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Academic year
Didactic period
Primo Semestre

Training objectives

The purpose of this course is to provide the various concepts that allow us to understand: the formation of carbonate sediments, the main diagenetic transformations, processes of transport and deposition including flow regimes, aspects sedimentological major sedimentary environments present and their comparison with those of the past; facies models and architecture of carbonate systems.


Knowledge of geology, structural geology, paleontology, chemistry and physics

Course programme

1- CARBONATE SEDIMENTS AND SEDIMENTARY ROCKS (6h of classroom lectures+ 8 lab)
• The components of carbonate sediments and rocks
• Classification of carbonate rocks
• Diagenetic processes and product

• Introduction to fluid dynamics
• The transport of sediments
• Traction processes.
• Waves, tides and internal waves

3- SEDIMENTARY STRUCTURES (4 h of classroom lectures + 4 lab)
• Structures from unidirectional current, waves
• Hyperconcentrated and massive flows
• Erosive sedimentary structures and biogenic

4- DYNAMICS OF SEDIMENTARY PROCESSES (6 h of classroom lectures)
• Outline of sedimentary basins and sedimentary systems
• Outline of eustatic and relative sea-level fluctuation
• Notes on the interaction between sediment supply, eustatism and tectonics
• Introduction to the sequence stratigraphy and critical analysis of existing models.

5 – FACIES ANALYSIS (6 h of classroom lectures + 4 lab)
The sedimentary environments and facies analysis: definition of sedimentary environment and their subdivision, facies definitions, biofacies, facies association, Walther Law; facies analysis methods, graphical representations (palaeocurrents, stratigraphic log), systems and depositional facies models.

6- CARBONATE ENVIRONMENTS (8 h of classroom lectures + 4 lab)
The principles of the carbonate production and interactions with biological and climatic parameters. Distribution of the various types of sediments. Zonation of a carbonate platform: innner platform, marigin, slope, basin. Facies associations and internal organization in various environments: current examples and fossils. Models of depositional architecture. Interactions internal and external factors and organization of sedimentary carbonate platforms.

Didactic methods

The teaching method includes lectures in the classroom on all the topics of the course and practical exercises.

Lessons are conducted with the help of on-screen presentations, prepared by the teacher and constantly updated, with numerous pictures and diagrams of simplification. The information provided in the presentation comes largely from scientific articles selected from journals of major impact.

The presentation follows a logical scheme with general concepts and outlines that are expanded in the course of the lesson.

During the lesson the teacher interacts frequently with students with specific questions, raising questions about the knowledge and interpretations to explain a particular process. The aim is to develop the critical thinking and stimulate curiosity about the topics covered.

Learning assessment procedures

The aim of the examination is to test the level of achievement of learning objectives previously indicated.

The exam is divided into 2 parts: a written test (partial examination) and an oral exam.

• The partial examination (open questions) is based on all the topics covered in the first half of the course. The test is intended to evaluate the study of matter and understanding of the topics. To pass the test the student must acquire at least 18 points out of 30 points. The expected time for the test is 2 hours. It is not allowed to consult texts or use PCs, smart phones, iwatch etc .;

• A final oral examination in which it will not be assessed as the ability to "repeat" some topic covered in class, as the ability to link and compare different aspects covered during the course and in particular on the second part of the course. This mode is reserved for the candidate who has passed the previous partial exam with a score of 18/30. In particular, if the student has not passed or has not made the partial examination, the oral examination will be carried out throughout the program. To pass the oral exam you must acquire at least 18 points out of 30.

The final grade is the sum of 2 scores divided by 2. To pass the comprehensive examination is necessary to acquire a minimum score of 18 out of 30.

If the final score is less than 18, you must repeat the oral examination in the manner and the requirements mentioned.

Reference texts

PDF copies of the presentations of the teacher and other materials provided during the course.

Many arguments can be explored on the following texts and scientific articles.

ALLEN P.A. (1997). Earth surface processes. Blackwell Science London
BOSELLINI A. (1991). Introduzione allo studio delle rocce carbonatiche. Italo Bovolenta editore.
BOSELLINI A., RICCI LUCCHI F., MUTTI E. (1989). Rocce e successioni sedimentarie. UTET.
NICHOLS (2009). Sedimentology and Stratigraphy. Blackwell Science London.
REINECK H.E., SINGH I.B. (1980) - Depositional Sedimentary Environments. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
READING H.G. (1996). Sedimentary environments. 688 p. Blackwell Science London.
RICCI LUCCHI F. (1972-1980)- Sedimentologia, parte I, II, III. CLUEB, Bologna.
RICCI LUCCHI F. (1992). Sedimentografia. Atlante fotografici delle strutture e dei sedimenti. Zanichelli, Bologna.
TUCKER M.E, WRIGHT P. (1990). Carbonate sedimentology. Blackwell Science London
TUCKER M.E. (2000). Sedimentary petrography. Blackwell Science London.
LEEDER M. (1999), Sedimentology and sedimentary basin. Blackwell Science London