Structural geology is a vital aspect of geology because it helps our understanding of the 3D architecture of rock packages and how the rocks happened to be that way; in other words it gives insight into the deformation history.

Dates 16 - 23 March, 2024  (dates are inclusive)

The main aims of the course are (learning objectives):

  1. to develop a sound understanding of structural elements such as cleavages and fold axes, and learn how to use them to describe structures,
  2. to understand and apply a method to correlate between key localities to make a structural map,
  3. to develop and improve on reporting these observations in your notebook and ultimately make an interpreted map, and
  4. to develop 3D geological skills and understanding.

These aims will be achieved by mapping the poly-deformed headlands at Bermagui, on the beautiful south coast of New South Wales. This is quite a difficult exercise that will develop 3D understanding and visualisation in the field.


  • Saturday: Travel from Melbourne to Bermagui (arrive between 5 and 6pm)
  • Sunday: Lectures and fieldwork, Bermagui heads
  • Monday to Wednesday: Fieldwork, Pt. Dickinson
  • Thursday Building a cross-section, review and wrap up, key locality assessment
  • Friday Travel from Bermagui to Melbourne

From Sunday to Wednesday there will be practicals for one hour after the fieldwork and case study presentations from the staff members after dinner.

COST OF THE COURSE: VIEPS students:  $550 to cover for transportation (from/to Monash University, Clayton campus) and accommodation


  • Produce a structural map of Pt. Dickinson
  • Produce a high quality notebook and improve quality over the course (feedback is given continuously during fieldwork)
  • Produce a E-W cross-section of Pt Dickinson (one of the practicals)
  • Assess and present one key locality in the field (Saturday assessment)

LOGISTICSAccommodation is at a campsite so please bring your tent, sleeping bag and other camping equipment

Field Equipment to bring:

  • sturdy field boots absolutely essential (NO fieldwork without them)
  • wet weather gear, some cold weather clothes, swimming togs
  • day pack
  • hats - ESSENTIAL
  • hand lens
  • sunglasses
  • pencils, rubbers, waterproof writing materials, etc
  • water resistant, cloth bound notebook
  • camera
  • geo-picks are not necessary and cannot be used
This course has proven to be a great success and very enjoyable in the past, and we are sure this year will be no exception. We look forward to meeting and working with you.

Teachers: Laurent Ailleres,


02 - 06 September 2024

Note: Enrollments will close about three weeks before the course.

Course contact

Dr Matt Cracknell (


Course description

We begin with two days of introductory lectures (environmental geochemistry, geophysics, and hydrogeology) at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, before driving to Tasmania’s West Coast on Wednesday morning. We will spend Wednesday and Thursday undertaking detailed field surveys of the downstream effects of acid drainage and mine tailings discharged from the Mt Lyell site on the Queen and King River system and Macquarie Harbour. On Friday morning, we visit to the Mt Lyell mine site and discuss its legacy of environmental problems, before returning to Hobart on Friday afternoon. 

Skills to be taught include field analysis of acid drainage chemistry and mine tailings, piezometer measurement and analysis in porous aquifers, and a range of geophysical techniques, including resistivity and electromagnetics. The course will emphasise integration of these diverse techniques to solve environmental problems.

Participants must be prepared for very cold and wet weather, and are required to bring steel-capped boots for the mine visits, and wet weather gear.


Field assessments of environmentally damaged sites to be submitted during the trip (25%), plus a major report to be submitted in the following month that presents, analyses and interprets data collected on the trip (75%).


Payment Information

To be provided


Approximate Field Trip Cost

(includes 2 nights’ accommodation in Strahan plus ground transportation – it does not include airfares, meals or accommodation in Hobart) 

VIEPS $250.00

Student (non-VIEPS institution) $300.00

Industry $700.00 (includes private accommodation in Strahan)


Further information

Weather conditions are variable on the West Coast of Tasmania. Be prepared for cold, wet weather - bring appropriate wet weather gear, warm hat, gloves, thermals, scarf, change of clothes, etc. Snow is also a possibility. Gumboots are advisable - failing that, sturdy field boots (steel capped gumboots are ideal). Warm changes of clothing, etc.

