Mining and Minerals Engineering

CSM2182 - Structural Geology and Tectonics (2012)

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MODULE TITLEStructural Geology and Tectonics CREDIT VALUE30
MODULE CODECSM2182 MODULE CONVENERDr Robin Shail (Coordinator)
DURATION: TERM 1 2 3
DURATION: WEEKS 11 11
Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) 27
DESCRIPTION - summary of the module content

In studying Structural Geology and Tectonics you will gain an understanding of why rocks deform and skills in the acquisition and interpretation of structural geological data. All rock masses contain geological structures and they are an important control on resource and engineering geology as well as providing an insight into regional tectonic evolution. The module is compulsory for students on the geology degree programmes and possible for others who have completed modules CSM1030, CSM1034 and CSM1036. Teaching comprises a mixture of lectures and practical classes plus skills-orientated fieldclasses based upon the Upper Palaeozoic tectonic evolution of south Cornwall.

AIMS - intentions of the module

An overview of the causes and mechanisms of tectonic deformation within the lithosphere and the recognition, nomenclature, formation, representation and analysis of the principal types of geological structure and their implications for applied earth science and earth resources engineering.

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILOs) (see assessment section below for how ILOs will be assessed)

On successful completion of this module you should be able to demonstrate:

Module Specific Skills and Knowledge

1.The ability to recognize, classify, measure, record and analyse geological structures at a variety of scales and represent them in field note books and upon geological maps, sections and stereograms.
2.An understanding of stress and its origins within the lithosphere
3.An understanding of strain as it relates to naturally occurring deformation.
4.An understanding of the controls upon the rheology of geological materials and the deformation mechanisms that accommodate strain on a grain and lattice scale
5.An appreciation of the relationship(s) between the geometry of small-scale geological structures, kinematics and larger-scale tectonic regimes.
6.An overview of the roles of tectonic processes and geological structures in applied earth science and earth resource engineering.

Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge

7.The ability to synthesise data from different sources, scales and sub-disciplines into coherent models of the (structural geological and tectonic) processes affecting the lithosphere
8.A knowledge of how these (structural geological and tectonic) processes might influence resource, engineering and environmental geoscience

Personal and Key Transferable / Employment Skills and Knowledge

9.An ability to select appropriate data from a range of sources and develop research strategies
10.An ability to manage learning using resources for the discipline; an ability to develop working relationships of a professional nature within the discipline
11.An ability to identify key areas of problems and choose appropriate tools/methods for their resolution in a considered manner

 

SYLLABUS PLAN - summary of the structure and academic content of the module

Term 1

Lectures / practicals

Data collection/representation (Weeks 1-3): Module overview and learning resources. Revision of pertinent Year 1 learning outcomes from Geology (CSM1030) and Field Geology and Geological Maps (CSM1036). Measurement and representation of orientation data; introduction to stereonet projection

Stress (Weeks 4-5): definitions. Origins of lithospheric stress. Stress at a point; principal stresses; deviatoric, mean and hydrostatic stress. Equations for σn and σs under plane stress conditions; representation of 2D state of stress using a Mohr circle. Concept of effective stress. Methods of in-situ stress determination

Deformation (Weeks 6-7): components of deformation; homogeneous versus heterogeneous deformation; continuous and discontinuous deformation. Longitudinal strain and angular shear strain parameters. Volume changes. Principal strains, strain ellipsoid and strain ellipse; special types of strain ellipsoid and Flinn plots. Pure shear and simple shear. Progressive deformation. Strain analysis; circular and elliptical markers, lines, centre to centre technique

Rheology (Weeks 8-9): experimental evidence for influence of T, P, strain-rate, fluid pressure, anisotropy and composition upon rheology; problems of extrapolating to lithosphere

Deformation mechanisms (Weeks 10-11): grain boundary sliding, fracturing/cataclasis, diffusive mass transfer, and crystalline plasticity

 

Term 2

Lectures / practicals

Global tectonics (Weeks 1-3): geometry of structures, associations of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks in zones of divergent, convergent and strike-slip tectonics. SW England case study: extensional, contractional and strike-slip tectonics, granite emplacement, mineralization and the development of sedimentary basins.

