(3 credits) 

Dr. Douglas W. Haywick



Bulletin Description:

A  study of sediments and their classification, as well as sedimentary processes, petrography and diagenesis. Prerequisites: GY 111, GY 112, EH 102, GY 304 or permission of the instructor.


Objectives and Goals:

This course will examine the physical make-up of some of the most important rocks we have on the planet (certainly along the Alabama Gulf Coast!); the sedimentary rocks. You will be introduced to the most common nomenclatures used to name those rocks and sediments, the techniques used to identify them, and the parameters responsible for their origins. Laboratories will be used to introduce you to the physical properties of sediment and sedimentary rocks. Several required field excursions will take place in this class. The one to Moscow Landing will be a three day mini field school. GY 40 also requires substantial computer use. I expect all students to have access to, and to use, personal computers/tablets; however, the Department also has several available for your use as well as a printer to produce hard copies of assignments and finished work. You will also need an active E-mail account for this class.


Syllabus for Current Semester (PDF format*)

GY 402 Assignment Due Dates and Field Trip Schedule

Doug's Current Semester Schedule

Letter Head for Writing Assignments (.doc [Word 2010] format)

Grain size Spreadsheet (.xls [Excel] format)

Tweet this Class! (Read what past students recommend for surviving GY 402)


GY 402 Lecture Stuff
(Note: Downloads are available when cell background is coloured) format) (other formats) video files)


Subject Material

PPT Lecture

Lecture Notes

On line Videos


1: Origin of Sediment

2: Grain Size Parameters


3: Fluid Dynamics

4: Sediment Classification


5: Bedform Development

6: Sedimentary Structures

7: Sedimentary Sections


8: Sedimentary Facies

9: Walter's Law

10: Mature Sed. Petrography



11: Near Shore Environments


12) Immature Sed. Petrography


13) Alluvial Fans


14) Siliciclastic Diagenesis


Mardi Gras

15) Moscow Landing


16) Volcaniclastic Petrography

17) Sandy Fluvial Systems


Spring Break


18) Non-Skeletal Allochems

19) Evaporites/Tidal Flats

20) Skeletal Allochems



21) Shelves

22) Reefs



23) Temperate carbonates


24) Carbonate Diagenesis 1


25) Carbonate Diagenesis 2




26) Carbonate Diagenesis 3



27) Wireline Interpretations





28) Sequence Stratigraphy




Thin Section Final Lab exam

Lecture Test 1

Lecture Test 2

Activity Assignments 1: Ternary plotting exercise 2: Hand specimen examination 3: James sed section exercise 4: Class discussion: beaches paper review 5: Flume experimentation exercise 6: Class discussion: provenance paper review paper here 7: Library literature exercise 8: Three minute Moscow Landing Presentations

Thin-section Assignments 1: Mature siliciclastic thin sections 2: Immature siliciclastic thin sections 3: Siliciclastic diagenesis thin sections 4: Volcaniclastic thin sections 5: Tidal flat and evaporite thin sections 6: Skeletal allochem thin sections 7: Temperate carbonate thin sections 8: Carbonate diagenesis thin sections

Small Writing Assignments 1: Breakdown of a term paper 2: Grain size Project: Hypothesis and Methods 3: Grain size Project: Introduction and Results 4: Provenance Paper Critical Review paper here 5: Moscow Landing Project: Literature Review 6: Moscow Landing Project: Background and Stratigraphy

Major Project Assignments and Guidelines 1: Grain Size Project (Group) 2: Perdido Citronelle Section (Group) 3: Moscow Landing Project (Individual) Landing Field Trip Information

Peer Review Assignment Forms 1: Grain Size Hypothesis/Methods form 2: Paper critique evaluation form

Exams Midterm Exam (available Feb 7, 2017) paper here

 * You will need a PDF reader to view\print these files. Go here to download Adobe Acrobat

Text books (optional):

Walker , R.G., and James, N.P. (eds.), 1992: Facies Models. 3rd Ed. Geosci. Can. Rep. Ser. 1, Toronto.


Lab Manual:

There is no lab manual required,  however, you will have to have the following for the labs:

1) hard covered notebook
2) hand lens
3) good quality pencils (colored and graphite for drawing), pens and a compass


Useful? Course Information:



Student Presentation *




Peer Review Exercises


Grain Size Group Project


Perdido Group Project


Moscow Landing Project


Small GSSA Writing Assignments


Lab Assignments


Final Lab Exam (in class)


Mid Term Exam (take home)


Final Exam (in class)**






* One of the major goals of this class is to stimulate your critical thinking. This is done by me asking specific individuals questions during class (Socratic method) and you participating in group activities, field trips and in-class discussions. Pay attention in class because you never know when it will be your turn to be put on the spot. I will assess you on how well you do.







80 to 89


70 to 79


60 to 69


59 and below




Writing Assignments:



GY 402 is a W (Writing-Across-the-Curriculum) class, which means that it is writing intensive. The purpose of W classes is to not only provide you with the opportunity to “write”, but to help you to improve your writing skills. In GY 402, you will be able to write in a number of “styles” that are both useful and relevant to all of the geology professions. These “styles” include: professional letters, cover reports, memos, geological lab reports and the ever popular (but much maligned), sedimentology projects (see the GSSA bleb below). In order to help you develop appropriate writing skills, each of the “W” assignments that you get will be assigned will be “re-doable” following submission and review of a first draft. Three of the assignments will also be subjected to peer review whereby your fellow students will provide comments in addition to those provided by the instructor. Remember; the purpose of all this is to improve and develop your writing skills in geology . Refer to the class website for due dates and redo dates for each of the assignments.


