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GEOL475 Advanced Topics in Rock Deformation

Theoretical and practical approaches to understanding the deformation of rocks and ice, deformation mechanisms, active faulting processes, and associated natural hazards.

Paper title Advanced Topics in Rock Deformation
Paper code GEOL475
Subject Geology
EFTS 0.0833
Points 10 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $653.49
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,757.23

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Paper Structure

  • Influence of temperature on seismic behaviour
  • Influence of fluids on seismic behaviour
  • Influence of composition on seismic behaviour
  • Cooperative behaviour of different parts of seismic fault systems
  • Influence of fault geometry on seismic behaviour
  • Active fault systems and seismic hazard
  • Active faults in Otago and New Zealand
  • Probabilistic seismic hazard assessment and case studies
  • Strong ground motions and shaking in earthquakes
  • The Alpine Fault 1
  • The Alpine Fault 2
  • Review session and exam preparation


Textbooks are not required for this paper.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised

Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

Learning Outcomes

  • Research-level understanding of state-of-the-art topics in rock deformation and the links between those topics. (Scholarship, Research, Interdisciplinary perspective)
  • Comprehensive understanding of the importance of rock deformation in modern society, with particular emphasis on earthquake hazards, mineralisation and deformation of ice sheets and ice shelves (Global perspective)
  • Comprehensive understanding of how field-based, experimental and mathematical techniques can be used to address and solve research-level problems in rock deformation. (Interdisciplinary perspective)
  • An enhanced capacity for self-directed activity and working independently (Self-motivation)


A student who has an undergraduate background in field geology, mineralogy and petrology and some basic structural geology or tectonics.


Teaching staff

Coordinator: Dr Virginia Toy
Professor Mark Stirling

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system