ESC-30008 - Structure and Geodynamics
Coordinator: Stuart S 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 2021/22


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations

Not applicable

Description for 2021/22

This module uses a combination of synchronous and asynchronous teaching sessions 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 structure part of the module 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 via the field study of coastal outcrops in SW England.

The geodynamics component of the module 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 module 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: 1,3
understand the mechanical, thermal, rheological and isostatic behaviour of the continental lithosphere during continental tectonics: 2,3
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: 2,3
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: 1,3

Study hours

- 37 hours synchronous teaching (e.g. practical classes)
- 16 hours fieldwork
- 10 hours asynchronous delivery (e.g. Sway-based presentations)
- 87 hours private study/completion of assignments

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Group Project weighted 33%
Structure Practical Exercises
Group-based exercise (~4/5 students per group) based on the interpretation and analysis of seismic reflection profiles in practical classes. Groups will receive a single group mark.

2: Practical Assessment weighted 33%
Practical assignments on geodynamics
Portfolio of worksheets on the numerical/computer modelling of geological and geodynamic processes

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.