Structural Geology
Spring, 2010

Week 1
Lectures and reading assignments

Monday, March 29 Introduction to course, Introduction to contacts.

Reading: Davis and Reynolds, Chapter 1, Nature of Structural Geology, p. 2-17. In the first half of this reading, Davis is somewhat philosophical about structural geology--it provides a valuable perspective. The second half introduces some of the main structures. Read that part too, and take care to look closely at the photographs. Do not, however, feel compelled to memorize all the new terms--especially those on p. 14-17. We'll cover them in plenty of detail later on.


Wednesday, March 31 Geologic Contacts: Unconformities, Intrusive contacts, Faults and shear zones, Distinguishing between different contacts.

Reading: Davis and Reynolds, Part III-B "Mapping Contact Relationships", p. 645-656. Make sure you know the difference between angular unconformities, nonconformities, and disconformities--they are nicely illustrated by figure B.3. Enjoy the definition of a cactolith (p. 651), and pay special attention to the section on fault contacts. The "butter-basher experiment", described on p. 654-655 gives the clearest portrayal I've seen yet of a ductile shear zone. You can see photos of these different contacts on our web page.

Homework #1 due.


Friday, April 2 Outcrop Patterns --maps, rule of Vs, three point problems.

Reading: Read pages 4-7 (parts II and III) of your lab text. ItÕs probably easier if you start with part III. This material relates directly to the class discussion. Also, I posted some photographs and maps on our web site to illustrate some of these features. And..., Davis and Reynolds provide some useful information in their discussion of Orthographic Projection (section III-G) on pages 684-691.

The point of this class meeting is to learn some basic geometrical rules that will allow you to quickly visualize the basics of a regionÕs structure by a quick glance at its geologic map. For example, areas underlain by flat-lying rocks yield geologic maps that look like garish topographic maps while areas underlain by folded rocks give zig-zag patterns. The "Rule of Vs" allows you to see dip directions and approximate angles. This material relates to the "three point problems" which are a topic of the second half of lab 1.


LAB Introduction to Geometrical Principles 

Return to Lectures, labs, reading assignments