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GEOL344 Advanced Field Studies

For information on field trip dates

Mandatory pre-fieldtrip documentation

All students intending to take GEOL344 must complete this online form at least two weeks before the trip begins in early February. You will not be allowed on the trip if this form is not completed in time. Mandatory pre-fieldtrip meeting form to be completed.

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

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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.

Paper title Advanced Field Studies
Paper code GEOL344
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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72 200-level points from Science Schedule C including GEOL 251 and GEOL 252
Schedule C

All students must register and pay online before 31st January via the link on plus attend the pre-field school lecture during which field orientation and safety documentation is completed. If this is not done you will not attend the field schools. 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 trips that occur in February before the first semester starts:

You must attend the GEOL 344 preliminary lecture (date and time to be confirmed).

The Pounawea field class 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, paleogeography and environmental change. The class is assessed during the field class. The Waianakarua field class 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 field class, lab classes are used to construct a final production-quality map and report.

The paper includes lecture and laboratory teaching after the field schools which provide Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and report writing training.

Assessment is 100% internal based on two field trips and subsequent work.

Note: To pass GEOL 344 you must attend the pre-field school meeting all field schools, classes, and labs and pass all components. Failing any one component will mean failing the whole paper.

Teaching Arrangements

Fieldwork: Two field schools/trips occur in February before the first semester.

Laboratory teaching in the Departments of Geology and Surveying for map preparation and report writing.


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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Semester 1 (30 January 2023 - 21 June 2023)

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 11:00-13:50 13
Friday 14:00-16:50 9-12

Other Teaching

Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 10:00-11:50 5
B1 Tuesday 08:00-21:50 5
Wednesday 08:00-21:50 5
Thursday 08:00-21:50 5
Friday 08:00-21:50 5
C1 Monday 08:00-21:50 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