Fieldwork in the Spanish Pyrenees

Unit code EART40011

Our Spanish Pyrenees field course gives an integrated view of a young mountain belt, and how internal and external forces have shaped this spectacular landscape. The course pulls together aspects of sedimentology, structural geology, environmental, and economic geology as a 'big picture' final year trip 
  • When is the fieldtrip?

    The field trip is for 9 days during Septemeber prior to the start of Year 4. Nine days are spent in the field.

    Fieldwork will be from 9am to 6m each day. Evenings are spent completing maps and cross sections, and preparing a short presentation. Staff are available during the day and evenings for help sessions and one-to-one feedback.

  • Where is the fieldtrip?

    You will be staying in hotels in Tremp, Ainsa, Oliana, Berga and Barcelona.

    Accommodation is in double or triple rooms. In part it is full board, partly bed and breakfast. There are opportunities to buy necessary food and there are bars/restaurants nearby for evening meals.

  • How will we travel to the Spanish Pyrenees?

    Travel to and from the Spanish Pyrenees will be by air and small coach. Further details will be provided closer to the time of the trip.

  • What will I learn?

    You will be taught how to integrate geological observations and trained in:

    • design of investigations, analysis of data and practical techniques that are regularly used in applied geoscience professions;
    • integration of various types of geological data sets and at different scales of observation;
    • examination of the structure and stratigraphy of the Spanish Pyrenees as an example of a young orogen;
    • understanding of processes of mountain building, basin formation and fill from basin to sample scale;
    • examination of the economic aspects related to basin formation.

    By the end of the course you will be able to:

    • have an understanding of some of the key geological factors involved in basin analysis;
    • be familiar with some key field investigative methods;
    • have gained experience in the design and iplementation of such investigations;
    • have gained skills in team working and data integration.


  • What equipment will I need?

    Essential field course items are:

    • sturdy footwear (i.e. walking boots);
    • walking trousers or shorts;
    • rucksack;
    • compass-clinometer;
    • hand-lens;
    • hammer;
    • field notebook;
    • pencil;
    • grain size card;
    • high visability vest.

    Warm clothing and/or waterproofs may be necessary, depending on the weather.

  • How will the field course be assessed?

    Assessment is based upon the following:

    • cross-section;
    • chronostratigraphic chart;
    • field map;
    • presentation.

    All are prepared and completed while in the field.

  • Who can I contact regarding the Spanish Pyrenees field course?

    For more information visit the course unit specification or email course leaders Dr Rhodri Jerrett or Dr Stefan Schroeder.

  • What our students say



    "It was very different fom any of the previous undergraduate trips we had done and was synoptic in its content, which was a great way to cement the theory from the previous three years in a practical setting. Overall it was a great example of what a 4th year geology field trip should be."

    Did you know?

    The mountains of the Spanish Pyrenees are being used as a training ground for numerous universities and oil companies.

    More about the Spanish Pyrenees

    The size of the orogen, the quality of the exposures, the unusualy good preservation of synorogenic strata, and the knowledge about the lithospheric structure make the Pyrenes a natural laboratory to investiagte orogenic processes and foreland basin formation mechanisms.

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