Teach the Earth > Structural Geology > Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012 > Courses > Structural Geology

Structural Geology

Author Profile
Geoffrey Pignotta

UW-Eau Claire
Public four-year institution, primarily undergraduate


The description and classification of geological structures and the theoretical and physical analysis of rock deformation. Field and laboratory techniques emphasize mapping and the tectonic analysis of geological structures.

Course URL:

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Structural Geology
Resource Type: Course Information
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Structural Geology
Course Size:


Course Context:

This is an upper-division required structural geology course with prerequisites of introductory geology and mineralogy/petrology. While these are the only prerequisites, this class is sequenced between our field camp classes which are two 3-week classes in the junior or senior year. Thus, most of the students have completed numerous other core geology classes prior to taking structural geology.

Course Goals:

Students should be able to identify and interpret a range of geologic structures in the field.
Students should be able to interpret geologic maps and draw accurate geologic cross sections.
Students should be able to manipulate the tools of structural geology to analyze and present geologic data.
Students should be able to synthesize lithologic and structural data to interpret the geologic setting of an area.
Students should be able to place observed structures and patterns into a regional or plate tectonic framework.

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Course activities are designed to have as much hands on activity as possible using as much data generated by student activity as possible. Field exercises and trips are used extensively to achieve goals.

Skills Goals

Students should be able to integrate their qualitative and quantitative abilities.
Students should be able to complete professional quality writing.

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Students are placed in numerous geologic situations where data acquisition, compilation, interpretation and written communication are necessary.



Structural Geology Syllabus - Pignotta (Acrobat (PDF) 156kB Apr30 12)

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