GEOL331-19S2 (C) Semester Two 2019

Principles of Basin Analysis

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 July 2019
End Date: Sunday, 10 November 2019
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 26 July 2019
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 27 September 2019


An introduction to the principles, methods and tools of basin analysis.

The aim of this course is to introduce basin analysis and the techniques used to reconstruct depositional, post-depositional, and burial history. The lecture programme will include: basin formation and tectonic setting, subsidence mechanisms, sedimentary responses to tectonic activity, diagenesis and hydrocarbon maturation, and modern examples of basin types drawn from around the world. An introduction to various techniques used in basin analysis will include provenance analysis, petroleum maturation and migration, seismic reflection and sequence stratigraphy.

Learning Outcomes

  • Goal of the Course
    To present to students some of the tools to use for basin analysis and how to interpret tectonic and sea-level controls.

    Learning Outcomes
    The course will focus on large-scale basin analysis of both ancient and modern basins. Students successfully completing this course will:
  • Gain an understanding of tectonic settings and subsidence mechanisms for sedimentary basins
  • Learn the basic principles of seismic reflection theory and data acquisition, as well as an introduction to seismic stratigraphic interpretation and sequence stratigraphy
  • Learn about the controls on and evidence of petroleum and coal maturation
  • Become familiar with a number of case studies in basin analysis and tectonics drawn from the development of New Zealand from 100 Ma to the present.

    Summary of the Course Content
    The topics coved by this course are:
  • basin types by tectonic settings, structural style
  • basin subsidence
  • provenance analysis
  • diagenesis
  • petroleum and coal systems
  • seismic reflection theory and practice
  • seismic and sequence stratigraphy in basin analysis
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


GEOL243 and an additional 15 points from GEOL242-246. RP: GEOL242 or GEOL244.

Recommended Preparation

Timetable Note

Lectures: 2 lectures per week:  Mondays 11am-12 noon, Room E14;  Fridays 12noon-13pm, Room A9,
Laboratories: 1 lab (2.5 hour) per week; Wednesday 14.00-16.30pm, ER 220.

Dates  -  Lectures (2 x 1hr)  -  Lecturer  -  Laboratory (1 x 2.5 hr)
UC week 29  -  15 July  -  Intro to basin analysis – tectonic settings   -  KNB  -  Intro to basin tectonics
UC week 30  -  basins in extension and strike-slip settings  -  KNB  -  Provenance and basins
UC week 31  -  basins in subduction and compressional settings  -  KNB  -  Provenance and uplift
UC week 32  -  Intro to seismic stratigraphy  -  JRP  -  Basic principles seismic stratigraphy
UC week 33  -  seismic reflection theory  -  JRP  -  Hawke’s Bay I
UC week 34  -  seismic reflection data acquisition and processing  -  JRP  -  Hawke’s Bay II
UC week 37  -  9 Sept seismic data & stratigraphy  -  JRP  -  Hawke’s Bay III
UC week 38  -  Sequence stratigraphy and sediment accommodation  -  JRP  -  Hawke’s Bay IV
UC week 39  -  Sequence stratigraphy and Depositional Systems Tracts  -  JRP  -  Hawke’s Bay IV
UC week 40  -  Subsidence, accommodation & burial  -  KNB  -  Subsidence, burial and diagenesis
UC week 41  -  Diagenesis  -  KNB  -  Petroleum maturation
UC week 42  -  Coal to petroleum systems  -  KNB  -  Coal maturation

Course Coordinator

Kari Bassett


Jarg Pettinga


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Lab Exercises and Practical Tests 25% Lab Exercises and Practical Tests - Pettinga
Lab Exercises and Practical Tests 25% Lab Exercises and Practical Tests - Bassett
Final Exam 50% Final Exam

In lab exercises and/or practical tests
Jarg Pettinga 25%
Kari Bassett 25%

Examination and Formal Tests
Final examination (2 hour) 50%   date TBA during end of year exam period.

Textbooks / Resources

These are on reserve in the library and there will be readings from a variety of texts.
• Allen, P.A., and J.R. Allen, 2005: Basin Analysis; Principles and Applications 3rd ed., Blackwell Scientific
• Miall, A.D., 2000: Principles of Sedimentary Basin Analysis 3rd ed., Springer-Verlag

Course links

Library portal


The prerequisite for GEOL331 is GEOL243, plus an additional 15 points from GEOL242-246.

Recommended Preparation:
Recommended courses in preparation prior to taking GEOL331 include GEOL242 and GEOL244.

