Geological Maps and Structures

Module code: GL1105

A geological map will show you the geology at the Earth’s surface. You’ll find different rock types, different geological deposits and different geological structures, all recorded on top of a topographic base map. It can help you locate groundwater and resources such as minerals, sand and gravel. Geological maps are also important for geological hazard detection and mitigation and can help you unravel the geological history of the area.

In this module, you’ll learn the principles of interpreting geological maps and understanding the relationships between topography, geological structure and patterns of surface geological outcrop. You’ll try this out for yourself using computer software. You’ll explore rock deformation and learn basic terminology and classification. Plus, you’ll learn how to produce your own base.

You’ll cover topics such as understanding basic stratigraphic relationships, the major classes of geological structure, how to recognise and classify these on geological maps and constructing structure contours for geological surfaces. You’ll also cover calculating dip, true thickness and vertical thickness of beds from geological maps, extrapolating 3D geology from a 2D map, constructing geological cross-sections and defining the geological history of a map. Plus, you’ll use computer software to design your own 3D geological block models, learn how to locate yourself on a map and understand how to use compass bearings and pacings to mark geological boundaries on a base map.

Learning

  • 51 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 3 hours of fieldwork
  • 96 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Practical project (40%)
  • Exam, 1½ hours (60%)