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GEOL344 Advanced Field Studies

Field mapping and documentation of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks; structural mapping and stereographic projection; geological methods used in industry. Includes 3 weeks of field classes in February.

This paper provides training and practical expertise in geological field mapping and advanced field techniques. The objective is to give students the planning and logistical skills, practical field skills and confidence to conduct independent geological fieldwork. The experience translates naturally to those carrying out independent field projects in GEOL302 and to field work associated with industry, government institutions and research organisations.

Paper title Advanced Field Studies
Paper code GEOL344
Subject Geology
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester (5 February 2019 - 19 June 2019)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,059.15
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,627.65

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GEOL 251 and GEOL 252
Schedule C

Domestic students intending to take GEOL 344 in 2019 must fill out: GEOL344-Field-orientation-and-safety-2019.docx by the end of November 2018.
International students should fill out this form as soon as possible.

Background requirements: For students from overseas (study-abroad, or exchange) or transferring: you must have passed approved classes/courses that cover appropriate second year geology field mapping (see GEOL252 page for example), and we must be able to check details of those courses from your official transcript. Normally we also check your class/course content from the relevant university or college web page. If web details are not available, you may need to provide details.

Teaching staff

Coordinator:Dr Christian Ohneiser
Dr Marco Brenna

Paper Structure

The paper has three field trips that occur in February before the first semester starts:

The Pounawea fieldclass focuses on field methods in structural geology and sedimentology. Students learn how to record, measure and interpret a variety of geological structures and how to use stereographic projections to aid structural description, quantification and interpretation. Sedimentological data are collected using graphic logging techniques with a focus on developing a geometrical framework from the structural analyses to constrain sedimentary basin stratigraphy, palaeogeography and environmental change. The class is assessed during the fieldclass.

The Hakataramea fieldclass provides a thorough training in geological mapping. Students learn how to design a mapping programme and how to conduct geological reconnaissance. Emphasis is placed on observing and recording all the geomorphological constraints and exposed superficial and basement geology to best describe the subsurface geology. Cross sections and generalised vertical stratigraphy (GVS) are constructed in the field. After the fieldclass, lab classes are used to construct a final production-quality map.

The Benmore Dam vein and fault exercise comprises a 1-day field trip to Benmore Dam (visited during the Hakataramea fieldclass). This exercise extends field mapping skills to applications in the mineral exploration industry. Training in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is provided.

Assesment is 100% internal based on three field trips and subsequent work.

Note: To pass GEOL 344 you must pass all three components:1) Pounawea, 2) Hakataramea and 3) the Benmore Dam exercise. Failing any one component will mean failing the whole paper.

Teaching Arrangements
Fieldwork: Three field schools/trips occur in February before the first semester:
  • Pounawea ~ 4 days: 5-9 February 2019 (Note: Waitangi Day is in the middle of this trip)
  • In class Geology Department ~ 11-12 February 2019
  • Hakataramea ~ 8 days, including one day at Benmore Dam: 13-20 February 2019
Other teaching to be announced.
Strongly recommended:
  • Edbrooke, S.W.; Heron, D.W.; Forsyth, P.J.; Jongens, R. (compilers) 2015 Geological map of New Zealand 1:1 000 000 Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science geological map 2 2 maps (also available as a free web map service at
  • Lisle, R., Brabham, P & Barnes, J. Basic Geological Mapping. Wiley
  • Fry, N. The Field Description of Metamorphic Rocks. Wiley
  • McClay, K. Mapping of Geological Structures, Wiley
  • Tucker, M.E. Sedimentary Rocks in the Field: A Practical Guide. Wiley
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • Practical field geology training and teamwork
  • Three-dimensional thinking and drafting skills
  • Ability to synthesise observations to critically assess models
  • Fundamental experience in interpretation of observations and inference of processes responsible

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First Semester (5 February 2019 - 19 June 2019)

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system

Other Teaching

Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 08:00-21:50 7-8
Tuesday 08:00-21:50 6-8
Wednesday 08:00-21:50 6-8
Thursday 08:00-21:50 6-7
Friday 08:00-21:50 6-7
Saturday 08:00-21:50 7
Sunday 08:00-21:50 7