Course Description

Course Name

Field Studies and New Zealand Geology

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Practical work in field observation, geological field mapping, field interpretation; basic geometry of structures; principles of lithostratigraphy and biostratigraphy; New Zealand geology and geological map interpretation.

In "Field Studies and New Zealand Geology", students learn the basics of doing field geology. This includes:

  • How to plan and carry out fieldwork in a safe, environmentally friendly and efficient manner
  • How to make observations at rock outcrops and how to record those observations - most particularly, how to keep a good field notebook. This is the main focus of the Maerewhenua field school
  • How to make reasonable interpretations of geological observations and how to test these (hypothesis testing). This will start on the Maerewhenua field school and will be a major part of the Borland field school
  • How to relate the geology on the ground to a geological map. This starts in Maerewhenua and is taken further through laboratory classes and Borland. (You will learn how to make geological maps in the third year in GEOL 344.)
  • Learning the fundamentals of using geological maps to understand geometry and stratigraphy. This is the primary focus of the laboratory classes and will be put into practice on the Borland field school
  • Learning how to write up geological field observations in the form of a report. Initial training will follow the Maerewhenua field school so that you can write a complete report following the Borland field school
  • Using field examples to improve your knowledge and understanding of the basics of geology as taught in GEOL112
  • Learning something of the geology of the South Island, including the stratigraphy and the geometry (structure) of the Maerewhenua and Borland areas

Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to:
-Plan and carry out fieldwork in a safe, environmentally friendly, and efficient manner
-Describe outcrops, contact relationships, structures, and lithologies in the field
-Produce a clear and well-organized field notebook that contains accurate field observations, measurements, and preliminary interpretations
-Trace lithologic contacts, faults, and other features and place these on topographic base maps and imagery
-Construct basic, but accurate, geologic maps, cross sections, and stratigraphic columns informed from field mapping and outcrop observations
-Write clear and succinct geologic reports that accurately convey relevant field observations and basic interpretations

*Course content subject to change