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GEOL275 Rock Deformation

Fundamentals of stress and strain; rock rheology in crustal environments; mechanics of brittle fracturing and faulting; ductile fabric development; shear zones; folding; polyphase deformation; structural principles in engineering geology.

Paper title Rock Deformation
Paper code GEOL275
Subject Geology
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,018.05
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,320.00

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Prerequisite
GEOL 252
Restriction
GEOL 375
Schedule C
Science
Eligibility
Students should know basics of all fields of Geology (first year level), plus have some training in structural geometry based on field methods (e.g. geological map and cross section construction, description of folds and faults). Additionally, they will need a basic knowledge of mathematics including geometry, trigonometry, and algebraic manipulation, scientific notation, basic calculus
Contact
geology@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Co-ordinator: Professor David Prior
Dr Steven Smith
Dr Virginia Toy
Paper Structure
  • Stresses in rock masses; Mohr diagrams for stress
  • Faulting, fracture and friction; Griffith crack propagation; Byerlee friction; cataclasis
  • Engineering application of stress/failure analysis
  • Strain and strain analysis
  • Strain paths, strain symmetry and kinematics; shear zones
  • Folds, fabrics and fractures in the field; hand samples and thin section
  • Fold geometry, kinematics and mechanisms
  • Sandbox experiments to simulate fold thrust belt kinematics
  • Restoring deformed sequences to establish stratigraphy and palaeogeography
  • Creep rheology of Earth materials
  • Microstructures of rocks after creep
  • Deformation mechanisms, recovery and recrystallisation
  • Ice creep experiments to aid understanding of rock rheology and microstructure
  • Quartz microstructures from the Alpine Fault zone
  • Lithosphere scale mechanics/rheology
Textbooks
Fossen, H. 2010 Structural Geology. Cambridge University Press., 460pp.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students should leave this paper with a level of knowledge of rock deformation that includes the specific skills listed below:
  • Ability to characterise and quantify the geometry of common geological structures (faults, folds, shear zones, fabrics) on a range of scales from maps through outcrop and hand samples to microscopic
  • Understand the basic physics of rock deformation, including stress-strain relationships and how they may be measured
  • Ability to develop kinematic models from geometrical data and understanding of what is needed to develop a dynamic model
  • Ability to design their own structural investigation of deformed rocks
  • Appreciation of observational science, including fieldwork, experimental approaches and modelling as tools to understand rock deformation
  • Quantitative techniques and problem solving
  • Scientific literacy

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Timetable

Second Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Computer Lab

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Thursday 14:00-16:50 28-34, 36-41

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
L1 Thursday 08:00-08:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 12:00-12:50 28-34, 36-41

Fundamentals of stress and strain; rock rheology in crustal environments; mechanics of brittle fracturing and faulting; ductile fabric development; shear zones; folding; polyphase deformation; structural principles in engineering geology.

This paper centres around devloping practical skills in structural geology to help understand the broad field of rock deformation. The paper focuses on the fundamentals of describing the geometry of structures and interpreting these in terms of the kinematics and dynamics of rock deformation. The paper aims to provide a solid base for students wishing to use structural geology in research or applied science. The paper involves some student groups conducting some unique laboratory experiments that enhance significantly student understanding of rock deformation processes and contribute to ongoing research in the department. Critical reading of scientific literature is a cornerstone of this paper.

Paper title Rock Deformation
Paper code GEOL275
Subject Geology
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2018, expected to be offered in 2019
Domestic Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for 2018 have not yet been set
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

Prerequisite
GEOL 252
Restriction
GEOL 375
Schedule C
Science
Teaching Arrangements
Two lectures and one 3-hour laboratory per week.
Fieldwork: Day fieldclass to Otago coastline.
Course outline
View the course outline for GEOL 275 (latest syllabus indicative of content next time the paper is taught)
Eligibility
Background requirements: Students should know the basics of all fields of Geology (first-year level). GEOL 275 is for students in their second year of a geology or equivalent degree. GEOL 375 is for students in their third year of a geology or equivalent degree. Much of the work will involve quantitative approaches, and students will be given support in cementing and improving their numeracy skills.
Contact
geology@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Co-ordinator: Professor David Prior
Dr Steven Smith
Dr Virginia Toy
Paper Structure
  • Stresses in rock masses; Mohr diagrams for stress
  • Faulting, fracture and friction; Griffith crack propagation; Byerlee friction; cataclasis
  • Engineering application of stress/failure analysis
  • Strain and strain analysis
  • Strain paths, strain symmetry and kinematics; shear zones
  • Folds, fabrics and fractures in the field; hand samples and thin section
  • Fold geometry, kinematics and mechanisms
  • Sandbox experiments to simulate fold thrust belt kinematics
  • Restoring deformed sequences to establish stratigraphy and palaeogeography
  • Creep rheology of Earth materials
  • Microstructures of rocks after creep
  • Deformation mechanisms, recovery and recrystallisation
  • Ice creep experiments to aid understanding of rock rheology and microstructure
  • Quartz microstructures from the Alpine Fault zone
  • Lithosphere scale mechanics/rheology
Assessment is approximately an even split between internal (ongoing during the semester) and external (final exam).

Assessments for GEOL 375 are graded differently to GEOL 275 to reflect greater background knowledge and higher expectations of students taking the paper at 300-level.
Textbooks
Fossen, H. 2010 Structural Geology. Cambridge University Press., 460pp. Or newer second edition.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students should leave this paper with a level of knowledge of rock deformation that includes the specific skills listed below:
  • Ability to characterise and quantify the geometry of common geological structures (faults, folds, shear zones, fabrics) on a range of scales from maps through outcrop and hand samples to microscopic
  • Understand the basic physics of rock deformation, including stress-strain relationships and how they may be measured
  • Ability to develop kinematic models from geometrical data and understanding of what is needed to develop a dynamic model
  • Ability to design their own structural investigation of deformed rocks
  • Appreciation of observational science, including fieldwork, experimental approaches and modelling as tools to understand rock deformation
  • Quantitative techniques and problem solving
  • Scientific literacy

^ Top of page

Timetable

Not offered in 2018, expected to be offered in 2019

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard