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GEOL353 Tectonics

 Examining the spectacular outcrop of the Alpine Fault at Gaunt Creek
Examining the spectacular outcrop of the Alpine Fault at Gaunt Creek

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Plate geometry and kinematic derivations; tectonic history reconstructions; integrated understanding of sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic, and structural associations in various tectonic settings; implications for climate, fauna, earth evolution, and society.

Students should leave this paper with a professional knowledge of tectonic systems that can be applied to a range of geological problems and an integrated understanding of the relationships between all the aspects of geology that they have learned within the core in preceding years.

Paper title Tectonics
Paper code GEOL353
Subject Geology
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,038.45
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,492.80

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GEOL 251 and GEOL 252 and MATH 160
Schedule C
Students must be prepared to attend field trips outside of regular semester time
Teaching Arrangements
Two lectures and one 3-hour laboratory per week.
Teaching staff
Coordinator: Dr James Scott
Dr Virginia Toy
Professor David Prior
Professor Dave Craw
Professor Ewan Fordyce
Dr Mike Palin
Professor James White
Dr Chris Moy
Paper Structure
  • Part 1: The mechanics of plate tectonics: what is our current understanding of the structure and motion of tectonic plates, and what datasets is this based on?
  • Part 2: Global implications of plate tectonics
  • Part 3: Processes in orogenic belts by reference to NZ's South Island
Assessment is approximately an even split between internal (ongoing during the semester) and external (final exam).
Kearey, P., Klepeis, K.A., & Vine, F.J. 2009. Global tectonics. Wiley Blackwell. Third edition 2011. 482 pages
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Specific learning outcomes are:
  • Integrated and quantitative understanding of tectonic systems and tectonic processes
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Quantitative skills
  • Teamwork skills

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Wednesday 09:00-09:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22
Wednesday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
P1 Thursday 14:00-16:50 9-13, 15-22