This module will cover the physical characteristics of the major environments of deposition of the main types of siliciclastic, carbonate and evaporitic sediments, and the processes involved with their deposition. It will also consider the different types of sedimentary basin in which they accumulate and the large-scale controls.

Links will be made between modern sedimentary environments and those preserved in the stratigraphic record, especially through the application of sedimentary facies analysis. Appropriate emphasis will be placed on the techniques employed for the study of sedimentary rocks in the field and laboratory. The module will also explore the processes and products of diagenesis of siliciclastic and carbonate sediments.

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Describe in technical detail the physical characteristics of sedimentary rocks from microscope to field scale for a range of sedimentary systems and record these data in appropriate ways, including graphically.
  • Infer three-dimensional environments from available data.
  • Evaluate the role of base-level shifts as a control on the spatial and temporal variations in depositional systems.
  • Log, describe and interpret facies in core.
  • Describe quantitatively the mineral composition of sedimentary rocks in thin section.
  • Describe and interpret diagenetic processes and products in thin section and their influence on the generation of porosity and permeability.


  • Examination
  • Core logging exercise and write-up
  • Thin section exercise and write-up