%

An assessable practical on subduction zones and water

Assessment Task 10

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 25/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 5,6,7,9

Optical mineralogy test

Value 10%

A practical test on optical mineralogy of igneous and metamorphic rocks

Assessment Task 11

Value: 25 %
Learning Outcomes: 

Final exam

Value: 25%

An exam on the igneous and metamorphic petrology part of the course

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assessment items will be returned after grading during lab classes. It is expected that assessment items should be returned within two weeks of the hand-in date.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission of assessment items is permitted on agreement of the convenor

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Gregory Yaxley

Research Interests

High pressure experimental petrology, diamonds, basalt, peridotite, mantle, magmatism, synchrotron, deep earth processes

Prof Gregory Yaxley

Monday 09:00 14:00
Tuesday 09:00 14:00
Wednesday 09:00 14:00
Thursday 09:00 14:00
Friday 09:00 14:00
Prof Andrew Roberts

Research Interests

Prof Andrew Roberts

By Appointment
Prof Gregory Yaxley

Research Interests

Prof Gregory Yaxley

Monday 09:00 14:00
Tuesday 09:00 14:00
Wednesday 09:00 14:00
Thursday 09:00 14:00
Friday 09:00 14:00

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