More on W classes




The GSSA: You will get occasional small writing assignments based in part upon the following premise: you are employed as sedimentologist with the GSSA, the Geological Survey of South Alabama. Every report that you produce (even boring lab reports) will be considered a company document. As such, it should have an appropriate “cover” (either on letterhead or memo paper), be well written without spelling mistakes/grammatical errors, contain, where necessary, a bibliography of refereed references, and contain adequate reference citations. Your signature and company position should also appear in the appropriate location on the cover letter. Ultimately, in your role with the GSSA, you will be responsible for completing 3 major projects: 1) a group report dealing with sediment grain size on a site somewhere on Dauphin Island; 2) a group project involving production of a composite sedimentary section of Pliocene Citronelle Formation near Perdido Alabama and, 3) a project involving the mapping and interpretation of K/T boundary chalk beds near Moscow Landing Alabama. The first and last projects will be broken up into a number of components each due at a specific date, and each revisable for re-marking after I or your peers review it for you.

The following will comprise the bulk of the small writing assignments in GY 402:

Write 1: Breakdown of a term paper (Week 1)

Write 2: Grain size hypothesis and methods (Week 2; group grade)

Write 3: Grain size introduction and results write up (Week 4; group grade)

Write 4: Provenance Paper critical review Assignment (Week 7; Peer reviewed)

Write 5: Moscow Landing Library Lit Review Assignment (Week 8/9)

Write 6: Moscow Landing Background/Stratigraphy (Week 11)


In addition, there are in-class activities that we will usually do on an assigned group basis. They are designed to be completable within the assigned lecture/lab period, but I may give you a bit of extra time (e.g., until the next day) to polish off any write ups that might be part of the activity. Most are discussions about assigned reading or previous lections. Those that will be assessed are:


Activity 1: Plotting ternary data (requires a calculator) (Week 1; group grade)

Activity 2: Examination of sedimentary rocks with a hand lens  (Week 2; group grade)

Activity 3: James sedimentary section exercise (Week 4; group grade)

Activity 4: Class critical review of Beaches paper (Week 5; individual grade)

Activity 5: Flume experimentation (Week 6; group grade)

Activity 6: Class critical review of provenance paper (Week 7; individual grade)

Activity 7: Library exercise, Moscow Landing literature review (Week 8; individual grade)

Activity 8: 3 minute student presentations (Moscow Landing Research) (Week 13; individual grade)


From week 6 until the end of the course, the weekly writing component will largely consist of a short thin section discussion that will be handwritten in your lab note books. Use pencil as these discussions are re-doable (however, the thin section descriptions are not). All writing assignments (1st drafts and revised versions) are due by 11:00 AM on the assigned due dates unless otherwise stated. I will not accept late assignments (you will get an F). When I mark them and return them to you with comments, you will be permitted to resubmit them once for revised assessment. I will accept revisions up to the re-submission deadlines posted on the web page  (usually 1 week later than the original due date).


Due Dates webpage.







It is up to you to examine the rocks and thin-sections that are assigned in this course and to do all additional laboratory assignments. You may do this during the lab periods and\or outside of normal university hours. A good chunk of your mark in GY 402 will be based upon lab material (lab test, quizzes etc). Spend suitable time in the lab going over the crystallographic models and minerals. Refer to the web page for lab assignment due dates. I do not give extensions; labs assignments not turned in on time will not be accepted (you get an F for that assignment).






The reason for producing a syllabus is to give students advanced notice of exams and assignment due dates. Translation: there is no excuse for missing an exam. However, sometimes it happens. If you have a legitimate excuse for missing an exam (i.e. medical problem), you will be permitted to write a make-up during the last week of classes provided that you show me a signed certificate from a medical doctor stating that it was impossible for you to make the exam. The make up exam will consist of 2 essay questions with no choice on your part. The Final lab exam will consist of a thin section and hand specimen description exercise of a sample drawn randomly from a hat. The sample pairs will be from a similar suite to those that you examined during the petrography labs in the class. You will be able to use your lab note books during the final.


The fine print:


Plagiarism and cheating are not permitted in this class and either of them will result in severe embarrassment to you (and quite possibly an F for the assignment or exam in question) if you are caught doing them. Be sure to use proper reference citations in your take home exam otherwise it’s plagiarism. See me if you need help about this before the exam.



Policies related to Student Disability Services, Academic Disruption, Changes in Course Requirements, Student Academic Conduct, and Operational Disruptions are available online on the class SAKAI site accessible through USAonline behind the tab labeled "Additional Academic Course Policies."



How & where to find Doug:

I reside in LSCB room 049. I believe in open office hours, so feel free to pay me a visit anytime between 9:00 am & 5:00 pm. However, I do research and serve on a lot of committees so I may not always be in my office. I  keep regular office hours. To see my current schedule, click the button below
Where's Doug


 This page is maintained by Dr. D. Haywick. Please feel free to email 
him if you have any questions concerning it.