Office of Academic Affairs
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Berhampur

Earth and Environmental Sciences

EES 304 : Structural Geology & Geodynamics (3)

Prerequisites::credited or registered in All EES 300 level courses

Learning Objectives:

This course is designed to understand the natural processes by which geological structures were developed in the lithosphere. Study of geologic structures provides the information necessary to understand the deformational history of rocks and regions from the micro-scale to the scale of tectonic plates. After completion of the course, students will develop the skills necessary to recognize complex geological structures and will gain an appreciation of analyzing the various deformational patterns of the lithosphere.

Course Contents:

Structural Geology

Unit-1: Introduction
Structure of the course; Introduction to structural geology and tectonics; Interior of the Earth and other planetary bodies; Earth’s crust and plate tectonics; Structure of the continental crust.

Unit-2: Stress and Strain
Stress - definitions, different types of stress tensors, two and three-dimensional stress, Mohr’s diagram for graphical analysis of stress; Strain - definitions, measurement of strain, Mohr’s diagram for strain calculation, rheology of rocks and minerals; Concept of brittle and ductile deformation.

Unit-3: Rock Failure
Fracturing, Mohr-Coulomb criteria for rock failure, classification for fractures, geometry of fracture systems in three dimensions, microscopic features of fractured surfaces, effect of confining pressure on fracturing and frictional sliding, Griffith theory of fracture, deduction of fluid pressure from dykes and quartz veins.

Unit-4: Faults
Different types of faults, recognition of faults, measurement of fault displacements, fault geometry, orientation of stress fields and fault kinematics, paleo-stress from the fault slip data, fault bend folds, and fault propagation folds.

Unit-5: Folding
Geometric descriptions and classification of folds, fold scale and attitude, the element of fold styles, order of folding, common styles and structures associated with folding.

Unit-6: Kinematics of Folding
Folding mechanisms, buckling and shear folding of single layers, multilayer folding, formation of kink and Chevron fold.

Unit-7: Foliation and Lineation in Deformed Rocks
Different types of foliations - compositional, disjunctive, crenulation and continuous; Lineation - structural and mineral, association of lineation and other structures.

Unit-8: Microscopic Aspects of Ductile Deformation
Mechanisms of low temperature deformation, twin gliding, diffusion and solution creep, linear crystal defects; Microscopic criteria for identification of dislocation and diffusion creep.

Unit-9: Shear Zone and Progressive Deformation
The nature of shear zone, mechanism of formation of shear zone, strain in shear zone, determining the sense of shear in shear zone, active tectonics.


Unit-10: The Dynamic Earth
Continental drift, seafloor spreading, continental reconstructions, geologic evidence for continental drift, paleoclimatology, paleontologic evidence for continental drift, paleomagnetism, sea floor spreading and transform faults, mantle plumes and igneous activities.

Unit-11: The Framework of Plate Tectonics
Plates and plate margins, distribution of earthquakes, relative plate motions, absolute plate motions, hotspots, direct measurement of relative plate motions, finite plate motions, stability of triple junctions, present-day triple junctions.

Unit-12: The Mechanism of Plate Tectonics
Contracting Earth hypothesis, expanding Earth hypothesis, driving mechanisms of plate tectonics, mantle drag mechanism, edge-force mechanism, evidence for convection in the mantle, the mechanism of the supercontinent cycle.

Suggested Readings :

  1. Twiss, R. J., and Moores, E. M., 2007, Structural Geology (2 nd  Edition), W. H. Freeman and Company.
  2. Ghosh, S. K., 1993, Structural Geology Fundamentals and Modern Developments (1 st  Edition), Pergamon Press.
  3. Davis, H., Reynolds, S. J., and Kluth, F. C., 2012, Structural Geology of Rocks and Regions (3 rd  Edition), Wiley.
  4. Jain, A. K., 2014, An Introduction to Structural Geology (1 st  Edition), Geological Society of India.
  5. Kearey, P., Klepeis, K.A., and Vine F. J., 2009, Global Tectonics (3 rd  Edition), John Wiley and Sons.
  6. Donald, L. G., and Turcotte, S., 2000, Geodynamics (3 rd  Edition), Cambridge University Press.
  7. Fowler, C. M. R., 2005, The Solid Earth: An Introduction to Global Geophysics (2 nd  Edition), Cambridge University Press

Previous Back to Course List Next