ESC-30008 - Structure and Geodynamics
Coordinator: Stuart Egan Room: WSF29 Tel: +44 1782 7 33174
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733615

Programme/Approved Electives for 2024/25


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations

Not applicable

Description for 2024/25

This module uses lecture and practical classes to study the structural and geodynamic effects associated with continental tectonics. Extensional, compressional, inversion, wrench/strike-slip regimes are studied at both regional and local scales. The first part of the course explains the structural styles exhibited in each of these regimes. In addition, the analysis of a variety of geological and geophysical data during practical classes provides an understanding of the formation and evolution of geological features such as extensional sedimentary basins and mountain belt-foreland basin couplets. Extensional and inversion tectonics are also illustrated during a field weekend.
The geodynamics component of the course concentrates upon explaining the fundamental processes that occur within the lithosphere during continental tectonics. Emphasis is placed upon mechanical, thermal, rheological and isostatic controls upon basin formation. The practical element of this part of the course provides an introduction to the numerical and computer modelling of geological processes.

The primary aim of the module is to teach students the concepts, processes and physical structures associated with continental tectonics

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

describe and interpret the large scale tectonic evolution of geological features occurring in extensional, compressional, inversion and wrench continental tectonic regimes: 1,2,3,4
understand the mechanical, thermal, rheological and isostatic behaviour of the continental lithosphere during continental tectonics: 2,3,4
use numerical/computer modelling techniques as a tool for providing insights into sedimentary basin formation, and have critical awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of the methods: 2,4
interpret and analyse geological maps and seismic reflection profiles to become familiar with the structural geology of sedimentary basins in a variety of tectonic settings: 1

Study hours

40 hours scheduled synchronous class activity
16 hours of field-based study
10 hours structured engagement with online resources and directed research
25 hours for research and completion of structural practical exercises
25 hours for research and completion of geodynamics practical exercises
25 hours for revision and completion of class test
9 hours flexible independent study (e.g. background reading)

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Practice Based Assessment weighted 33%
Structure Practical Exercises
Interpretation and analysis of subsurface geological data in practical classes, and aerial photograph mapping and structural interpretation based on module field course

2: Practice Based Assessment weighted 17%
Practical assignments on geodynamics: lithosphere extension and basin formation
Practical exercises (worksheet-based) on modelling lithosphere extension and basin formation using spreadsheet software

3: Class Test weighted 34%
Class Test
End of semester short answer test administered via the KLE and taking approximately 90 minutes to complete. The questions will place emphasis on integrating both structural and geodynamic components of the module.

4: Practice Based Assessment weighted 16%
Practical assignments on geodynamics: modelling of extensional fault movement and flexural isostasy
Practical exercises (worksheet based) on modelling the structural and isostatic effects of extensional fault movement and flexural isostasy.