Idenity Graphic
Carbonate Rocks
Structural Geology
Devonian Facts
Saturday 26 Sept - FRIDAY 2nd Oct. 2015



At completion of this field exercise participants will be able:

• To recognize common carbonate rocks in hand specimen.
• To identify fossils from from the Palaeozoic era and in particular from the Devonian period.
• To analysis the depositional environment and carbonate formation and reconstruct its evolution through time.
• To measure the orientation in space of planar and linear structural elements (beddings, unconformities, cleavages, fractures, lineations, fold axis, etc).
• To report field observations on a map.
• To construct cross-sections.
• To plot structural planar and linear elements on an equal-area stereonet canvas.
• To analyse and reconstruct the tectonics history.

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This exercise is a short (in time but important in significance) component of GEOS 2124 - 2924.

The assessment is based on your field participation (20%), the standard of your notebook (15%), the quality of your field data sheet (30%), individual exercises (15%), and your final interpretative map and cross-sections (20%). A penalty of up to 50 % will be removed from your final mark should your behaviour and/or your involvement on all activities be unsatisfactory.

The field data sheet and individual notebook are due on the final day of the trip.
The final interpretative map and cross-section, is due on Friday 17th October at 12 noon.

Submit your work to Andrew Merdith (Madsen Room 414) or Gemma Roberts (Madsen Room 412).
Late submissions will incur a penalty of 5% per day.

Field participation (Individual, 20%):
Fieldwork demands particular skills including being able to work as a team member, being able to work outside a more familiar environment and get along with the rain, the cold, the heat, the flies, the smell of cattle, manure on your boots, and the annoying attitude of your teammates. Your performance as a team member will be assessed on your overall behaviour. We will reward leadership, enthusiasm, and positive behaviour, while penalising those who won't be ready to go in the field in the morning, and those dragging along letting their teammates do the job for them.

Field notebook (Individual, 15%):
Your field notebook is where all of your observations and measurements are recorded.  They are extremely important, and should contain a large amount of information and sketches (with scale and geographic orientation) recording relevant observations (fossils, rock textures, structures and microstructures, landscapes, cross-sections, block diagrams etc) and measurements in the field. They should also be well organised and legible.

It is NOT necessary to re-write these at the end of the day.  Marks WILL be deducted if we see notebooks that have been re-written for reasons of “prettiness”.  Re-doing notebooks leads to errors in translation which can lead to misinterpretations due to poor data. We DO NOT expect them to be perfectly tidy, although you should be able to understand your own notes. At the end of each day you may want to add colours to your sketches and put some extra thoughts about features you have observed during the day.  Your notebook should not be a collection of loose-leaf A4 sheets, but instead a small note pad/book, preferably hard covered as this makes it easier to write in especially on windy days.  As field notebook we suggest an A5 Visual Art diary.

Field data sheet (Individual, 30%):
The field data sheet is the air photo overlay on which you will record field data. This should display lithologies, bedding form lines and all of the measurements and factual data you have collected in the field including: strike-dip-direction and plunge-plunge direction measurements, outcrop locations, lithological boundaries and bedding form lines, fold axes and faults. The field data sheet is about fact not interpretation.  Therefore, one should not extrapolate the geology between visited sites.

Each student will be responsible for deciding how to define the boundaries between mappable units. So it does not matter if your map looks different to others. Students may not be able to cover the same areas during their time on the field. Consequently, different interpretations may be made based on the collected data. We are not looking for the perfect answer, but a logical, geological interpretation of the field data each student has collected.

Your field data sheet and cross-section will be submitted on the final day of the trip for grading and will be handed back to you on Tuesday 7th for preparation of the final interpretative map and cross-sections.

Field exercises (Individual, 15%):
In the field, you will be assessed on your ability to make accurate measurements.  You will be also tested on your ability to make accurate cross-section.

Final map and cross section (Individual, 20%):
The final map is made of both factual you collected during the trip and interpretative mapping “joining the dots”. Your map should include a legend including a stratigraphic column, as well as:

  • Roads
  • Rivers, creeks and significant gullies
  • Fences

The factual data to be added by you will be: strikes and dips, lithologies, boundaries that you have determined in the field, fold axes and faults that you located precisely etc… As much data should be show on this map as is possible without cluttering. The interpretive data to be added will be, geology of areas covered by grass and soil, fold axes and faults extended on the basis of air photo interpretation.

When you submit your final map, you are expected to construct at least two accurate cross-section of your area, approximately perpendicular to the regional strike. It should have no vertical exaggeration. Topography and geology should be accurately shown. Use the same legend as for your map.

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Assumed Knowledge and References

To complete the exercises of this field course you should be familiar with the following concepts and tasks:

• Stratigraphy: Palaeozoic time scale, in particular what of the Silurian and Devonian period.
• Petrography/Sedimentology: Identification of common sedimentary rokcs. Concept of unconformity, concept of basins.
• Basic knowlegde of carbonate rocks (classifiication and nomenclature) and depositional environments.
• Structural Geology: Basic analyses of faults, folds, and fractures. Basic knowledge of cleavages, foliations, lineations. Basic knowledge on stereonet techniques. Basic knowledge in paleostress analysis.