Additional Course Outline Information

Academic integrity

Marks and Grades
The Department of Geological Sciences uses the following scale to convert marks into grades:
100 – 90 A+ 74 – 70 B 54 – 50 C-
89 – 85 A 69 – 65 B- 49 – 40 D
84 – 80 A- 64 – 60 C+ Below 40 E
79 – 75 B+ 59 – 55 C

The Department of Geological Sciences reserves the right to adjust this mark/grade conversion, when deemed necessary.

Late Work
It is the policy for this course that late work is not accepted. Or, late work should be accompanied with a detailed explanation of why the work is late. The work will be marked and marks will be subtracted for each day the work is late. Days late include week-end and holidays.

Academic Liaison
Christopher Oze (room 329,, is in charge of liaison with students in geology courses. Each year level will appoint a student representative(s) to the liaison committee at the start of the semester. Please feel free to talk to the Academic Liaison or the student rep about any problems or concerns that you might have.

Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities should speak with someone at Disability Resource Service. Their office is room 317 in the Rutherford Building. Phone: 364 2350 (or ext. 6350), email:

Policy on Dishonest Practice
Plagiarism, collusion, copying and ghost writing are unacceptable and dishonest practices.
• Plagiarism is the presentation of any material (text, data, figures or drawings, on any medium including computer files) from any other source without clear and adequate acknowledgement of the source.
• Collusion is the presentation of work performed in conjunction with another person or persons, but submitted as if it has been completed only by the names author(s).
• Copying is the use of material (in any medium, including computer files) produced by another person(s) with or without their knowledge and approval.
• Ghost writing is the use of another person(s) (with or without payment) to prepare all or part of an item submitted for assessment.

In cases where dishonest practice is involved in tests or other work submitted for credit, the student will be referred to the University Proctor. The instructor may choose to not mark the work.

Reconsideration of Grades
Students should, in the first instance, speak to the course co-ordinator about their marks. If they cannot reach an agreeable solution, students should then speak to the Head of the Geological Sciences Department. Students can appeal any decision made on their final grade. You can apply at the Registry to appeal the final grade within 4 weeks of the end of the semester. Be aware that there are time limits for each step of the appeals process.

Aegrotat Applications
If you feel that illness, injury, bereavement or other critical circumstances has prevented you from completing an item of assessment or affected your performance, you should complete an aegrotat application form, available from the Registry or the Student Health and Counselling Service. This should be within seven days of the due date for the required work or the date of the examination. In the case of illness or injury, medical consultation should normally have taken place shortly before or within 24 hours after the due date for the required work, or the date of the test or examination. For further details on aegrotat applications, please refer to the Enrolment Handbook. You have the right to appeal any decision made, including aegrotat decisions.

Missing of Tests
In rare cases a student will not be able to sit a test. In such cases, the student should consult with the course co-ordinator or the Head of the Department of Geological Sciences to arrange alternative procedures. This must be done well in advance of the set date for the test.

EXAMS 10-22 June TBA

Summary of the Course Content

The topics coved by this course are:
•  basin types by tectonic settings, structural style
•  basin subsidence
•  provenance analysis
•  diagenesis
•  petroleum and coal systems
•  seismic reflection theory and practice
•  seismic and sequence stratigraphy in basin analysis

Provisional timetable of lectures and laboratories: (minor revisions may occur prior to start of lectures)

Week # Dates Lectures (2 x 1 hr) Lecturer Laboratory (1 x 2.5 hr)

9 20th  Feb Intro to basin analysis – tectonic settings KNB Intro to basin tectonics
10 27th  Feb basins in extension and strike-slip settings KNB Modern NZ basins
11 6th  March basins in subduction and compressional settings KNB Burial & accommodation
12 13th  March Intro to seismic stratigraphy JRP Basic principles seismic stratigraphy
13 20th  March seismic reflection theory JRP Hawke’s Bay I
14 27th  March seismic reflection data acquisition and processing JRP Hawke’s Bay II
15 3rd  April seismic data & stratigraphy JRP Hawke’s Bay III


19 1st  May sequence stratigraphy JRP Hawke’s Bay IV
20 8th  May sequence stratigraphy and accommodation JRP Hawke’s Bay IV
21 15th  May subsidence, accommodation & burial KNB Diagenesis & burial
22 22nd  May diagenesis KNB Petroleum maturation
23 29th  May coal to petroleum systems KNB Coal maturation

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $883.00

International fee $4,000.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Earth and Environment .

All GEOL331 Occurrences

  • GEOL331-19S2 (C) Semester Two 2019