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

Earth and Environmental Sciences

EES 403: Structural Geology (3)

Prerequisites (Desirable): 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:

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.

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.

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.

Different types of faults, recognition of faults, measurement of fault displacements, fault geometry, orientation of stress fields and fault kinematics, paleostress from the fault slip data, fault bend folds, fault propagation folds.

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.

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

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.

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.

Structural Geology and Plate Tectonics:
Introduction to plate tectonics, different types of tectonic boundaries, development of structures at active plate margins.

Suggested Readings :

  1. Twiss, R. J., and Moores, E. M., 2007, Structural Geology (2nd Edition), W. H. Freeman and Company.
  2. Ghosh, S. K., 1993, Structural Geology Fundamentals and Modern Developments (1st Edition), Pergamon Press.
  3. Davis, H., Reynolds, S. J., and Kluth, F. C., 2012, Structural Geology of Rocks and Regions (3rd Edition), Wiley.
  4. Jain, A. K., 2014, An Introduction to Structural Geology (1st Edition), Geological Society of India.

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