Sedimentology and Stratigraphy-Geology 4350: Fall 2013 (CR # 44146)

Dr Dave Barnes; Rm 1135 Rood Hall;

387-5492, 387-8617

Office hours:

10-11 M&W, 10:30-12 T, and by appointment

Course Home Page:

Laboratory Syllabus Page:

Required Text:

1. Nichols, Gary; Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, 2nd Edition, 2009. Wiley-Blackwell ;

2. Fichter, L.S. and Poche, D.J., Ancient Environments and the Interpretation of Geologic History, 3rd ed., 2001. This document will be provided for you at our first class meeting

Recommended Text (for the very enthusiastic Sedimentary Geologist)

3. Boggs, Sam, Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, 3rd ed, 2001


  1. Global Tectonics:
    Students will recognize how Global Tectonics impacts the stratigraphic record and be able to draw conclusions about Global Tectonics from the detailed study of sedimentary strata.
  2. Sedimentary Petrology and the Origin of Sediments:
    Students will be able to describe (using conventional disciplinary termnology) sediments and sedimentary rocks in accordance with the principles of Sedimentary Petrology and will be able to make inferences regarding origin and geological history from the study of sediments and sedimentary rocks.
  3. Sedimentary Facies Analysis; Physical, Chemical, and Biological Processes of Sedimentation:
    Students will be introduced to the physical, chemical, and biological processes typical of modern sedimentary depositional environments  and be able to identify the geological products of these processes in terms of the textures, structures, and mineral composition in sedimentary strata
  4. Sedimentary Depositional Environments:
    Students will be able to interpret sedimentary textures, structures, mineralogy, and the geometric organization of stratigraphic successions in order to interpret ancient environments of sediment deposition
  5. Tectonics and Sedimentation, Sedimentary Basins, the Earth through Geological Time:
    Students will be able to make inferences regarding the tectonic processes responsible for the formation and types of sedimentary basin fill and be able to interpret tectonic history from the sedimentary record. Students will understand that both cyclic and unidirectional global changes in the Earth's surface environment (e.g. biological and chemical evolution) are responsible for distinct variations in the stratigraphic record.
  6. The Stratigraphic Record: Litho-, Bio-, Chrono-, Geochrono-, and Allo-Stratigraphy:
    Students will be able to interpret and predict the complex material, time, and space relationships of sedimentary strata as reveled by lithologic, fossil, relative time, radiometric, and geometric features preserved in the sedimentary record.


One of the important course outcomes is development of the student's technical writing abilities in accordance with the baccalaureate-level writing policy. The procedures for demonstrating growth and improvement in writing culminate in a term paper. The term paper is written following the preparation of narrative reports for several lab exercises and other exercises with a writing component.
All written assignments for the class shall be prepared in appropriate technical writing format and will be evaluated for technical writing competence on the basis of compliance with scientific writing techniques that we shall study throughout the semester and intensively during one lab session. In addition, all other written assignments, including the essay portions of exams, throughout the semester, shall be evaluated for technical writing competence.
As a final demonstration of writing competence you will submit (following the lab exercise devoted to technical writing techniques) a draft term paper which will be returned, following extensive technical editing, with an assessment of both technical content and technical writing. Summary comments/assessment will be returned after submission of a final draft of the paper.

“You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs that pertain to Academic Honesty. These policies include cheating, fabrication, falsification and forgery, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity and computer misuse. [The policies can be found at under Academic Policies, Student Rights and Responsibilities.] If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. You will be given the opportunity to review the charge(s). If you believe you are not responsible, you will have the opportunity for a hearing. You should consult with your instructor if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test.




Ch 1: p.1-4

Introduction: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (Class WILL meet on Tuesday, 9/3)

wk 1

Ch 2: p. 5-27 &
Ch 6: p. 87-101

Terrigenous Clastic Petrology

wk 2

Ch 3: p. 28-41; Ch 17, p. 263-73

Non-clastics Petrology

wk 3

Ch 4: p. 44-68; Fichter and Poche,        p. 69-80

Processes of Erosion, Transport, Deposition, and Sedimentary Structures, Flow Regime, and Sediment Gravity Flows

wk 4

Ch 5: p.69-86

Depositional Environments and Sedimentary Facies
Geologic Storage Formation Classifications

wk 5


Tuesday (in Lab) Oct 8

Ch 19: pp. 297-310

Stratigraphy and Correlation

wk 7

21 (p. 324-30, only),  & 23 (p. 349-80)

Sequence Stratigraphy A and Sequence Stratigraphy B

wk 8 & 9

Ch 24 pp 381-97 (F&P pp 155-185)

Sedimentary Basins;  Ettensohn, 2004, Jrn of Geodynamics; 

  wk  10


Tuesday (in Lab) Nov 12 (INCLUDING LABS)

 Ch 22, pp 341-48;
Ch 9 p. 129-50;

Ch 11 p. 163-78

Depositional Environments and Sedimentary Facies: Borehole Stratigraphy and Sedimentology;
Terrestrial Environments;
The marine realm: Morphology, Processes

  wk 11 & 12

Ch 12, p. 179-98; Ch 13, 14, & 15 : p. 199-245

Deltas; Coastlines, and
Shallow Marine Carbonate Environments

wk 13 & 14



Type Points

Points (estimate)

Collaborative Class Activities


Lecture Midterms (2)


Lecture Final


Term Paper: Draft


Term Paper: Final 


Lab Exercises

400 (tentative)



Grade Scale




100 -94% ==>A


93 - 88% ==>BA


87 - 81% ==>B


80 - 76% ==>CB


75 - 70% => C




Wed-Sun 10/9-13, Eastern Kentucky (required!)
Saturday, 10/26 Grand Ledge, MI (tentative/optional)

Friday 11/15 first draft 
Friday 12/6 final draft 

Tues Dec 10; 10:45-12:45