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    Field mapping and documentation of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks; structural mapping and stereographic projection; geological methods used in industry

    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 GEOL 302 and to field work associated with industry, government institutions and research organisations.

    About this paper

    Paper title Advanced Field Studies
    Subject Geology
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    72 200-level points from Science Schedule C including GEOL 251 and GEOL 252
    Schedule C

    Please see for more information on this field school and instructions for registering and paying online before 31st January. Participation in the field school requires that you attend the pre-field school lecture during which field orientation and safety documentation is completed. You must view the Pre-Field School Slides and ensure you have appropriate field gear required to participate in this course.

    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 GEOL 252 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

    Co-ordinator: Dr Christian Ohneiser

    Dr Doug MacKenzie
    Dr Christina Riesselman
    Professor Dave Prior
    Professor James White
    Dr Marco Brenna
    Dr Sophie Briggs

    Paper Structure

    The paper has two field schools that occur in February before the first semester starts:

    The field classes provide a thorough training in geological mapping, and field methods. Students learn how to design a mapping programme, conduct geological reconnaissance, 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, paleogeography and environmental change. Emphasis is placed on observing and recording geomorphologic constraints and exposed superficial and basement geology to best describe the subsurface geology. The course includes laboratory teaching which provides Geographic Information Systems (GIS) training. Assessment is 100% internal based on field classes and subsequent work.

    Note: To pass GEOL344 you must attend all field schools, and labs and pass all components. Failing any one component will mean failing the paper.

    Teaching Arrangements

    Fieldwork: Field schools in February before the first semester and a weekend field excursion in March. Laboratory teaching in University CAL labs.


    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


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Thursday 14:00-16:50 12
    Friday 14:00-16:50 9-11, 15

    Other Teaching

    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Saturday 07:30-17:50 15
    Sunday 07:30-17:50 15
    B1 Thursday 08:00-10:50 5
    Thursday 11:00-16:50 5
    Friday 08:00-16:50 5
    C1 Monday 08:00-21:50 6-7
    Tuesday 08:00-21:50 6-7
    Wednesday 08:00-21:50 6-7
    Thursday 08:00-21:50 6-7
    Friday 08:00-21:50 6-7
    Saturday 08:00-21:50 6
    Sunday 08:00-21:50 6
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