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GEOL252 Field Studies and NZ Geology

For information on field trip dates

Mandatory pre-fieldtrip documentation: All students intending to take GEOL252 must complete this online form before 31 January. You will not be allowed on the trip if this form is not completed before 31 January.

Mandatory pre-fieldtrip meeting: Please ensure that you are in Dunedin in time to attend the mandatory pre-fieldtrip meeting the day before the trip leaves. You will not be allowed on the field trip if you miss this meeting.

Important info for students

The following document is essential reading for the GEOL252 field trip:

You will receive printed copies of the fieldwork guide (on the bus to Maerewhenua).

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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 week-long residential field camps 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.

Paper title Field Studies and NZ Geology
Paper code GEOL252
Subject Geology
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (30 January 2023 - 21 June 2023) (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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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: Dr Steven Smith
Assoc Prof James Scott
Prof James White
Mr Ray Marx

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

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Semester 1 (30 January 2023 - 21 June 2023)

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 18:00-20:50 9-13, 16, 18

Other Teaching

Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 08:00-21:50 14
Tuesday 08:00-21:50 8, 14
Wednesday 08:00-21:50 8, 14
Thursday 08:00-21:50 8, 14
Friday 08:00-21:50 8
Saturday 08:00-21:50 8, 13
Sunday 08:00-21:50 8, 13