Fall 2022 - EASC 611 G100

Sedimentology (3)

Class Number: 6038

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Instructor:

    Shahin Dashtgard
    1 778 782-5492
    Office: TASC 1 Room 7227



An advanced treatment of topics which may include processes of sedimentation, facies model concepts, applications of ichnology, and depositional environments with an emphasis on siliciclastic successions. Course content will be tailored to student interest, but generally will include both non-marine and marine processes of sedimentation and resultant depositional systems. The development of effective field criteria for the interpretation of the sedimentary record will be emphasized.


An advanced treatment of facies characteristics and their interpretations, facies model concepts, applications of ichnology to paleoenvironmental reconstruction, and genetic stratigraphic applications (mainly sequence stratigraphy) to facies analysis. Course content will encompass terrestrial, marginal marine (paralic), shallow-marine and deep-marine environments, in both siliciclastic and carbonate depositional settings. The development of effective outcrop and subsurface criteria for the interpretation of the sedimentary record will be stressed. The ethological (behavioural) classification of biogenic structures, as well as their applications to the ichnofacies concept and to paleoenvironmental interpretation of the sedimentary record will be discussed. Students will examine the utility of facies analysis in the various genetic stratigraphic frameworks and the viability of reconstructing the depositional history of sedimentary successions. Relative sea level changes and their effects on deposition will be discussed in relation to the preserved sedimentary record.

Course Topics:

  1. Facies Characteristics and Paleoenvironmental Interpretation.
  2. Facies Successions and the Role of Walther’s Law of the Correlation of Facies
  3. Facies Model Concepts for Siliciclastic and Carbonate Successions.
  4.  Ichnology, Paleoecology and Sedimentary Facies Analysis.
  5. Sequence Stratigraphy, Relative Sea Level Changes, and Sedimentary Successions.

Course Organization:

One 2-hour lecture per week (pdf copies of lecture slides available on CANVAS).
One 3-hour laboratory period per week.
One field trip to Salt Spring Island (September 22-25, 2022).


EASC 611 constitutes an advanced treatment of the sedimentology and facies analysis of siliciclastic and carbonate successions, particularly as it relates to the rock record. Upon successful completion of this course, students will demonstrate a sophisticated comprehension and competency in the description and interpretation of sedimentary rocks. Using the scientific method, they will refine their skills to:

1) integrate physical sedimentology and ichnology to identify sedimentary facies and facies successions, recognize autogenic facies boundary types, and interpret facies successions;
2) identify stratigraphic breaks in the rock record and interpret their likely origin;
3) describe subsurface core and/or outcrop successions and construct graphic lithologs to characterize them;
4) describe and identify siliciclastic sedimentary successions that record terrestrial, marginal marine (paralic), shallow-marine, and deep-marine environments;
5) refine skills in the facies analysis of carbonate successions, and interpret these facies in terms of their depositional environments;
6) understand changes in facies and facies successions in the context of base level changes and sequence stratigraphy.

Students completing this course will have established key competencies in sedimentology and stratigraphy, both through instructor-student and student-student learning.  Laboratory and/or field trip assignments are all hands-on. Writing skills are expressed through subsurface core descriptions, geological interpretations and completion of a research term paper. Communication skills are honed through in-lab presentations and an in-class seminar.


  • Seminar Presentation 15%
  • Laboratory Projects and Presentations 35%
  • Field Trip Report 20%
  • Research Term Paper 30%


There will be a supplementary fee of $165.60



“Facies Models 4”; James, N.P, and Dalrymple, R.W., 2010; Geological Association of Canada;
ISBN: 978-1-897095-50-8

“Sedimentary Environments and Facies: Processes, Facies and Stratigraphy”; Reading. H.G., 1996, 3rd edition; Blackwell Scientific Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-632-03627-1


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html