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

Structural Geology

Sarah Brownlee

Wayne State University
University with graduate programs, primarily masters programs


This is a required course for the Geology majors, and it covers the basics of structural geology including stress, strain, and deformation, and identifying structures. We use the text "Structural Geology of Rocks and Regions" by George Davis, Stephen Reynolds, and Charles Kluth.

Course URL:
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Structural Geology
Resource Type: Course Information
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Structural Geology
Course Size:


Course Context:

This is an upper-division required structural geology course. Prerequisites include introductory geology and high school geometry. The course has a required field trip.

Course Goals:

Students should be able to interpret geologic maps and construct basic cross-sections
Students should be able to evaluate strain in a sample or an area based on measurements of strain markers
Students should be able to predict where to find a particular structure based on attitude and location
Students should be able to predict the orientations of fractures, joints, and faults based on the local and far-field stresses

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

There are laboratory exercises involving map interpretation and cross-sections, as well as the use of strain markers. Assessment includes grading the exercises and having one-on-one discussions. There are also exam questions related to these goals.


Student learning is assessed mainly through exams and grading of lab exercises. Some assessment occurs unofficially during one-on-one conversations with the students either during lab or office hours.


Course Syllabus for Structural Geology (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 123kB May4 12)

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