Skip to main content

Unit information: Structural Geology in 2020/21

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Structural Geology
Unit code EASC20006
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2D (weeks 19 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Cooper
Open unit status Not open

EASC10001 Geology 1

EASC20045 Mapping, Tectonics and Remote Sensing



School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science


This unit will provide a solid grounding in fundamental concepts of structural geology and rock deformation. Building on structural geology skills and knowledge developed in relevant first and second year units (Geology 1, Introduction to Field Skills in Earth Sciences, Introduction to Field Mapping and Mapping, Tectonics and Remote Sensing), the unit will examine deformational structures in a more quantitative manner in three dimensions.

Lectures will cover elements of brittle and ductile deformation, faults and folds, macro- and microscopic aspects of rock deformation and kinematic analysis.

Practicals will focus on plotting, visualising and analysing structural data using stereographic projections, and constructing structural maps and cross-sections. Relevant concepts will be put into a broader tectonic context, and the relationships between brittle and ductile deformation in the Earth's crust will be explored.

A field excursion to a deformed region local to Bristol will put the lecture and practical material into a real-world context, giving students a chance to measure, plot, and interpret structural data.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion you will be able to:

  • understand the three dimensional nature of structural geology
  • recognise commonly occurring natural structures linked to deformation
  • determine the chronological sequence in which an exposed assemblage of structures was formed and to recognise superimposed deformation
  • describe the principles of stereographic projection involving graphical plotting of 3-D geometric data in 2-D, and have skills in reading and using such projections to solve structural problems
  • apply stereographic projection as a means of representing the three-dimensional orientations of planar and linear structures; to use such methods to investigate and analyse three dimensional structures.
  • critically analyse the character of deformation structures and to interpret the causal deformation process and tectonic regime in which they formed
  • analyse and interpret the structural history of a region from a geologic map

Teaching details

The unit will be taught through a combination of

  • asynchronous online materials and, if subsequently possible, synchronous face-to-face lectures
  • synchronous office hours
  • asynchronous directed individual formative activities and exercises
  • guided, structured reading
  • practical work in the laboratory
  • fieldwork

Students who either begin or continue their studies in an online mode may be required to complete practical or field work, or alternative activities in person, either during the academic year 2020/21 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy accreditation requirements.

Assessment Details

Formative Assessment:

Practical and field work will not be assessed. Solutions to the practical exercises will be posted on Blackboard for students to work through in their own time and office hours will be available to answer questions.

Summative Assessment:

Examination 100%

There will be a 2-hour examination covering material from both the lectures and practicals. (100%)

Reading and References



Further Reading