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Palaeoenvironments and Biogeochemistry - GEOS920

This unit will provide masters students with the foundations of palaeoenvironmental analysis as applied to some key geoscience problems. The unit will have a problem-based approach that focuses on understanding important processes, especially with examples from the Neoproterozoic, Cretaceous and the modern day. We will introduce the fundamentals of ocean circulation, nutrient supply and the carbon cycle. Students will assess the veracity of biogeochemical oceanographic signals, especially with respect to diagenetic overprinting. Box models will be introduced as a means for understanding geochemical and isotopic signals. The unit will cover co-evolution of life and its environment, the effect of bioturbation on sediments, especially across the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary, and the geochemical record of life as expressed through biomarkers. The pros and cons of various proxies used for the reconstruction of palaeoenvironments will be evaluated. The unit will build knowledge about important techniques and methods such as stable and radiogenic isotopes, organic geochemistry and microscopic techniques for assessing sediments and sedimentary rocks. Assignments will build skills in practical and industry applications of this area, including in the energy industry.

Credit Points: 4
When Offered:

S2 Day - Session 2, North Ryde, Day

Staff Contact(s): Dr April Abbott

Admission to MGeoSc and GEOS309 Prerequisite Information


NCCW(s): GEOS710
Unit Designation(s):


Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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