Fractures (Weeks 4-5): Experimental and theoretical studies of brittle failure  Joints and veins. Occurrence, geometry, terminology and significance

Faults and faulting (Weeks 6-7): Occurrence, geometry, terminology and significance of extensional, contractional and strike-slip fault zones. Fault rocks (cataclasites and pseudotachylites). Evaluation of fault displacement. Neotectonics and seismicity

Brittle-ductile and ductile shear zones (Week 8-9): Occurrence, geometry, terminology, sense of shear criteria and significance for fluid flow/mineralization. Fault rocks (phyllonites and mylonites)

Folds and folding (Weeks 10-11): Occurrence, geometry, terminology and significance. Facing and vergence. Stereogram representation. Cleavages and lineations. Polyphase deformation. Refolded folds and interference patterns. Secondary cleavage fabrics and transposition

 

Fieldclasses

The Upper Palaeozoic rocks of south Cornwall provide evidence for the development of a passive margin in a marginal marine basin that was subsequently affected by Variscan convergence and continental collision. The inverted passive margin underwent subsequent extensional reactivation that was coeval with magmatism, mineralisation and the development of post-orogenic ‘red-bed’ sedmentary basins. As such, it provides an excellent series of case studies for collecting structural geological data and learning how these may be synthesised, with other data sets, into tectonic models. Fieldclasses have the following themes:
 

  1. Mantle peridotites and oceanic crust
  2. Structures developed during polyphase deformation (convergence and extensional reactivation) in very low-grade regionally metamorphosed sedimentary rocks. 
  3. Convergent margin sedimentation and structures
  4. Medium to high-grade metamorphic rocks
  5. Granites and their relations with host rocks
LEARNING AND TEACHING
LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS (given in hours of study time)
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities 120.00 Guided Independent Study 180.00 Placement / Study Abroad
DETAILS OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS
Category Hours of study time Description
Scheduled learning & teaching activities 30 Lectures
Scheduled learning & teaching activities 40 Practicals
Scheduled learning & teaching activities 50 Field classes
Guided independent study 180 Private study

 

ASSESSMENT
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT - for feedback and development purposes; does not count towards module grade
SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (% of credit)
Coursework 50 Written Exams 50 Practical Exams
DETAILS OF SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
Form of Assessment % of Credit Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Examination 50 2.5 hours 1-8, 11 Verbal from tutor
Term 1 assignment tests 15 6 A4 pages 1-4, 9-11 Written and verbal
Term 2 assignment tests 15 6 A4 pages 1, 5-6, 9-11 Written and verbal
Term 2 - 1 day field-based assessment 20 6 hours - 8 sides A4 data notes 1,5,7 Tutor feedback

 

       
         
       
         

 

DETAILS OF RE-ASSESSMENT (where required by referral or deferral)
Original Form of Assessment Form of Re-assessment ILOs Re-assessed Time Scale for Re-reassessment
Summative assessment Additional assessment As above August Ref/Def period
Examination Additional examination As above August Ref/Def period
       

 

RE-ASSESSMENT NOTES

As above 1 piece of CW (30%) and/or 1 Exam (50%) and/or Assessed Practical (20%)

RESOURCES
INDICATIVE LEARNING RESOURCES - The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of
information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener

  

 

Web based and electronic resources:

ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages

Haakon Fossen Structural Geology e-modules - http://folk.uib.no/nglhe/Emodules.html

Reading list for this module:

Type Author Title Edition Publisher Year ISBN Search
Set Fossen, H Structural Geology Cambridge University Press 2010 [Library]
Set Lisle, R.J. & Leyshon, P.R Stereographic projection techniques for geologists and civil engineers 2nd Cambridge University Press 2004 [Library]
Set Passchier, C.W. & Trouw, R.A.J Microtectonics 2nd Berlin 2005 [Library]
Set Van der Pluijm, B.A. & Marshak, S. Earth structure: An introduction to structural geology and tectonics W.W. Norton & Company Ltd, New York 2010 [Library]
CREDIT VALUE 30 ECTS VALUE 15
PRE-REQUISITE MODULES CSM1030, CSM1034, CSM1036
CO-REQUISITE MODULES
NQF LEVEL (FHEQ) 2 (NQF Level 5) AVAILABLE AS DISTANCE LEARNING No
ORIGIN DATE Wednesday 27 June 2012 LAST REVISION DATE Wednesday 17 October 2012
KEY WORDS SEARCH Structural geology, tectonics