GEOL331-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021

Principles of Basin Analysis

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 July 2021
End Date: Sunday, 14 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 1 August 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 1 October 2021


An introduction to the principles, methods and tools of basin analysis.

2021 Covid-19 Update:
Please refer to the course page on AKO | Learn for all information about your course, including lectures, labs, tutorials, field trips and assessments.

The aim of this course is to introduce basin analysis and the techniques used to reconstruct depositional, post-depositional, and burial history. The lecture programme will include: basin formation and tectonic setting, subsidence mechanisms, sedimentary responses to tectonic activity, diagenesis and hydrocarbon maturation, and modern examples of basin types drawn from around the world. An introduction to various techniques used in basin analysis will include provenance analysis, petroleum maturation and migration, seismic reflection and sequence stratigraphy.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learning Outcomes
    The course will focus on large-scale basin analysis of both ancient and modern basins. Students successfully completing this course will:
  • Apply their understanding of tectonic settings to sedimentary basins
  • Calculate rates of subsidence to determine subsidence mechanisms for basins
  • Learn the basic principles of seismic reflection theory and data acquisition
  • Learn seismic stratigraphic interpretation and sequence stratigraphy
  • Apply petrographic skills to determining burial depth and maturation of organic material to form petroleum and coal
  • Become familiar with a number of case studies in basin analysis and tectonics drawn from the development of New Zealand from 100 Ma to the present.

    Summary of the Course Content
    The topics coved by this course are:
  • basin types by tectonic settings, structural style
  • basin subsidence
  • provenance analysis
  • diagenesis
  • petroleum and coal systems
  • seismic reflection theory and practice
  • seismic and sequence stratigraphy in basin analysis
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


GEOL243 and any 15 points at 200 level from GEOL

Timetable Note

2 lectures per week (50 minutes each)
1 lab per week (2.5 hours each)

Course Coordinator

Kari Bassett


Jarg Pettinga


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
In-lab exercises (JRP) 25%
In-lab exercises (KNB) 25%
Final Exam 50%

In lab exercises (JRP)  -  25%
In lab exercises (KNB)  -  25%

Examination and Formal Tests
Final examination (2 hour) 50%   date TBA during end of year exam period.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended textbook(s): These are on reserve in the library and there will be readings from a variety of texts.

• Allen, P.A., and J.R. Allen, 2005: Basin Analysis; Principles and Applications 3rd ed., Blackwell Scientific
• Miall, A.D., 2000: Principles of Sedimentary Basin Analysis 3rd ed., Springer-Verlag

Course links

Library portal


Prerequisites: GEOL243

Recommended preparation: GEOL242 and GEOL244

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $910.00

International fee $4,438.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Earth and Environment on the departments and faculties page .

All GEOL331 Occurrences

  • GEOL331-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021