Sedimentary Basin Analysis


The module develops the concepts of sequence stratigraphy, demonstrating the diversity of techniques available to analyze the controls on the development of sedimentary successions using data for example from outcrops, boreholes, wireline logs and seismic. A case study approach emphasises the components of sequence stratigraphy and establishes the sequence stratigraphic differences between depositional systems (i.e. marine siliciclastic, carbonate and non-marine).

Case studies from throughout the Phanerozoic are used. Sequence stratigraphy is considered as a dynamic tool in a ‘bigger picture’ context through the analysis of integrated models. Building on the foundations of sequence stratigraphy students will learn how it has been applied across the geosciences.

By the end of the module students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

  • the historical context of sequence stratigraphy
  • the relative influences of eustasy, subsidence, sediment supply and local structure on sedimentary sequence architecture
  • the similarities and differences between marine siliciclastic and carbonate sequence stratigraphy, and non-marine sequence stratigraphy
  • integrated models for the evolution of sedimentary basins that link basin formation, tectonics, and sea-level variation, in a global context
  • seismic stratigraphy and be able to work with seismic expression of sedimentary basin fills
  • the application of sequence stratigraphy to other geoscience fields e.g. sedimentology, locating organic-rich facies and hydrocarbon source rocks; palaeoclimate studies, palaeoecology and biotic evolution


  • Examination
  • Assessed practical work