Applications of structural geology to other disciplines
Mineral exploration, exploitation
- What tectonic/structural environments are structurally favorable for mineral deposit formation?
- What types of dilatant openings can form to host ore?
- How can we recognize ore deposits that have been disrupted by deformation?
- How do structures control the distribution of alteration assemblages locally and regionally?
- How to characterize the strength and failure potential of mined slopes and openings?
Petroleum exploration, exploitation
- What tectonic/structural environments are structurally favorable for hydrocarbon deposit formation?
- What structural traps are possible in petroleum systems?
- How can 4-way closure be determined in the subsurface?
- How can subsurface structure be inferred from surface structure?
- How can we predict the occurrence and structural character of fractured reservoirs?
- How do the presence and geometry of various structures (fractures, stylolites, etc.) affect hydrocarbon (fluid) production?
- How does rock fabric effect drilling efficiency?
Engineering, environmental and hydrogeology
- How can we determine and characterize the effect of fractures on fluid flow in the subsurface?
- How can we determine and characterize the effect of fractures and anisotropy on rock strength?
- What structural studies are important in characterizing nuclear and other waste sites, and construction sites?
- How do structures control the dispersion of chemicals in the surface and subsurface environment?
- How do structures control the occurrence and distribution of water resources?
Geologic hazard assessment (volcanic, seismic, mass wasting)
- What are tectonic/structural controls on volcanic and seismic hazards?
- What structural data are important in hazard assessment?
- How can we predict the effects of structure on slope stability?
- What are the effects of structure (and related fluid pressure) on the occurrence of induced seismicity and slope failure?
- How can deformation and strain gradients control metamorphic reactions?
- What structural controls affect the emplacement of igneous bodies?
- How can we assess the effects of climate on structure (such as the growth of mountain belts and strain rates of fault slip)?
- How can we assess the effects of structure on climate (such as orographic effects)?
- What are the effects of structure on paleo-societies, and on the distribution and character of archeological sites?
- What can we learn about the structure of terrestrial and icy planets and applications to the study of Earth history?
- How does structure control the architecture and stratigraphic nature of growth packages (fault and/or fold growth structure)?
- How can structure affect the distribution of sedimentary facies, such as string sands which may form in structurally-controlled bathymetric lows?
- What rheological and kinematic characteristics can be inferred from study of soft-sediment structures (folds, faults, cleavages, etc.)?
- How can focal mechanism studies be used to infer plate motions and interactions?
- What is the relation of faults and folds to uplift and denudation, and the development of tectonic geomorphology
Glaciology and analog studies
- How can we use studies of ice deformation to infer the rheological behavior of rocks undergoing deformation
- How does bedrock structure affect the development of glaciers and ice sheets?
- How can we use structural geology to understand drainage networks
- How can structural geology be applied to the study of glacial/crustal rebound?
- How can structural geology be applied to the study of marine terraces?
- How does bedrock structure influence slope stability and mass wasting?