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Seasonal Arctic summer ice extent still hard to forecast.

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GEOL2027 Structural Geology and Tectonics


This course is designed to introduce students to the concepts of stress, strain and deformation in the Earth’s crust and lithosphere, and to the geological structures that result from tectonic processes. The course also aims to introduce students to the geological histories, and comparative geological processes, of other planets, and to illustrate how this knowledge has led to our current understanding of the origin and evolution of the Solar System.


  • Understanding of stress and strain analysis of the Earth;
  • understanding of the deformation response of Earth materials to applied stresses;
  • knowledge of the techniques of structural synthesis;
  • an ability to apply these techniques in field surveys;
  • understanding of the basic geology and geophysics of other planets;
  • development of an ability to transfer geological knowledge gained in the context of the Earth to different planetary environments.


The following topics will be introduced, discussed and analysed:

  • basic concepts of stress and strain;
  • brittle and ductile deformation of rocks;
  • state of stress in the crust and lithosphere;
  • measurement of stresses in the crust;
  • extensional tectonics in the crust and lithosphere of terrestrial planets;
  • compressional tectonics in the crust and lithosphere of terrestrial planets;
  • conservative plate margins and strike-slip tectonics.
Title Structural Geology and Tectonics
UG Code GEOL2027
Coordinator Dr. Ruth Siddall
Other Contributors Dr. Tom Mitchell
Term 2
Credit 0.5 CU
Written Exam 80% (2.5 hrs unseen)
Coursework 20% (4 pieces of work at 5% each; the stereographic projection and regional structural analysis)
Pre-Requisites First year Earth Science modules
Maths & Stats Content and Requirement  
Total Number of Hours of Student Work 188 hours
Hours of Lectures/Seminars 20 hours
Hours of Practicals/Problem Classes 20 hours
Hours of Tutorials 0
Days of Fieldwork 0
Other None

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