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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Structural Analysis of Rocks and Regions (SARR) (EASC09052)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryStructural geology and rock deformation affect a large number of economic, environmental and societal interfaces with planet Earth, and the response of rocks to plate motions shapes our planet¿s appearance. This course will teach not only a fundamental knowledge of the parameters that govern the relationship between stress and strain but put the rock response into a perspective that seamlessly ties in with material taught in related courses.

This course reverses the theory-first/application-second approach of all common structural geology textbooks by introducing students to the structural geology of regions they are either familiar with, or have heard of. The regions are chosen so that a) in sum, they represent all important deformation processes and styles, b) the students will/may visit them, c) excellent (teaching) material is available or can be organised to allow for a true multi-scale and integrated assessment using a wide range of data and d) the lecturers know them well. Students will experience key quantities, concepts and descriptors of rock deformation through a large variety of structural and geospatial datasets acquired from deforming rocks and regions. The nature of structural geology requires that these datasets are collected on multiple scales, from that of crystal lattices to that of entire continents, and the course honours these requirements.
Course description Week 1
Lecture: World Stress Map with reference to SAFOD and KTB ¿ Crustal stress states, , force/pressure/stress, stress tensor, Mohr circle
Practical: Introduction to working with maps and ArcGIS.

Week 2
Lecture: San Andreas Fault ¿ Elasticity, Coulomb failure, frictional sliding, rate- and state-dependent friction
Practical: Introduction to working with maps and ArcGIS.

Week 3
Lecture: Engadine Window (Switzerland) and Tonale fault zone (Italy) ¿ low- and high temperature crystal plasticity, lattice defects, recovery and recrystallization
Practical: Introduction to working with maps and ArcGIS.

Week 4
Lecture: Rock deformation experiments ¿Relationship between stress and strain, transient and steady state rheology, strain localisation
Practical: Analyze mechanical data from rock deformation experiments to derive constitutive equation

Week 5
Lecture: Morchel nappe, Switzerland ¿ Strain concepts and descriptors, kinematic vorticity, strain analysis
Practical: InSAR data of strain distribution around seismic events

Week 6
Lecture: Kinlochleven, UK ¿ Fold nomenclature, fold classes and mechanisms, polyphase folding
Practical: Virtual geology practical ¿ deform and retrodeform a polyphasely deformed are to understand refold geometries and fold interference patterns

Week 7
Lecture: Cap de Creus, Spain ¿ Shear zones, strain localization, foliations, lineations, shear sense indicators
Practical: Microstructures- determine shear senses, grain size distribution, interpret microstructures, determine paleo stresses, relate to synkinematic metamorphic reactions

Week 8
Lecture: Basin & Range, USA ¿ Normal fault geometry, fault scaling, displacement distance relationships, faults and folds, balancing cross sections 1, crustal thinning
Practical: Faults and related phenomena on maps and in 3D datasets ¿ Visualisation and analysis of faults in Move

Week 9
Lecture: Moine thrust (UK), Himalaya (India/China) ¿ Thrust fault geometry, nappes, thrust duplexes, crustal thickening, megathrust seismicity, balancing cross sections 2
Practical: Interaction tectonics climate

Week 10
Lecture: North Anatolian Fault (Turkey) ¿ strike slip fault geometries, flower structures and pull apart basins, fault damage zones, lithospheric strength models
Practical: GPS data of plate movements to investigate plate velocity distribution in space and time (rupture distribution, earthquake cycle)

Week 11
Revision and finalization of projects.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 17, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 144 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 60 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The course will be assessed through an ArcGIS-based project in which students will analyse and synthesise structural and geospatial datasets from one of the regions studied in the lectures. We anticipate the students to work about 75 hours on this. This will contribute 60% to the final mark. These projects will be produced in groups of three. Half of the project mark will be on the group result, individual students will be responsible for the intergration of particular kinds of data. These contributions will contribute the other half to the project mark.«br /»
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40% will be contributed through an exam. To pass the course, students need to obtain at least 40% on each component.«br /»
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop an in-depth understanding of the link between plate motions and rock response along plate boundaries both in terms of mineralogy, rock fabrics and fluid transport properties
  2. Learn to link plate tectonic processes with the associated development of topography
  3. Develop skills in visualising map and related field data in three dimensions using appropriate graphical techniques
  4. Develop an appreciation of the degree of uncertainty of the data collection methods and the relationship between surface and subsurface data.
  5. Develop skills in synthesising the geology of an area through the integrated use of maps, cross-sections, diagrams and accompanying reports.
Reading List
A comprehensive selection of papers that relate regions with deformation processes and present the datasets discussed in the lectures.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsStructural Geology. Landscape Analysis,GIS,rock mechanics
Course organiserDr Florian Fusseis
Tel: (0131 6)50 6755
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Thomas
Tel: (0131 6)50 8510
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