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Surface Processes and Sedimentology

The Earth's surface is a fascinating place with a vast array of environments and landscapes stretching pole to pole, all formed by the interplay between the atmosphere, the oceans, the biosphere and the solid planet. Over the Eath's history these landscapes have changed beyond all recognition, from a planet as alien as Venus or Mercury to the present globe. All this information is recorded in the sedimentary rocks.

Yukon River delta
Yukon River delta

Sedimentology labWe learn to read these sediments through an appreciation of the current Earth's surface, the fluxes of energy and mass within the Eath system, as well as through an understanding of the physics that underpins specific processes: the flow of ice in a valley for instance. We are then able to reconstruct this global history and the wonderful events within it: the oxidation of the planet, snowball Earths, sea-level change, great reef-building episodes, the creation and destruction of oceans, and more.

See the Part IA Sedimentary Processes and Products Course for the relevant first year content.