GY403 Structural Geology Syllabus
Dr. David Allison
GY403 Structural Geology
II. Catalog Description
(4 semester credits) Study of the application of
deforming forces to earth materials and the structures resulting from that
PH114 or permission of instructor.
III. Course Objectives
The objective of this course will be to introduce the fundamentals
of structural analysis including kinematic and dynamic analytical
techniques. Plate tectonics and its many relationships with structural
analysis will also be covered throughout. The important relationship of
geologic time with structural geology is covered within the context of
radiometric dating techniques. The student will learn to recognize and
classify geologic structures associated with folding and fracturing of the
lithosphere. Geological contacts and primary structures are covered in detail
at the beginning of the course. Fault movement analysis will be covered in
lecture and lab. Meso- and micro-fabric elements
associated with igneous and metamorphic processes are covered in the latter
portion of the lecture. The laboratory portion will be devoted to field and
office techniques used in measuring and describing geological structures,
including analysis of structures with the stereonet. The student will be
introduced to structural analysis with computer software. Field trips will
be made to the southern Appalachian geologic province for the purpose of
conducting field mapping exercises and observing mesoscopic structures. The
Appalachian trip is mandatory because lab 7 is conducted at the camping
I plan to spend approximately two weeks per chapter
during the semester. Some chapters will span less than two weeks. I will
assume that you have read the appropriate chapter in advance of the
lecture. The student will need a working knowledge of trigonometry in lab,
therefore, a review of basic trigonometric functions (sin, cos, tan, etc.)
early in the course is recommended.
Computer Skills: students will be required to
download lecture and lab assignments from the instructor’s web site.
In addition, a significant proportion of the laboratory and lecture
assignments will need to be verified with the use of spreadsheet templates
made available by the instructor on designated workstations in the
department student computer lab. The stereographic projection application
NETPROG is used extensively in over half of the lab assignments for
plotting structure data and analyzing statistical trends. Students who have
a background in CAD and/or GIS software are encouraged to use the GIS lab
workstations to complete geologic map projects, and orthographic solutions
to apparent dip and three-point problems.
IV. Course Topics
The following chapters will be covered sequentially during
Nature of Structural Geology;
Detailed Structural Analysis: Descriptive Analysis
Descriptive Analysis: Base maps and mapping procedures
FINAL EXAM: see the schedule of classes for time and
NOTE: The schedule of laboratory topics is included in a
separate syllabus for the laboratory.
Geology Special Note:
Geology majors should take GY403 Structural Geology the
semester before taking GY480 Field Geology. In many regards GY480 is a
continuation of GY403 therefore a significant time “gap” between
these 2 courses can be very difficult for students to handle. Because of
the physical demands of GY480, during the spring semester before GY480
students should be spent getting in the best possible physical fitness for
the long-distance hiking done at high altitudes in the latter half of
GY480. The USA
student recreation center contains a multitude of facilities and expertise
that can help students attain this goal. The GY403 instructor may recommend
specific meetings with campus recreation personnel for training- it is
highly recommended that students take advantage of this resource.
Davis, George H., and Reynolds, Stephen J., 1996,
Structural Geology of Rocks and Regions, 2nd edition: John Wiley &
Sons, Inc., New York,
New York, 776p.
VI. Procedures for Assessing Student Performance
You will be required to obtain certain materials to
complete the laboratory assignments. A list of required material will be
included in a separate
syllabus for the laboratory. The percentage weightings for exams and
assignments are as follows:
Average of lab assignments: 15%
Geologic Report: 10%
Lab Practical exam: 25%
The lecture final exam will be cumulative over lecture material. The
lecture exams will be composed primarily of essay type questions, with minor
portions of multiple choice or true/false questions. The laboratory grade
will be composed of weekly exercises, a geologic map with report, and a
final laboratory practical examination. The laboratory final will be
cumulative over the laboratory exercises. Final grade calculation for
lecture and laboratory is adjusted to a numerical median of 72 if the
median is below that value.
Changes in Course Requirements
Since all classes do not progress at the same rate, the instructor may
wish to modify the above requirements or their timing as circumstances
dictate. For example, the instructor may wish to change the number and
frequency of exams, or the number and sequence of assignments. Students
will be given adequate notification of such changes. Although
course requirements may be modified, they will still preserve the
original course objectives and spirit.
Missed exams\ lateness penalty\attendance:
The reason for producing a syllabus is to give students
advanced notice of exams and assignment due dates. Translation:
there is no excuse for turning in lab assignments late. You will receive a
"0" if you do not turn in your lab assignment by the due date. If
you have a legitimate excuse for missing an exam (i.e. medical problem),
you will be permitted to complete a make-up during the last week of classes
provided that you show me a signed certificate from a physician stating
that it was impossible for you to make the exam. The make up exam will
consist of essay questions.
Attendance of course lecture
and laboratory meetings is required. Attendance will be taken by the
instructor with a seating chart at the beginning of class. If you are late
and miss the seating chart roll you will be counted absent. Please sit in
the same location after the 1st week of class. I will keep track
of your attendance as a percentage of possible days in attendance. For
example, if a MWF class meets a total of 45 times, and you missed 8 classes
according to the seating chart roll your attendance score will be
(45-8)/45*100=82%. I will not take attendance during the 1st
week of class.
Rules and Etiquette
active Laptop/Cell phone/Calculator computers are allowed during
lectures. Notes are to be taken with pen and paper.
food is to be consumed during lecture or labs. No disposable drink
containers are allowed- liquids must be contained in spill-proof
code combinations are to be shared only among current students. Do not
give access codes to students not enrolled in the current class.
computer resources are to be used only by Earth Science majors for
class assignments. Do not give out computer passwords to non-majors.
not use the faculty podium computers in classrooms unless specifically
cleared by your instructor.
food/drink is consumed in the classroom during off hours please
dispose of the trash in trash cans.
you remove lab specimens from the classroom please return them to
their proper place.
Unless explicitly stated otherwise in course
assignments, all assigned work in this course is to be completed by
students independently. Plagiarism and other forms of cheating are academic
matters; accordingly, no credit will be given for work in which they are
involved. In addition, incidents of this nature may be reported to other
appropriate authorities for further disciplinary action. See Student
Academic Conduct Policy:
If you have a specific disability that qualifies you for academic
accommodations, please notify the instructor/professor and provide
certification from Special Student Services. (OSSS is located in Room 270
of the StudentCenter (460-7212).
non-discrimination policy link that includes a disability statement is
course is usually provided a student assistant for the laboratory whose
main function is to assist students completing the laboratory exercises,
and to assist the instructor in grading. The student assistant, if
available, will be announced during the first lab. It is recommended that
students take advantage of the knowledge available from the laboratory
is the responsibility of the student to
examine the rocks and minerals and other materials that are assigned in
this course. You may do this during the lab periods and\or outside of
normal university hours. (The room is left unlocked at all hours). Everything
you are assigned in the labs is testable.
George H., and Reynolds, Stephen J., 1996, Structural Geology of Rocks and
Regions, 2nd ed. : John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, New
TO GEOLOGY MAJORS: Every semester the Earth Sciences Department
designates a specific week as advising week. This is the period designated
for you and your advisor to meet and discuss your progress and future
courses. Please take advantage of this designated time- your advisor may
refuse to advise you at other times. Be aware that you should meet with
your advisor every quarter so that the departmental secretary can mark you
from the registration "hold" list. It is your responsibility to
make an appointment with your advisor, and to make sure that he/she marks
you off of the registration "hold" list after you have been
advised. If you are on the hold list you will not be able to register with
phone registration. You can check with the departmental secretary each
semester to determine the dates of advising week.