GEOL331-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023

Principles of Basin Analysis

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 30 July 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 1 October 2023


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 subsidence history, provenance analysis, seismic reflection and sequence stratigraphy.

Learning Outcomes

  • 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 maturation of organic material
  • 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.
    • 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 any 15 points at 200 level from GEOL

Timetable Note

2 lectures per week (50 minutes each)
1 lab per week (2.5 hours each)

Course Coordinator

Kari Bassett


Jarg Pettinga


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
In-lab exercises (JRP) 25% Due at the end of each lab
In-lab exercises (KNB) 25% Due at the beginning of lab the following week
Final Exam 50% Date to be advised

In lab exercises (JRP)  -  25%
In lab exercises (KNB)  -  25%

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

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Allen, P. A. , Allen, John R; Basin analysis : principles and applications ; Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1990.

Recommended textbook(s): 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


Prerequisites: GEOL243

Recommended preparation: GEOL242 and GEOL244

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $951.00

International fee $4,750.00

* 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

  • GEOL331-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023