GEOLOGY 2501 - Structural Geology II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

How does the Earth respond to applied force? This course looks at how rocks deform and change shape, 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 Physical Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week (weeks 1-6 only), plus 7 day field trip
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites PETROENG 2005, for BEng (Petroleum) students only
    Corequisites GEOLOGY 2500 for all students except BEng (Petroleum) students
    Assumed Knowledge GEOLOGY 1100 or GEOLOGY 1103
    Assessment Exam, in-Semester quizzes, field map and report
    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 Demonstrate proficiency in common practical skills in Structural Geology, including structural features of a region and from this interpret the geological history of an area
    2 Describe geological structures in hand specimens and in the field using the appropriate nomenclature
    3 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.
    4 Portray 3D structures in 2D and interpret the 2D representation of a 3D structure
    5 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.
    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1, 5
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Field Kit (compulsory)
    Including a good quality hardback notebook, compass/clinometer (or mobile device with FieldMove Clino app installed) and hand lens. 

    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 COMPULSORY workshop sessions (which include both lecture and practical work) per week for 6 weeks starting in week 1
    • A seven-day field trip in the mid-semester break. This fieldtrip is compulsory. Due to other courses at the University running fieldtrips in the mid-semester break, this field trip may be over Easter. 


    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 Topography & Structural Data 
    B Faults I Rock Failure and Deformation
    C Faults II Structural Data

    2 A Folds I
    B Folds II
    C Lineations and Cleavages

    3 A Public Holiday NO CLASS
    B Geological Maps I
    C Geological Maps I cont.

    4 A Geological Maps II
    B Geological Maps III
    C Geological Maps IV

    5 A Strain I
    B Strain II
    C Strain III

    6 A Stress
    B Rock Failure and Deformation
    C Pichi Richi Preperation

    Mid-Semester Break Seven-day geological mapping field trip to Pichi Richi, Flinders Ranges
    Specific Course Requirements

    As the learning outcomes for this course are substantially dependent on the field and practical experience the field trip and workshops are compulsory. Should a student not be able to attend the field trip or conduct the field work for medical reasons the option for an alternative assessment may be available with the prior approval of the Course Coordinator.

    Attendance of 80% at the workshops is compulsory.
    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.

    The most significant small group discovery experience in this course is during the seven-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
    Due to the current COVID-19 situation modified arrangements have been made to assessments
    to facilitate remote learning and teaching.
    Assessment Task Task Type Percentage of total assessment Hurdle
     Learning outcome assessed/achieved Due
    Quizzes 1,2,3
    (5 % each)


    No 2,3 Weeks 2,4,6
    Pichi Richi Field Map & Test Formative and Summative 25% Yes 1-5 To be advised
    Pichi Richi Report Formative and Summative 20% No 2,3,4 To be advised
    Field Exam Summative 40% No 1,2,3,4 To be advised
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Attendance at practicals is compulsory. The learning outcomes for this course are substantially dependent on
    this hands-on experience and practice.  Therefore, missing any practical class or field session in a semester without an allowed absence will result in a grade of FAIL being recorded for the course. Students are able to apply for an allowed absence to the Course Coordinator.
    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%


    Workshops 80% Attendance Record


    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. 

    On Line Workshops (0%)
    Attendance is compulsory. 80% of workshops MUST be attended and ALL must be completed. These are required to pass the final exam. Permission will only be granted for significant reasons: medical or compassionate grounds.

    Pichi Richi Map and Report (45%)
    The Pichi Richi Map is a geological map produced by the student while attending the field trip (23%). During the field trip the student will be assessed on their use of a compass and their notebook (2%). On return from the camp the students will prepare a 5-page geological report to accompany their map (25%), which is due at date to be advised.

    Field Exam (40%): 
    Exam material comes primarily from workshop material, and secondarily from assigned readings. The exam will consist of a mixture of practical exercises, short answer questions and long answer questions. The exam will be a paper exam and will be held at a date to be advised.

    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 ( 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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