From the following list those marked * are compulsory reading, to be read before travelling to Yass.

W. J. Collins and B. E. Hobbs, 2001. What caused the Early Silurian change from mafic to silicic (S-type) magmatism in the eastern Lachlan Fold Belt? Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 48, 1, pp. 25-41.

* C. L. Fergusson, 2003. Ordovician–Silurian accretion tectonics of the Lachlan Fold Belt, southeastern Australia. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 50, pp. 475-490.

C. L. Fergusson and D. Phillips, 2001. 40Ar/39Ar and K-Ar age constraints on the timing of regional deformation, south coast of New South Wales, Lachlan Fold Belt: problems and implications. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 48, 3, pp. 395-408.

D.R. Gray and R.T. Gregory, 2003. Fault geometry as evidence for inversion of a former rift basin in the Eastern Lachlan Orogen. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 50, 4, pp. 513-523.

* D.I.A. Hood and D.W. Durney, 2002. Sequence and kinematics of multiple deformation around Taemas Bridge, eastern Lachlan fold belt, New South Wales. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 49, 2, pp. 291-309.

E. A. Jagodzinski and L. P. Black, 1999, U-Pb dating of silicic lavas, sills and syneruptive resedimented volcaniclastic deposits of the Lower Devonian Crudine Group, Hill End Trough, New South Wales. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 46, 5, pp. 749-764.

* C. E. Willman, A. H. M. Vandernberg and V. J. Morand, 2002. Evolution of the southeastern Lachlan Fold Belt in Victoria. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 49, 2, pp. 271-289.

Note: This is no an exhaustive list and the library holds many more possibilities.

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Equipment and Cost

Give some thought to the personal equipment that you take on the excursion. Don't just pack the night before!

Field Equipment:
Notebook, erasers, scale and protractor, grey and coloured pencils, hand lens, compass with clinometer (not essential as we will provide them), and basic first-aid kit, water bottles (at least 2 litres), camera. In case you get lost (extremely unlikely) bring matches, a torch and a whistle.

Other important gears:
We will staiy in cabin style accommodation at the Good Hope Resort not far from Yass. Each cabin can accommodate up to six occupants.
You will need a warm sleeping bag, gloves, thermals and a warm hat for cold nights and mornings, a broad brimmed hat, sun-glasses, sunblock and lip cream, and your own basic first-aid kit and toiletry set. Bring robust and warm clothing, prefer long-sleeved shirt and pants to tee-shirt and shorts. Stout boots are required for mapping and field work. Weather wise expect anything...and be prepared. A rain-proof jacket (for protection from rain and to act as wind-shell) will be handy as well as a serious dose of good humour in case of prolonged rain.

Each participant must pay 400$ to cover the cost of accommodation and transportation from the Good Hope Resort to the field. This must be paid to the University Cashier no late than 3 weeks before our departure from Sydney.

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Camp Rules

We will stay at the Good Hope Resort near Yass. As guests we will behave at all times with appropriate manners. Please keep noise level to a minimum after 10 pm, and do not put in jeopardy your safety and that of your colleagues. To maintain a cordial atmosphere be considerate of other people. Drunkenness is no excuse for inappropriate behaviour. 

As with any field related activities we need collectively to be aware and responsible for each others safety. Let the organizing committee know of any problems or injuries no matter how small. We will collectively be responsible for keeping the facilities clean and in functioning order.

Participants will be ready to go by 7.50 am in the morning, fieldwork will be finished by 4.30 pm with everybody at the camp by 5.15 pm. Please be considerate of others and be ready on time. Students who are not in the vehicle by 7.50 am will have to walk to Mr Erin where the mapping is being done.

It is the responsibility of the student to make sure that they don't go in the field without at the least 2 litres of water, sunblock, a broad rimmed hat, some food, and appropriate clothes for the day. You must have your own basic first aid kit, which MUST include a pressure bandage for sprained ankles and snake bite. The organizing committee may deny access to the field to participants without appropriate equipment.

Behavior in the field

Fred Patmore has for many years kindly welcomed students on his farm, however we do not take his help for granted. We hope that this relationship will continue into the future and ask that you act in an appropriate manner when in the field.  In particular:

·       Leave gates as you find them.
·       Do not climb or jump over fences. Walk to a gate if possible. Be aware that many fences are electric.
·       Do not walk on crops, new pasture areas or other vulnerable areas.
·       Do not disturb livestock such as sheep, cattle or brood mares, be careful around young animals.
·       Do not light fires.
·       Take all your rubbish back to the camp for disposal.
·       Do not hammer at limestone outcrops, look for loose fragments if you are collecting a specimen.
·       Do not roll stones down slopes, this may cause damage, to fences, buildings, livestock and people.
·       No alcohol to be consumed in University or hired vehicles used on excursions.

