Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 2 hours / session


Introduction to Geology (12.001)


Survey of the important aspects of modern sediments and ancient sedimentary rocks. Emphasis is on fundamental materials, features, and processes. Textures of siliciclastic sediments and sedimentary rocks: particle size, particle shape, and particle packing. Mechanics of sediment transport. Survey of siliciclastic sedimentary rocks: sandstones, conglomerates, and shales. Carbonate sediments and sedimentary rocks; cherts; evaporites. Siliciclastic and carbonate diagenesis. Paleontology, with special reference to fossils in sedimentary rocks. Modern and ancient depositional environments. Stratigraphy. Sedimentary basins. Fossil fuels: coal, petroleum.


Two 2 hour lectures per week for the first half of the term: 16 lectures.

1 Sediment texture

Sediment texture (cont.)

Sediment transport

3 Sediment transport (cont.)
4-5 Siliciclastic rocks
6-7 Carbonate sediments and rocks
8 Cherts and evaporites
9 Diagenesis
10 Paleontology
11-12 Depositional environments
13-14 Stratigraphy
15 Sedimentary basins
16 Fossil fuels


During the eight weeks, at each lecture students are given a list of three or four questions, on which to supply brief written answers, based on lectures and lecture notes, to be due at the time of the following lecture.

Lec #17: Non-graded group oral examination

Lec #18-25: Laboratory work on sediments and sedimentary rocks

Field Trip: Four full days in the field in southern Nevada and southern California

Final five weeks of the term: Students prepare field reports


There are no graded examinations. The grade is based entirely upon the quality and completeness of the field report.