Geology BSc

Basin Resources and Sustainable Futures EARTH4085

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Application of theoretical and practical aspects of basin evolution (from tectonics to sedimentary basin fill) with implications of the viability of resource industries (e.g. hydrocarbon, geothermal, carbon capture and storage [CCS]) for sustainable futures.


8 x three-hour workshops within laboratory setting (1 hour lecture, 2 hour discussion and practical component within each workshop). 7-day UK-based residential field class.

Excluded Courses

EARTH4001 - Advanced Sequence Stratigraphy

EARTH4022 - Petroleum Geology


Written exam (50%); Technical industry-style report based upon field class data (50%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses


Course Aims

■ To develop field and critical analysis skills that identify the tectonic history, sedimentary fill, and source, migration, and trapping of energy related fluids within a sedimentary basin.

■ To provide an overview of geological principles that allow the exploration and exploitation of fluid-based energy resources and heat within sedimentary basin deposits and crystalline basement.

■ To provide an understanding of how the application of these geological principles can provide sustainable energy solutions for society.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Critically analyse a wide range of sedimentological, paleontological, structural, seismic and geochemical data in order to construct a geological history of a sedimentary basin;

■ Discuss the merits and pitfalls of geological principles (e.g. sequence stratigraphy) in basin analysis and their application to industry.

■ Describe and explain the processes leading to the formation, accumulation and exploitation of different types of geological resources (i.e. hydrocarbons, geothermal energy); 

■ Evaluate the prospectivity of example geological resources within case study sedimentary basins and crystalline basement; 

■ Evaluate the utilization of various geological resources (e.g. hydrocarbons, geothermal energy) and methods for sustainable societal energy demands, including the principles of and potential for CCS (carbon capture and storage] of emissions; 

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.