Field Trip Information

GEOS1040 – Earth’s Dynamic Processes


This one day field trip focuses on the wide variety of rock types deposited over a considerable time period around the Swansea and Mulbring Quarry area in order to interpret the tectonic and geological history. Localities on this excursion are situated entirely within the Sydney Basin. During the excursion you will observe sediments and volcanic rocks of Upper Permian age at Swansea Heads, then move to Mulbring to see a fossiliferous deposit of the Mid Permian Maitland Group. The rocks at Swansea Heads also form part of the Newcastle Coal Measures.


  • To construct a stratigraphic log of the outcrop of the Boolaroo Formation of the Newcastle Coal Measures at Swansea Heads
  • To interpret the environments of formation and destruction of a Permian Dadoxylon forest at Swansea Heads
  • To compare the characteristics of the Permian forest preserves at Swansea Heads with modern-day eucalypt forests, and to suggest reasons for any apparent differences
  • To observe the nature of fossil preservation in the middle Permian Branxton Formation, part of the marine Maitland Group
  • Field trip to Swansea Heads & Mulbring Quarry runs first weekend in May

GEOS1040 Course Info

GEOS1050 – Earth Processes and Products


This excursion goes to Booti Booti National Park, Port Macquarie and Mt Seaview to look at a traverse across an ancient arc-forearc-subduction/accretion system.

GEOS1050 involves studying the crustal evolution and processes involved in the growth of continental crust and continent-ocean plate margins by subduction/accretion or terrane accretion as well as the addition of new crust from the mantle in the form of magmas. The best example of a subduction/accretion system on the Australian continent exists at our very doorstep, to the north in the New England Ranges.

Over the two days of the field trip you will look at the rock types, geological history, arc migration, volcanism, extension and formation of the Tasman Sea and eruption of basaltic lavas.

  • Field trip to Mt Seaview runs first weekend in September

GEOS1050 Course Info

GEOS2080 – Earth Science Field Course


This excursion will introduce you to Permian sequences of the southern part of the Sydney Basin and some of the older igneous and metamorphic basement rocks further to the south. Our aim is to give you a taste of field geology by interpreting some of the best outcrops in this part of the world. Many of the skills you learn will be developed further in the GEOS2190 excursion to Wellington (NSW).

This field course provides an introduction to field geology involving the interpretation of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks, mapping of dyke swarms and production of stratigraphic logs.


  • To develop skills required to observe and understand simple geological relations and record data in a field setting
  • To identify rocks and minerals from hand specimens
  • To develop skills to produce simple geological maps and stratigraphic logs from field observations
  • To solve simple geological problems using field observations
  • To identify ancient environments using faunal and sedimentological indicators
  • To identify intrusion order in dyke swarms
  • Field trip to South Coast runs week before Semester 1 starts

GEOS2080 Course Info

GEOS2050 – River Basin Processes


This field trip provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the movement of water through river basins, and the role water plays in the development of soils and the flux of sediments through the landscape. Students will learn about the major factors controlling the way in which water moulds the river basin landscape.


  • Develop an understanding of the movement of water through the river basin
  • Develop an understanding of how soils form and evolve, and the principles and procedures for soil classification
  • Enhanced field observation and report-writing skills
  • Skills in the identification and measurement of hydrological and geomorphological processes through the use of field instrumentation
  • Learn to present geological information in the form of a scientific report
  • Field trip to Merriwa runs the last weekend in March

GEOS2050 Course Info

GEOS2190 – Structural and Field Geology


Through hands-on laboratory activities and field applications, you
will learn to 1) identify and describe deformation structures, 2)
measure and report the attributes of deformation, 3) analyse
measures of deformation, and 4) build a cross-section through a
folded terrane to demonstrate an understanding of
three-dimensional deformation structures.

  • Field trip to South Coast runs in Semester 2

GEOS2190 Course Info

GEOS2200 – Earths Sedimentary Rocks and Environments


This field trip looks at sedimentary rocks and the depositional environments they formed in. Students examine sedimentary sequences from shallow marine, beach deposits, sinous rivers, levee deposits and over-bank deposits consistent with a tidal deltaic setting. They are asked to observe and show evidence for sedimentary facies that show changes in flow strength of rivers and waves, erosional events, colder conditions at the time the rocks were deposited and changes in sea level over time. Students are required to to draw a sedimentary log which includes interpretations of the geology, geological history and depositional environments of each area. Students also need to interpret whether the stratigraphy showed transgression (tidal delta transitioning into shallow then deeper marine) or regressive (vice versa) sequences.

  • Field trips run throughout semester 2

GEOS2200 Course Info

GEOS3170 – Resource & Exploration Geology


This field course further develops the mapping skills acquired from previous structural field courses, by focusing on a structural analysis of slate-belt rocks in the Palaeozoic Cobar Basin. The field course involves determining the fold geometry of a small, moderately exposed area (roughly 700 m x 400 m) of monotonous turbidites located above The Peak Gold Mine. It includes structural & stratigraphic interpretation & consideration of the structural control of gold & base metal ores in this important mining district. A mine tour will take place during this component.

