GEOL351-22S1 (C) Semester One 2022

Advanced Field Techniques

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 21 February 2022
End Date: Sunday, 26 June 2022
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 6 March 2022
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 15 May 2022


Extended field work and related exercises aimed at broadening geological experience in the understanding and interpretation of rocks at outcrop, field map, and regional scales.

The course is designed to integrate different types of geologic data to interpret a geologic history of a region through examination of sedimentary, metamorphic and volcanic rocks. Students will chose between one of two concurrently running field trips outlined below (West Coast or Oamaru). Both field trips have the same teaching goals and both support study in other 300 level courses. Each trip covers, with varying emphasis, New Zealand tectonic events, metamorphic basement geology, structural geology, basin analysis and sedimentary depositional environments. Field teaching takes place off-campus and a reasonable degree of physical fitness is desirable.

Learning Outcomes

  • Goal of the Course
    To develop advanced field skills in data gathering. The emphasis is on synthesizing different types of data, including readings from the literature, into an interpretation of regional geology based on the field data.

    Learning Outcomes
    Students completing this course will learn how to
  • Gather quantitative volcanic or sedimentary composition data
  • Gather and interpret field structural data
  • Collect and present stratigraphic data
  • Deal with spatial and temporal geological variation
  • Present data and concepts in written form
  • Synthesize data to develop a coherent tectonic history
    • 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.


(1) GEOL240 and GEOL241, and (2) GEOL243 (3) 30 points from other GEOL 200-level courses.


15 points from GEOL331-357 offered in the same semester.

Timetable Note

Lectures There are no lectures for this course

Labs: An information session will be held in the first week of term to brief students on the content of each field trip. Students will then get to choose their preferred field course option – however as the number of places on each trip is limited students may not get their preferred option, and we reserve the right to shift students to best manage field trip logistics. A compulsory meeting will be held in the last week of term one to brief students on the equipment and logistics of each field trip.

Field Trips – 2 field trips will run.  Students choose one of the two.

West Coast (9-16th April) – Bassett/Nichols - This trip to Westport focuses on the Cretaceous history of Gondwana breakup and the development of the New Zealand landmass.  The history starts with examining metamorphic core complex deformation and associated basin deposits leading up into the Cenozoic sequence and coal basins.

Oamaru (19-26th April) – Reid/Gravley - This field trip focuses on Cretaceous to early Miocene geological history and facies patterns in response to tectonics through interpretation of basaltic volcanics, and siliciclastic and carbonate sedimentary environments.

Course Coordinators

Kari Bassett and Catherine Reid


Alex Nichols and Darren Gravley


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Field exercises 60% Due at end of field trip
Written exercise 40% Due 2nd term (date tba)

Field exercises 60% At end of field trip
Written exercise 40% 2nd term (TBA)

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Boggs, Sam; Principles of sedimentology and stratigraphy ; 4th ed; Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006.

Dalrymple, Robert W. , James, Noel P., Geological Association of Canada; Facies models 4 ; Geological Association of Canada, 2010.

Powell, Derek; Interpretation of geological structures through maps : an introductory practical manual ; Longman Scientific & Technical ;, 1992.

Textbooks are available on reserve in the library or for purchase from the Bookshop or web sites (i.e. Amazon).  Students need not own all texts but will be expected to read from all.

Course links

Library portal


GEOL240 and GEOL241 and GEOL243 are required preparation, plus 30 points from GEOL242, 244, or 246.

15 points from GEOL337 or GEOL354 (or an approved GEOL lecture based course in semester one).

Relationship of GEOL351 to other courses
GEOL351 (with GEOL352) is a pre-requisite for all 400 level and postgraduate courses in Geological Sciences and Engineering Geology together with a minimum of 60 points from GEOL331–338 and GEOL357.

Additional Course Outline Information

Other specific requirements

Students will be expected to have a geological hammer, safety glasses, hand lens, grain size comparator, a plastic bag to protect map board and note-book. All are available from the department. A personal first aid kit is essential for field safety. Boots and a sleeping bag are necessary as is adequate clothing for a range of weather conditions. A more detailed list will be issued during the pre-trip briefing.

A high standard of behaviour is expected on the field class. Intoxication, harassment of other students, damage to property etc will result in exclusion from the class and consequent failure of the course.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $962.00

International fee $4,599.00

* 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 GEOL351 Occurrences

  • GEOL351-22S1 (C) Semester One 2022