General Statement of Course Objectives
My goal is for each of student to learn to become a part of the ongoing conversation about how Earth's crust deforms. This means learning the language of structural geology and using it to share the discoveries they make for themselves. Discoveries in structural geology come through applying best-fit kinematic and dynamic models to geometric reconstructions of observed geological structure. The discovery is complete when they are communicated effectively through writing, illustrations and oral presentation.
Identify in the field and interpret the major deformational
1. Identify and measure brittle Structure (extensional and shear fractures, fault-related folds)
2. Identify and measure ductile Structure (flow folds, cleavage, foliation and rock fabrics)
Conduct a geometric structural analysis
1. Acquire reliable measurements of the geometry of structures with a compass
2. Present and manipulate data using stereographic projection
3. Interpret stress and kinematic histories from structural measurements
4. Infer geometry of subsurface and missing parts of structures from measurements in order to construct a viable geologic cross-section.
Conduct a kinematic structural analysis
1. Identify and interpret sense-of-shear indicators associated with both brittle and ductile structures in the field
2. Reconstruct the deformation path of a structural feature or deformed region
Conduct a Dynamic Sturctural Analysis
1. Derive the normal and shear stress components for rock failure from lab data.
2. Use these results to derive the constituitive equations for deformation
3. Quantify the contribution of each deformational mechanism in a region.
Forecast the next major earthquake along the Wasatch Fault
1. Measure the orientation, slip rate and direction of the Wasatch Fault
2. Combine these measurements with GPS and EDM results on strain accumulation rates
3. Determine the most likely location and magnitude of the next large earthquake along the Wasatch Fault.
Societal relevance of structural geology
1. Use structural data to predict the best location to drill for water, oil and gas.
2. Use structural data to predict the location of mineral resources
3. Use structural data to predict the environmental impact of toxic waste disposal