Structure and Tectonics

Module code: GL2102

Structural geology focuses on the characterisation of deformation within the lithosphere and underpins our understanding of tectonic processes. Determining the controls on structural style is critical to natural hazards such as earthquakes, to the distribution of natural resources, and to the type and scale of Earth’s major physiographic features.

In this module, you'll examine the main ways in which rocks deform, including elastic, brittle, and viscous mechanisms, and the major controls on those deformation mechanisms. You'll look at the theory behind rock deformation through the concepts of stress and strain, the quantitative application of these concepts using datasets for natural structures, and natural examples of deformed rocks.

Topics covered

  • Stress, strains, and resultant structures
  • Controls on rock deformation mechanisms and modes
  • Common geological structures, such as faults, folds, and foliations
  • Quantitative methods of structural analysis
  • Plate tectonic settings, including continental and oceanic lithosphere systems
  • The use of GIS in structural mapping

Learning

  • 16 hours of lectures
  • 32 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 42 hours of work-based learning
  • 60 hours of guided independent study

Assessment 

  • Exam, 1½ hours (70%)
  • Group presentation (30%)