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    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.

    Students will enjoy two residential field camps, 6 days each, in Central Otago and Fiordland. The field camps will focus on how to make geological observations, take quantitative and descriptive field notes, and the techniques involved in geological mapping. Students will develop their skills as field geologists by observing a wide range of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. Follow-up work in the laboratory will focus on the interpretation of geological maps and the production of short written reports summarising field observations and interpretations. Additionally, students will develop an understanding of the regional geology of Central Otago and Fiordland.

    About this paper

    Paper title Field Studies and NZ Geology
    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.
    EAOS 111 and/or GEOL 112
    Pre or Corequisite
    EAOS 111 or EAOX 111
    Schedule C
    Students must be prepared to attend field trips outside of regular semester time
    For students from overseas (study abroad or exchange) or transferring: you must have passed approved classes/courses that cover appropriate introductory geology (see the GEOL112 page for example), and we must be able to check the details of those courses from your official transcript. Normally we also check your class/course content from the relevant university or college website. If web details are not available, you may need to provide details in hard copy.

    Teaching staff

    Coordinator: Professor James White

    Paper Structure

    Maerewhenua field camp: Geological mapping exercise, stratigraphic logging exercise, stereonet and structural analysis exercise, field notes exercise, rock description exercises.

    Borland field camp: Sedimentary basin exercise, basement geology exercise, igneous rocks exercise, mapping exercise, cross section construction and map interpretation

    Assessment is 100% internal, made up of field school maps/reports and lab exercises/tests. There is no final external exam.

    Teaching Arrangements

    One 3-hour laboratory per week for up to the first 8 weeks of the semester.


    There are two 6-day field schools for this paper: Maerewhenua field school (North Otago)



    • 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
    • Coe, A. (ed.); 2010. Geological Field Techniques. Wiley-Blackwell
    • Fry, N. The Field Description of Metamorphic Rocks. Wiley
    • Jerram, D. & Petford, N. The Field Description of Igneous Rocks. Wiley
    • Lisle, R., Brabham, P & Barnes, J. Basic Geological Mapping. Wiley
    • McClay, K. Mapping of Geological Structures, Wiley
    • Tucker, M.E. Sedimentary Rocks in the Field: A Practical Guide. Wiley
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Communication, Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students will be able to:

    • Plan and carry out fieldwork in a safe, environmentally friendly and efficient manner
    • Describe, quantify and interpret outcrops, contact relationships, structures and lithologies in the field
    • Produce a clear and well-organised 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 and interpret 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


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 14:00-16:50 9-12, 15-17

    Other Teaching

    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 08:00-21:50 13
    Tuesday 08:00-21:50 8, 13
    Wednesday 08:00-21:50 8, 13
    Thursday 08:00-21:50 8, 13
    Friday 08:00-21:50 8
    Saturday 08:00-21:50 8, 13
    Sunday 08:00-21:50 8, 13
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