Sedimentary Environments

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Sedimentary Environments

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    The goal of this course is to characterise, classify and interpret a selected number of terrestrial and marine sedimentary environments in terms of their processes, facies distribution, morphology and stratigraphy. COURSE CONTENT Special attention will be paid to periglacial, aeolian and coastal siliciclastic sedimentary environments and peat environments.

    Periglacial environments (Kasse): processes and landforms that are specific to this environment and their paleoclimatic significance will be discussed. Special attention is paid to those phenomena which are also preserved in the fossil record.

    Aeolian environments (Prins): the sedimentary processes responsible for sand and dust transport, the specific climatic setting of such environments, and associated landforms and deposits will be discussed. Special attention will be given to present-day dust source areas, associated erosion-transport-deposition processes and the resulting dust deposits (terrestrial and marine) and their paleoclimatic significance. A guest lecture by J.B. Stuut (NIOZ) is envisaged.

    Coastal environments (guest lecturer(s) from GDN-TNO and/or Deltares): specific coastal environments, such as beaches, coastal barrier islands, tidal flats, and estuaries will be discussed in relation to the following themes: (1) morphology and facies distribution as a function of especially the relationship between energy (tidal and wave action), material and river influence, and (2) evolution as a function of sea level changes and other factors (including human influences).

    Peat environments (Van der Putten): the climatic conditions and geomorphological settings favourable for the formation of extensive peat deposits will be discussed. Important plant macro- and microfossils which allow to reconstruct the evolution of the local mire vegetation will be introduced. The use of (changes in) species assemblages as a tool to infer environmental and climate change during the Holocene and last glacial-interglacial transition will be discussed.

    Lectures, practicals, literature presentation and discussion meetings, field trips, self-study

    The final mark of the Sedimentary Environments course will be determined on basis of the partial marks given for the following items:
    1) Student paper presentation (20% of final mark).
    2) Periglacial Environments part (20% of final mark): assignments during the practical (10%) and Dinkel excursion report (10%).
    3) Coastal Environments part (20% of final mark): written examination.
    4) Eolian Environments part (20% of final mark): written examination.
    5) Peat environments part (20% of final mark): written examination.

    A requirement for this course is that students have followed the second year course ‘Kwartair Geologie (Quarternary Geology), AB_1084’.

    3rd-year bachelor students from the bachelor programmes Earth Sciences and Earth & Economics.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.


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