  • Field trips run during the semester break after semester 1, before semester 2

GEOS3170 Course Info

GEOS3220 – Coastal Environments and Processes


The course aims to develop student knowledge in coastal environments and processes by visiting Boomerang, Blueys, Elizabeth and Shelly beach near Forster. This is achieved through a combination of intensive coastal zone field work, computer lab exercises including using GIS and lectures by Hannah Power and guests. Students use data collected in the field to identify geomorphological features, conduct beach surveys, assess beach sediments and obtain wave measurements. In doing so, students gain an insight into how waves, current and tides shape the beach and other coastal areas. Team work is also an important factor during the fieldwork and lab exercises.


    • Describe and identify the geomorphological features present in coastal environments
    • Explain the processes relevant to coastal environments and how the processes shape the geomorphology
    • Explain the basic principles of, reasons for, and techniques used in coastal management
    • Collect, analyse, and interpret field and experimental data from the coastal zone
    • Work effectively as a team in both field and classroom based situations
    • Communicate effectively in both oral and written forms
      • Coastal field trip runs February, a week before Semester 1 begins

GEOS3220 Course Info

GEOS3280 – Global Change


This field trip examines the nature, causes and extent of natural climate change through geological time, with a particular emphasis on how natural and human environments have responded to such change over the last several hundred thousand years. Several stops over the 8 days in New Zealand look at the topography, sedimentology, stratigraphy, cave formations and tectonic features to demonstrate multiply glacial events and the importance of tectonics, mountain building and erosion.


      • Observe and characterise sedimentary sequences
      • Collect and interpret survey, coring and transect data
      • Develop an understanding of the nature, extent and likely causes of climate change through earth history
      • A knowledge of the types of earth and biological materials (rocks, sediments, ice, corals) that host information on past climate, and the relative potential of those materials to preserve useful climate change information
      • Learn to present geological information in the form of a scientific report
      • Field skills in the identification, description and sampling of palaeodata archives
      • An understanding of Quaternary Geology
      • Field trip runs at the discretion of the course coordinator

GEOS3280 Course Info

GEOS3330 – Metamorphic and Field Geology


This course examines the geological processes of deformation and metamorphism. The field component provides an advanced field course in metamorphic and structural analysis and interpretation of complex, multiply deformed geological terrains. Detailed fieldwork will be augmented with microstructural analysis using thin sections, to determine a pressure-temperature-time (P-T-t) history of the region, so that a tectonic setting can be evaluated.


      • Observe and characterise metamorphic mineral assemblages
      • Develop an understanding of metamorphic phase equilibria
      • Develop a high degree of mapping skills
      • Develop skills for microstructural interpretation
      • Learn to present geological information in the form of a scientific report
      • Develop research and communication skills and be able to present written reports
      • Field trip to Broken Hill runs during semester break after semester 1, before semester 2

GEOS3330 Course Info

GEOS3150 – Basin Analysis
      • Field trip to South Coast runs last week in September

GEOS3150 Course Info

Fieldtrip Blog Posts

What is Earth Science?

Tom Doyle attended the University of Newcastle Central Coast open day as a representative of Earth Science. Tom’s presentation was well received by students and peers generating an interest in all facets of Earth Science. If you would like to … Read More »


GEOS3280: New Zealand photos

Have a look below at some of the stunning pictures taken in New Zealand on the GEOS3280 field trip, 2017. You can enroll in GEOS3280 for semester 2, 2018.  


GEOS3280 Global Change Field Course: Semester 2, 2018

Want to travel to New Zealand for an 8 day intensive field trip? GEOS3280 has you covered. With Dr Silvia Frisia and her team you will explore New Zealand and gain first hand knowledge on past climate changes, glacial cycles, … Read More »


GEOS2060 Soil Properties and Processes: Semester 2, 2018

Studying science? Do you enjoy field and laboratory work? Are you interested in learning more about soil; resources, physical processes, chemical processes and biology? If yes, then consider enrolling in GEOS2060 (Callaghan, Semester 2 2018). This course has had exceptional … Read More »


GEOS3220 Coastal Environments & Processes Field Trip 2018

In February 2018, Dr Hannah Power and 13 undergraduate students travelled to Pacific Palms for a seven-day, six-night intensive fieldwork course as a component of GEOS3220 Coastal Environments and Processes. Staff and students stayed at Pacific Palms Caravan Park, a … Read More »


ENVS3007 Environmental Remediation Field Trip 2017

  On May 5th 2017, ENVS3007 Environmental Remediation students visited a former “town gas” work site in Clyde St, Hamilton. Students were shown around the site by a member of Jemena, the company which is currently responsible for monitoring and … Read More »


Semester 2 2017 New Zealand Field Trip Info

Still deciding what to enroll in for Semester 2 this year? Take a look at the GEOS3280 field trip, that is only on offer every few years, going to New Zealand’s North Island during the September mid-semester break. For more … Read More »


GEOS3220 Field Trip Details – Apply now for Feb 2017 course


GEOS2200 1st Field Trip to Redhead/Dudley Beach

On the 16th of August 23 students took part a one day fieldtrip in the first of three field trips to local beaches and headland outcrops as part of the Earths Sedimentary Rocks and Environments course. We spent the day … Read More »


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