The laboratory activities, field excursions and examples of case studies from the petroleum industry will provide students with the fundamental knowledge to apply what learned. They will acquire ability in writing reports, searching and processing published literature information and solving sedimentology related issues.
Expected learning outcomes
Students will acquire the knowledge to understand and interpret carbonate and siliciclastic rock successions in terms of depositional environments, facies types and how they varied through time and space. Students will develop skills to describe and interpret sedimentary rocks and link them to the environment of deposition that can be applied in various fields of the Earth Sciences from exploration to water resources, environmental issues and paleoclimatology.
Lesson period: First semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
Sedimentology and Laboratory The first part of this course introduces the student to the modern and ancient shallow water carbonate-evaporitic environments and to the recognition of their main lithofacies association. 1) Principles of carbonate production, ecology, mineralogy, chemistry and geometry of carbonate accumulation and carbonate factories. 2) The modern carbonate-evaporitic environments. 3) Carbonate and evaporitic facies analysis: the inner platform, the sabkha, salina and basinal evaporites, high energy carbonates of beach, tidal delta and shoals, the shelf, reef, fore reef, escarpment and slope carbonate lithofacies association. Pelagic carbonate platforms. Non marine carbonates and meteoric diagenesis. 4) Case histories of facies analysis of ancient carbonate platforms. The course will focus on the characteristics of carbonate sediment products and processes in the geologic record and modern sedimentary environments. The analysis of present-day carbonate sediment and the processes of formation will be integrated with the description and interpretation of equivalent carbonate rock successions in the geological record. In addition important aspects, such as carbonate rock changes through the Phanerozoic and controlling factors on the evolution of carbonate platform geometry, will be illustrated with examples from the geologic record and present-day carbonate settings. The second part of the course focuses on siliciclastic sedimentary facies: 1) paralic, shelf, slope and deep-marine environments; 2) paralic environments and depositional systems (fan deltas, deltas, strand plains, beaches, chenier plains, tidal plains, barrier island-lagoon systems, estuaries), 3) shelf environments and depositional systems (wave-dominated, tide-dominated, ocean currents dominated, muddy), 4) slope depositional systems (slope deltas, aprons, slope turbidite systems), deep-marine depositional systems (deep-water fans, channel-lobe systems, basin plains), 5) transgressive-regressive cycles, sequential arrangement of depositional systems. Sedimentology laboratory practicals include field excursions addressed to the observation and description of the studied depositional environments and stratigraphic log analysis, petrographic analysis of thin sections of carbonate and siliciclastic rocks.