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Unit information: Stratigraphy and palaeontology fieldwork in 2020/21

Unit name Stratigraphy and palaeontology fieldwork
Unit code EASC20047
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Vinther
Open unit status Not open

EASC20029 Introduction to field mapping



School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science


A field course devoted to palaeontologic, sedimentological and stratigraphic field observations of terrestrial and marine settings. The location of the field course will vary between years.

The unit aims to enable students to acquire the field skills necessary for:

  • Depositional and palaeoenvironmental contextualization
  • Taphonomic interpretations
  • Fossil collecting
  • Palaeoecological interpretations from fossil morphology
  • Palaeoenvironmental assessments
  • Stratigraphic correlation using depositional, cyclic and/or bio-stratigraphic tools

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the field class students will be able to:

  • Identify formal lithostratigraphic units
  • Characterize a range facies types
  • Put observations into a depositional context
  • Interpret palaeoenvironments
  • Identify diverse fossils
  • Collect fossils safely in the field
  • Apply appropriate numerical techniques to questions in palaeoecology

Teaching details

Content will be delivered through synchronous fieldwork and workshops.

Students who cannot engage in field work may be required to complete alternative activities, either during the academic year or subsequently, in order to meet intended learning outcomes of the unit, prepare them for subsequent units and to satisfy accreditation requirements.

Assessment Details

Coursework 100%

comprising five assessed fieldwork exercises

The unit mark will be derived from 5 short exercises each based on a separate field excursion. These will involve documentation, analysis and interpretation of sedimentological and palaeontological features observed in various settings. One exercise will be handed in from the field, the other four will be submitted following a consolidation day. Each exercise is worth 20% of the unit mark.

Reading and References


• Benton MJ and Harper DAT: Introduction to palaeobiology and the fossil record. Wiley-Blackwell
• Hammer, Ø., Harper, D.A.T., 2006. Paleontological data analysis. Blackwell.