GEOLOGY 2501 - Structural Geology II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

How does the Earth respond to applied force? This course looks at how rocks deform, and how we can recognise and use structures within rocks to determine ancient magnitudes and orientations of stress fields. Students will be introduced to techniques of recording and analysing structural data and taught how to map rock sequences in the field and interrogate a region to determine how it formed and what has happened to the area since formation. Details of field trip communicated at start of the course.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOLOGY 2501
    Course Structural Geology II
    Coordinating Unit School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week, plus field trip
    Corequisites GEOLOGY 2500
    Assumed Knowledge GEOLOGY 1100 or GEOLOGY 1103
    Course Description How does the Earth respond to applied force? This course looks at how rocks deform, and how we can recognise and use structures within rocks to determine ancient magnitudes and orientations of stress fields. Students will be introduced to techniques of recording and analysing structural data and taught how to map rock sequences in the field and interrogate a region to determine how it formed and what has happened to the area since formation.
    Details of field trip communicated at start of the course.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Rosalind King

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Successful students in this course should be able to:

    1 Describe geological structures in hand specimens and in the field using the appropriate nomenclature
    2 Understand and describe the features formed in rocks when subject to stress, analyse the strain in these rocks and interpret the palaeostress field that affected the rock and caused the deformation.
    3 Portray 3D structures in 2D and interpret the 2D representation of a 3D structure
    4 Work in a team efficiently and safely to produce a geological map of a region, which demands an understanding of strata and structures and develops an ability to predict the occurrence of particular rocks.
    5 Explain the sedimentological and structural features of a region and from this interpret the geological history of an area
    6 Understand the methodology of carrying out scientific research in the field of structural geology
    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. 1-6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2-6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2-6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 4
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 2,3,4,6
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 2-6
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 4
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 4,6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Field Kit (compulsory)
    Including a good quality notebook, compass/clinometer, hand lens and safety glasses. These can be purchased from Unibooks for ~$180.

    There will be required reading issued from both the recommended textbook (see below) and from journal articles that will be available through the Library. Students will also be able to use the online e-modules designed by Hakkon Fossen, which coincide with his book (as seen on the reccommended texts list below). These e-modules can be accessed via

    Students will receive a detailed packet of course notes for the course and these course notes and a digital copy of all slideshows from lectures will be readily available on MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    The reading list for the course on a week by week basis is supplied in the syllabus. Be sure to keep up with the readings. The text 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:

    Fossen, H. 2010. Structural Geology, Cambridge (highly recommended and available at Unibooks)

    Other texts that you may want to refer to (and are available in the library) are:

    Davis, G.H. & Reynolds, S.J. 1996. Structural Geology of Rocks and Regions, Wiley (available at Unibooks)

    McClay, K., 1997. Mapping of Geological Structures, Open University Press – pretty hard to find, but a great little book.

    Many other textbooks on structural geology are available in the Barr-Smith Library. A variety of texts may also be purchased used on the web.
    Online Learning
    Additional course-related material is available through MyUni. We use it often. Students should regularly check the MyUni website for important course-related announcements. Teaching materials, field trip info, reminders and course documentation will also be posted on this site.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course consists of:
    • 3 X 2-hour workshop sessions (which include both lecture and practical work) per week for 6 weeks starting in week 1 
    • A six-day field trip in the mid-semester break. The field trip may be over Easter and is compulsory.


    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., workshops), as well as non-contact time (e.g., completion of tasks, reading and revision). 

    For this course there are 6 hours of contact time in class, therefore, you are expected to spend an additional 6 hours on non-contact time finishing workshops, revising and completing readings.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Workshop Workshop Topic
    1 A Stress and the World Stress Map
    B Rock Failure and Deformation
    C Structural Data
    2 A Topography I
    B Topography II
    C Faults
    3 A Fault Systems
    B Folds
    C Fold Mechanisms
    4 A Lineations and Cleavages
    B Geological Maps I
    C Geological Maps II
    5 A Strain
    B Strain Analysis
    C Shear Zones
    6 A Hallet Cove
    B Hallet Cove
    C Microstructures
    Mid-Semester Break Six-day geological mapping field trip to Pichi  Richi, Flinders Ranges 
    Specific Course Requirements
    This course has a six-day field trip in the mid-semester break. This fieldtrip is a compulsory component of the course.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    This course offers numerous small group discovery experiences within the workshop classes, with students undertaking small scale geological experiments in class, as well as during workshops held in the field at Hallet Cove.

    The most significant small group discovery experience in this course is during the six-day field trip to Pichi Richi Pass in the Flinder Ranges. Students spend each day with a staff member in groups of 5-7 working to produce a geological map of the area around Pichi Richi to better understand the geological evolution of the region.
  • 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 Hurdle
     Learning outcome assessed/achieved
    Tests 1,2,3  Summative


    No 1,2,3,6
    Pichi Richi Map Formative and Summative 25% Yes 1-6
    Pichi Richi Field Report Formative and Summative 25% No 1-6
    Final Exam Summative 35% No 1,2,3,6
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Item Requirement for Hurdle Is additional assessment available if student does not reach hurdle requirement? Details of additional assessment if known
    Pichi Richi Map Minimum of 50%


    Assessment Detail
    My Uni Tests (15%):
    These tests will be available on My Uni in weeks 2, 4 and 6 and will cover material from the previous weeks in lectures and practicals (e.g. test 1 in week 2 will test material from weeks 1 and 2, test 2 in week 4 will test material from weeks 3 and 4). Tests will only be available for 48 hours during weeks 2, 4 and 6. Students will be notified when the tests are available. No test may be taken early or made up if missed, unless on medical or compassionate grounds. The tests will consist of a mixture of multiple choice questions.

    Practical work (0%)
    Students are enrolled in a particular practical session, are expected to attend that session. Permission to attend a practical session other than that in which they are enrolled must be obtained in advance. Permission will only be granted for significant reasons: medical or compassionate grounds.

    Pichi Richi Map and Report (50%)
    The Pichi Richi Map is a geological map produced by the student while attending the six-day Pichi Richi field trip during the mid-semester break (23%). During the field trip the student will be assessed on their use of a compass and their notebook (2%). On return for the camp the students will prepare a 5-page geological report to accompany their map (25%), whic is due in weeks 10 and 11.

    Final Exam (35%): 
    Exam material comes primarily from workshop material, and secondarily from assigned readings. The exam will consist of a mixture of short answer and long answer questions, as well as practical tasks that must be completed. This exam will be held in week 12 practical session. No replacement exams will be offered.


    No information currently available.

    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 ( 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
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