The accommodation in Strahan will be in cabins. Most cabins contain a room with a double bed, another room with two bunks, and a self-contained kitchen, bathroom and shower (and heater and television). Three students per cabin. Some cabins are bigger, and accommodate 5 or 8 students. Bedding, linen and towels are provided in the cabins in Strahan. There is no need to bring any bedding for the west coast excursion. 

Students are responsible for their own meals, so bring money to purchase all meals, or bring your own food. No food will be provided, although opportunities to buy food at a supermarket will be provided as we drive to Strahan. Strahan has a great pub which does good counter meals, a bakery, and a supermarket, plus several restaurants.


Required equipment

Writing implements (you will have assignments to complete). Waterproof paper. Hand lens, large water bottle and good backpack to carry all the things you need.  Also please try to minimise luggage as we will have quite a few people to fit into the vehicles.


Important notes

Our return to Hobart may be delayed significantly by bad weather (western Tasmanian roads can be affected badly by snow and ice), so do not plan to fly home from Hobart on Friday evening. 

Accommodation in Hobart will need to be organised by students. The university is located in Sandy Bay, on the southwestern side of town. It's about a 20-30 minute walk from downtown Hobart to UTAS, so any of the backpackers in town are suitable accommodation venues. Don't stay in North Hobart, which is the wrong side of town (at least in terms of bus travel - you have to catch two buses!).

Further course and assessment information can be found at:

Dates: 04 - 11 February 2024

Time, Date, Location of first Meeting: Tasmanian students (or interstate students already in Hobart) are to meet at 9:00 am on Sunday 04th of February in the MRT Core Storage carpark (in Mornington). Students flying in from Victoria on the morning of Sunday 05 February should be on Flight No. JQ710 departing Melbourne at 7.00am and arriving in Hobart at 08.15 am (see recommended flight information below). Upon arriving, interstate students are to gather at the SE-end (i.e. the far end) of the public drop-off/pick up area, from where they will be collected by the course leader/s around 8:30 am. If you prefer to come over a day (or more) earlier, that would be OK too. You will need a “Plus” or “Max” ticket that allow you to bring 20 or 30 kg of checked luggage in addition to 7 kg of hand luggage.


The most suitable departing flight would be: tba

Enrolled students will be emailed contact information so that instructors can be notified of delayed flights etc. 

Costs and How to Pay: Students need to book and pay for their own accommodation in Hobart for Sunday (05 February) night, and for any previous nights if arriving earlier. From Monday 17 to Sunday morning (23 February) students will be based in Queenstown. Accommodation will be at the Mountain View Motel. Students have two room options. You can stay in basic twin-share back-packer accommodation for $290 or shared motel room with en suite for $400. You will be advised on how to make these payments at a later date.  

Course Description: The Exploration Field Skills (EFS) mapping camp provides participants with the opportunity to develop skills (or enhance existing skills) in geological mapping, core logging and structural analysis, within a mineral exploration context. 

During the week-long camp in western Tasmania, participants map, interpret and ultimately assess the exploration potential of a 4−5 km2 area of Cambrian Mount Read Volcanics. The rock sequence exposed in the mapping area is similar to that hosting the nearby Rosebery and Hercules volcanic-hosted massive sulfide (VHMS) deposits, located 5−10 km further north. The area may also be prospective for Devonian base metal deposits. These are typically much smaller than the Cambrian VHMS deposits and structurally- rather than stratigraphically-controlled.To date, eight diamond drill holes have been drilled in the mapping area. Three of these will be inspected (and two re-logged) by participants during the mapping camp. One of these holes intersected a narrow interval of low grade base metal mineralisation. 

Participants evaluate textural, structural, mineralogical and geochemical features of the mineralized interval, and together with an assessment of its stratigraphic position, decide whether mineralization is more likely to be Cambrian (i.e. early, stratigraphically-controlled) or Devonian (i.e. late, structurally-controlled).

Data collected during field mapping and core logging are used to unravel the stratigraphy and structure of the area, as well as the nature and extent of any hydrothermal alteration. This information provides the basis for an assessment of the exploration potential of the area, with participants asked to identify any previously untested areas in which base metal deposits could potentially occur within 500 m of the surface

Further course and assessment information can be found at: