Geological Maps and Structures

Module code: GL1105
Module co-ordinator: Dr Sarah Lee

The complex geology of Earth can be displayed on a geological map. Different rock types, geological deposits, and geological structures can all be recorded on top of a topographic base map. Geological maps can help you locate groundwater and other resources, such as minerals, sand, and gravel. They are important for geological hazard detection and mitigation. They are also the key to helping you unravel the geological history of an area.

In this module, you'll learn the principles of interpreting geological maps and of understanding the relationships between topography, geological structure, and patterns of surface geological outcrop. You'll be introduced to rock deformation and learn basic terminology and classification.

Topics covered

  • Basic stratigraphic relationships
  • Major classes of geological structure
  • Extrapolating 3D geology from a 2D map
  • Geological cross-sections
  • Geological history of a map
  • Using compass bearings and pacings to mark geological boundaries


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


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