Safety in the field

Fieldwork frequently puts geologists in hazardous situations. Therefore use your common sense in the field and:

·      If someone is injured or is ill in the field, make sure a staff member is informed. There will be first aiders on staff to assist. An incident report form should also be filled out upon returning from the trip if there has been an injury.
·      If there is any situation on the excursion in which you feel unsafe or unconfident, do not proceed. Inform a staff member of your situation.
·      Make sure you have a regular tetanus booster in case you cut yourself on rusty wire or metal. You may not always be close to a vehicle and/or medical help.
·      Carry a small first aid kit and be familiar with the current first aid treatment of injuries such as sprains, cuts, snake bites, heat distress and exposure.
·      Wear adequate, easily visible clothing for the conditions in which you are working. Wear field boots which are suitable for rocky ground.
·      Carry a water bottle and be prepared for strong sun. Use plenty of sun-screen, have a hat and sun-glasses.
·      Do not attempt to climb rock faces.
·      Do not climb fences. This not only ruins the fences, but is dangerous. Walk to a gate if possible. There are many electric fences around the property. Always assume that the fence is electric and is turned on.
·      Always stay as a group. Do not carry out fieldwork by yourself.
·      Do not drop rocks or any other object over cliffs
·      Do not stand near the edge of significantly vertical drops as the edge may give way.
·      When approaching a rock face, always look up to check if there are loose rocks.

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Usefull Download (Compulsory Enrolment Forms and Policies)

The School of Geosciences form and policy (click here)must be read, understood, and signed by every participant before attending any excursion. This document has to be returned at the time of payment.

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Field Trip Location

The field exercise is located at Mt Erin on Mr F. Patmore farm a few kilometer from the Good Hope Resort where will be staying during the duration of this excercise.

Address: Good Hope Resort - Good Hope Resort Road, Via Yass, NSW, NSW 2582 - PO Box 369

Ph and Fax: (02) 6227 1234

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Itenary: How to get there? Where do we stay? How to get back?

Students wlll travel from The University of Sydney and back on buses. We will leave on Saturday 26th at 9am (in front of Madsen Building, F09) and we will return late the following Friday 2nd Oct (not before 4 pm).

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Saturday September 26th - Staff meet students at Madsen Building at the Sydney University and depart for Yass @ 9 am. Do some shopping at Yass before to settle at Good Hope ~ 1pm. After lunch - introduction to the mapping exercise, identification of key stratigraphic fauna, and the use of a compass to measure planar and linear features.

Sunday September 27th Sunday morning introductory section of Murrumbidgee and Black Range groups within field mapping area (Mt Erin). Students map for the remainder of the day (demonstrators help in the morning). In the evening students work on their map, cross-sections and keep their field book up to date and tidy.

Monday September 28h to Thursday October 1st - Students continue to map boundaries and structure of limestone members and igneous lithologies (demonstrators help in the morning). In the evening students work on their map, cross-sections and keep their field book up to date and tidy.

Tuesday October 29th – Following fieldwork there will be a trip into Yass to stock-up on supplies.

Friday October 2nd – pack up in the morning and depart Yass asap for Sydney. Students hand-in their field notebook and their field data sheet.


First Aid for Snake Bites – Snake bites are unlikely but potentially deadly.  Be prepared.

Do NOT wash the area of the bite! It is extremely important to retain traces of venom for use with venom identification kits! Do NOT cut or excise the area or apply an arterial torniquet!

Stop lymphatic spread - bandage firmly, splint and immobilise! – In the mean time get the 4WD as close to the victim as possible, organize a small crew to mind each gates on the property to allow the vehicle to move swiftly.

The "pressure-immobilisation" technique is currently recommended by the Australian Resuscitation Council, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.

The lymphatic system is responsible for systemic spread of most venoms. This can be reduced by the application of a firm bandage (as firm as you would put on a sprained ankle) over a folded pad placed over the bitten area. While firm, it should not be so tight that it stops blood flow to the limb or to congest the veins. Start bandaging directly over the bitten area, ensuing that the pressure over the bite is firm and even. If you have enough bandage you can extend towards more central parts of the body, to delay spread of any venom that has already started to move centrally. A pressure dressing should be applied even if the bite is on the victims trunk or torso.

Immobility is best attained by application of a splint or sling, using a bandage or whatever to hand to absolutely minimise all limb movement, reassurance and immobilisation. Where possible, bring transportation to the patient (rather then vice versa). Don't allow the victim to walk or move a limb. Walking should be prevented.

Bites to the head, neck, and back are a special problem - firm pressure should be applied locally if possible.
Removal of the bandage will be associated with rapid systemic spread. Hence ALWAYS wait until the patient is in a fully-equipped medical treatment area before bandage removal is attempted.

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Assumed Knowledge
Equipment and Cost
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Usefull Download
Field Course Location