Carbonate Sedimentology

Fall 2012

Instructor: Mark Harris

Course information

Course objective and instructor expectations

This course covers the interpretation of depositional environments of carbonate sediments. The objective is for each of you to be able to accurately describe carbonate facies, interpret their depositional settings, and to develop a reasonable stratigraphic intepretation. We will stress comparative sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy as general approaches, but make minimal use of microfacies (which is why there is a seperate course on carbonate petrology and diagenesis).

The course uses two primary resourses for you to use in reaching these goals: (1) a wide range of readings taken from various books and articles choosen to introduce you to major concepts, key papers, and useful case studies; and (2) various sample sets that will provide you a wide range of carbonate lithologies to study. You may notice that my field studies are over-represented - this is because I have abundant sample suites and field data for the lab component of the course.

Usually each two-hour class period will include both lecture and laboratory components. The class works best when you come to class prepared for the day's topic. Loosely translated, this means that I expect that you will have read and thought about the course readings before class, and completed the laboratory assignments on time. This will allow us to use the readings and samples as a springboard for your to ask questions and develop interpretations. Please ask questions during class - my usual experience is that if you have a question or if something is unclear, your classmates will have similar concerns.

A Thematic Outline



Your grades will be based upon your performance on take-home essay questions and laboratory assignments. These assessment tools are used (instead of in-class exams) because these activities reflect the course objectives.