Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Structural Analysis of Rocks and Regions (SARR) (EASC09052)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryStructural geology and rock deformation affect a large number of economic, environmental and societal interfaces with planet Earth, and the response of rocks to plate motions shapes our planet¿s appearance. This course will teach not only a fundamental knowledge of the parameters that govern the relationship between stress and strain but put the rock response into a perspective that seamlessly ties in with material taught in related courses.
The course introduces key concepts of structural geology and tectonic analyses. Over 10 weeks, a broad range of topics are covered, and the basics of the structural analysis of rocks is being conveyed. The course starts with the driving forces of rock deformation and its fundamental descriptors. It then covers the principal types of deformation structures before demonstrating the most relevant tectonic settings and their typical macro-, meso-, and microstructures. Specialist skills relevant to the topics covered each week are trained in practicals. Students furthermore consolidate and deepen their knowledge on structural geology and tectonics in an independent project. In that project they utilise their new skills and knowledge to summarise the deformation history of one of five deformed regions over seven weeks. The course follows entry level textbooks on Structural Geology.
Course description The course exposes you to multi-scale data sets from a wide range of structural settings. The course runs over nine weeks, with 5-7 contact hours per week (2 lectures, 1 practical, 1 Q&A session). Each week is dedicated to a particular structural topic, which is introduced in the lectures and illustrated through well-chosen examples. The course covers a wide range of deformation processes and styles.
In preparation for the thematic lectures and practicals, students are referred to selected chapters in textbooks to pick up the fundamental ideas of structural geology and tectonics, which are then applied in the classroom. Weekly practicals train skills relevant to the topic.
In an independent project between weeks 3 and 10, you will engage with one of five deformed regions we propose, and summarise its structural geology using a selection of research papers, maps, cross sections, outcrop photographs and hand specimens. You will combine all of these materials in the preparation for your talks, which you will give in week 10.
The learning materials are coordinated through LEARN, which also hosts a discussion forum that is monitored and moderated by academic staff. The course is delivered by two academic staff.

Week 1: Deformation and strain (kinematics): How do we describe deformation?
Week 2: Stress & Stress in the lithosphere
Week 3: Fracturing, faults, paleostress
Week 4: Rheology & Deformation at the microscale: How to best deal with stress under varying circumstances.
Week 5: Shear zones, strain localization, mylonites
Week 6: Foliations and Lineations
Week 7: Folding & Boudinage
Week 8: Contractional Regimes
Week 9: Extensional Regimes
Week 10: Strike-slip, transtension, transpression

Further Course Information
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Global Tectonics and the Rock Cycle (EASC08020)
It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Introduction to the Geological Record (EASC08017)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 17, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 144 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework: 50% Exam: 50%

The course is assessed through an independently produced, professional 15-minute oral presentation (50% of the final mark), where you explore pre-formulated research questions on one of the field areas. You will receive the questions and assessment criteria in week 3 and then have until week 10 to prepare a talk. To do so, you have access to a wide range of research papers and are encouraged to source further material online. Between week 3 and 10, instructors are available to give you feedback on your progress and the quality of your work. You will have to present your progress to your peers and get formative feedback in week 6.

The exam is 50% of the final mark and its format will depend on the circumstances with respect to the Covid-19 situation. You will be informed when the course begins.
Assessment Deadlines
¿ Progress Presentation (Formative) ¿ Semester 2, Monday Week 6
¿ 15 Minutes Oral Presentation (Summative, 50%): Semester 2 Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday Week 10 (submit presentation by Monday 9am via Turnitin)
Feedback Feedback will be provided in weekly tutorials. Both, F. Fusseis and M. Attal are furthermore available for individual meetings during their office hours.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop an in-depth understanding of the link between plate motions and rock response along plate boundaries both in terms of mineralogy, rock fabrics and fluid transport properties
  2. Recognize, describe and conduct simple analyses on deformed rocks
  3. Develop skills in synthesizing the geology of an area through the integrated use of maps, cross-sections, diagrams and accompanying reports
  4. Develop skills in visualizing map and related field data in three dimensions using appropriate graphical techniques
  5. Get to know tectonically active regions of our planet and get a feel for the frontiers of research in tectonics and structural geology
Reading List
A comprehensive selection of papers that relate regions with deformation processes and present the datasets discussed in the lectures. Most of the resources will be available on Learn. The following textbook is recommended:
Fossen, H., 2016. Structural Geology. Cambridge University Press, 2nd Edition, ISBN 9781107057647.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsStructural Geology. Landscape Analysis,GIS,rock mechanics
Course organiserDr Florian Fusseis
Tel: (0131 6)50 6755
Course secretaryMs Katerina Sykioti
Tel: (0131 6)51 5251
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information