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Structural Geology

Dan Morgan,
http://www.vanderbilt.edu/ees/people/faculty/DanMorgan.php
Vanderbilt University
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Summary


This course addresses many topics about how rocks break and deform, for which I try to emphasize applications to earthquakes, hydraulic fracturing, hydrocarbon extraction, and landscape evolution.

Course Size:
default

Course Format:
Lecture and lab

Institution Type:
University with graduate programs, including doctoral programs

Course Context:

This is an upper level geology course that is required for our majors. Most are juniors and seniors, but there is often a sophomore or two in the class. Class size ranges from 12-20 students. Lectures are twice a week for 75 minutes (Tues/Thurs) and lab is once a week for 3 hours. Depending on class size, either one or two lab sections are offered.

Course Content:

This course covers topics from brittle failure (joints and faults) to the ductile behavior of rocks (folds). The course has a weekly lab and a few field trips. Two of the field trips require brief written field trip reports. Because many students who take this course are going to a field camp, we try to incorporate general field skills such as topographic map reading and note taking too.

Course Goals:

Knowledge

Skills

Course Features:

This course addresses many topics about how rocks break and deform, for which I try to emphasize applications to earthquakes, hydraulic fracturing, hydrocarbon extraction, and landscape evolution.

Course Philosophy:

This course is a mashup of a traditional structural geology course that I inherited and my own attempts to add more applications to the topics covered in the course. My goals is to give students a solid grounding in how rocks behave under stress, the applications of these ideas, and enough field skills to prepare students for a summer field geology course.

Assessment:

Assessment is based on lab assignments, exams (take home, open note, closed friend), field trip reports, a longer lab focusing on cross sections, and the final project and poster presentation. All work is assessed individually except for part of the final project is done with a partner.

Syllabus:

Structural Geology Syllabus (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 19kB Feb19 13)

Teaching Materials:

Structural Geology Schedule (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 16kB Feb19 13)

References and Notes:


None required. I will make a few books available in the classroom. I will encourage you to read sections from books to reinforce concepts, but you can choose if and which book you will purchase. The following are recommended texts:
Earth Structure, van der Pluijm and Marshak (what we used to use)
Structural Geology, Fossen
Structural Geology, Twiss and Moores
Structural Geology of Rocks and Regions, Davis, Reynolds, and Kluth


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