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Semester 1

Palaeontology and Sedimentology (EASC10106)


Earth Science





Normal Year Taken


Delivery Session Year



Course Summary

Palaeontology coupled with advanced sedimentology (carbonates, clastics and chemical sediments), supported by practicals and locally based half-day fieldtrips.

Course Description

The course covers selected aspects of palaeontology and sedimentology as two on-going strands during semester 1. These are essentially two different subject areas that are brought together by means of integrated fieldwork. The sedimentology component will build on second year course material, whereas the palaeontology component will be introductory. The palaeontology and sedimentology stands will achieve effective synergy in the context of the four dedicated halfday fieldtrips to Palaeozoic rocks in the vicinity of Edinburgh. Note: experience with the use of the optical microscope for mineral and rock identification is required for this course. ***Field course locations may change for a variety of reasons, including security risks or inability to access field locations. Any changes to the main destination of the field course will be announced as soon as possible.***

Assessment Information

Written Exam 50%, Coursework 50%, Practical Exam 0%

Additional Assessment Information

Overall assessment is 50% from Palaeontology component and 50% from Sedimentology component. Additionally, the overall assessment is 50% from a written final exam (in which palaeontology and sedimentology questions are combined in one paper) and 50% from coursework.Detailed breakdown of assessment:*Final written exam, palaeontology questions: 25% of course mark. Two questions, students answer both.*Final written exam, sedimentology questions: 25% of course mark. Two questions, students answer both.*Palaeontology fieldtrip report: 20% of course mark. Palaeontology group presentation: 5% of course mark. Details: palaeontology coursework is a written report and group presentation based on one of the four fieldtrips. The course will be divided into groups: at least one group for each fieldtrip site. Each individual will write a report on their group s site, of a total of ca. 1500 words, which includes: 1) a brief background on the age, location (ca. 100-200 words), and importance of the site; 2) a summary of the sedimentology of the site (ca. 500 words); 3) a description of five fossils you found at the site, with a drawing or photograph for each, an identification of what the fossils are, and a description of major anatomical features and biological habits (ca. 800-900 words). Each group will work together to prepare and a deliver a 15-minute powerpoint presentation on their site, describing its age, sedimentology, importance, major fossils, palaeoenvironment, regional geological setting and any other relevant information. Be creative! The individual reports will be handed in on that same day as the presentations (as above). Please note that if fieldtrips are unable to proceed, an alternative essay-based assessment and groupwork-based assessment will be substituted.*Sedimentology practical exam: 25% of course mark. The class practical exam is a 20-minute test on the practical material of the sedimentological part of the course to be held in the scheduled practical class time.Please note that if fieldtrips are unable to proceed, an alternative essay-based assessment and groupwork-based assessment will be substituted.

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