GEOLOGY 3013 - Tectonics III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

This course will develop knowledge of the Earth as a four-dimensional dynamic system. The megascopic structure of the earth -oceanic and continental crust and lithosphere, and the asthenosphere, will be introduced and compared. The basic dynamic potentials acting on the Earth (heat, gravity) will be examined, and their diverse first order effects explored (isostasy, convection, exhumation, pluming). The concepts of rifting and ocean formation will be examined, as will those of subduction and mantle plumes. Processes of orogenesis will be examined in depth. Recent and Mesozoic evidence (structural, geochemical, geophysical, sedimentological) for the operation of these processes will be examined. We will examine evidence and constraints on interpretation of these processes operating in past geological eras: the Palaeozoic, Proterozoic and Archaean. Emphasis will be placed upon understanding examples from the tectonic evolution of the Australian Plate. Details of field trip communicated at start of the course.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOLOGY 3013
    Course Tectonics III
    Coordinating Unit School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 7 hours per week, plus field trip
    Incompatible GEOLOGY 3002
    Assumed Knowledge GEOLOGY 2500, GEOLOGY 2501 or GEOLOGY 2007 & GEOLOGY 2502 or GEOLOGY 2006
    Course Description This course will develop knowledge of the Earth as a four-dimensional dynamic system. The megascopic structure of the earth -oceanic and continental crust and lithosphere, and the asthenosphere, will be introduced and compared. The basic dynamic potentials acting on the Earth (heat, gravity) will be examined, and their diverse first order effects explored (isostasy, convection, exhumation, pluming). The concepts of rifting and ocean formation will be examined, as will those of subduction and mantle plumes. Processes of orogenesis will be examined in depth. Recent and Mesozoic evidence (structural, geochemical, geophysical, sedimentological) for the operation of these processes will be examined. We will examine evidence and constraints on interpretation of these processes operating in past geological eras: the Palaeozoic, Proterozoic and Archaean. Emphasis will be placed upon understanding examples from the tectonic evolution of the Australian Plate.
    Details of field trip communicated at start of the course.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor John Foden

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    A succesful student should be able to:
    1 Identify and interpret intrusive, volcanic, sedimenary and metamporphic textures in hand specimen and outcrops;
    2 Describe current models for lithosphere and asthenosphere and the factors (geochemical, thermal, physical) and constrain them;
    3 Combine appropriate simple structural, metamorphic, geophysical evidence to interrogate simple tectonics operating in the past;
    4 Interrogate and interpret the geological literature;
    5 Write clear and concise geological reports descripting the tectonic history of the area;
    6 Demonstrate understanding of the methodology of scientific research in the field of tectonics;
    7 Work in a team to produce a presentation about a current tectonics research topic;
    8 Understand the processes that operate at plate boundaries;
    9 Understand the main forces that impact the Earth's surface and subsurface, what drives them and how the Earth responds.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2,3,8,9
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3,4,5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3,4,5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3,5,7
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3,5,6,7
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-5
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1-7
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1-7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Field Kit is compulsory and items can be purchased at Unibooks. This includes the following;
    • good quality notebook
    • compass/clinometer
    • hand lens
    • safety glasses

    Plate Tectonics, Continental Drift and Mountain Building - Wolfgang Frisch, Martin Meschede and Ronald C Blakely Springer 2011 (availabel free as an e-book through the library)
    Recommended Resources
    The text book is an invaluable resource. It is not mandatory to have a textbook, but you are encouraged to obtain the main recommended text if you can. This book is:

    Kearey P., Klepeis, K.A., and Vine, F.J. 2009. Global Tectonics. 3rd edition, Wiley--‐Blackwell (highly recommended and available at Unibooks)

    Other texts that you may want to refer to (and are available in the library) are:
    Stuwe, K. 2007. Geodynamics of the Lithosphere, an Introduction. 2nd edition. Springer. (hideously expensive, but unbelievably the library has electronic access to it – you can download pdfs of all the chapters…)
    McClay, K., 1997. Mapping of Geological Structures, Open University Press – pretty hard to find, but a great little book
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is delivered by the following means:
    • 2 X 1-hour lectures per week
    • 1 X 5-hour practical per week for first half of semester
    • 1 X 4-day field trip in the mid-semester break to Kangaroo Island
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary
    Schedule
    Lecture Practical
    Module 1 Earth as a Planet
    Week 1     Earth as a Planet
    - structures of the earth
    - plate tectonics
    Scotia arc/back arc exercise topics
    Week 2 Earth as a Planet
    - rheology
    -isostacy
    -stress/strain
    -history of tectonic thought
    Scotia arc/back arc exercise topics
    Week 3 Earth as a Planet
    - rheology
    -isostacy
    -stress/strain
    -history of tectonic thought
    Tectonics in a box - group work
    Module 2 Breaking Continents Apart
    Week 4 Breaking Continents Apart
    - extension
    -continental rift basins
    Tectonics in a box - group work
    Week 5 Continental Collison/Convergence
    -types of collision zone
    -evolution of the Himalaya
    -Foreland basins, fold and thrust belts and coulomb wedges
    Tibet Stress Field
    Week 6 Continental Collison/Convergence
    -types of collision zone
    -evolution of the Himalaya
    -Foreland basins, fold and thrust belts and coulomb wedges
    Lecture/Kangaroo Island Field Trip Information
    Module 3 - Kangaroo Island Excursion in Mid-Semester break April 24-27
    Week 7 No lectures
    Kangaroo Island Assignment Due end of week 7
    Kangaroo Project/Report
    Module 4 Ocean Crust Tectonics
    Week 8 Ocean Crust Tectonics
    - plate driving forces and Mantle
    -mid ocean ridges and transforms
    -decompressional Mantle melting
    Seminar Preparation
    Week 9 Ocean Crust Tectonics
    - plate driving forces and Mantle
    -mid ocean ridges and transforms
    -decompressional Mantle melting
    Assignment Seminars
    Week 10    Ocean Crust Tectonics/Subduction Tectonics Assignment Seminars
    Module 5 The Evolving Planet
    Week 11 The Evolution Planet Assignment Seminars
    Week 12 Continental crustal growth models
    Specific Course Requirements
    This course has a 4-day field trip to Kangaroo Island.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle
    Yes/No
    Outcomes being assessed/achieved  Due Date
    Practical assignments Formative & Summative

    12%

    No 1,6,8,9 Week 1-6
    Field Trip Assignment Formative & Summative 20% No 1,3,5,6 Week 7
    Seminar Formative & Summative 15% No 4,6,7 Weeks 9,10,11
    Online quizzes Summative 3% No 2,3,8,9 Weeks 7-12
    Exam Summative 50% No 2,3,8,9 Mid year exam period
    Assessment Detail
    Kangaroo Island Field Trip Assignment (20%)
    This asignment includes the following tasks
    • Field Note Book - 25%
    • Field data collection and analysis involving measuring, plotting and interpreting dips/ strikes/ structural readings etc. - 10%
    • A time-space diagram supported by a 3 page (or less; 1.5 spacing, 12 point) brief explanatory report.- 65%
    Online quizzes (3%)
    On-line multi choice quizzes (2) held in the second half of the semester

    Seminar (15%)
    A small group exercise (4 students) . Asked to research a topic (each group has a different topic, topics available week 2) and present this as a short group seminar (20minutes) supported by a short written abstract summary (presentation in weeks 9,10 and 11)

    Final exam (50%)
    A final written exam will be used to summatively assess the course material.

    Practical exercises (12%)
    Three in-class practical exercises in the first half of semester one.

    Submission
    Late Submission
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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