• Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Earth and Marine Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences

The structural geology component of the course introduces the basic concepts of brittle and ductile deformation processes and how they control the strength, mechanical behaviour and development of structures in the Earth's continental crust. The course provides a basic understanding of the forces driving deformation, and the displacements and strains associated with simple crustal deformations. Emphasis is placed on (1) illustrating how deformation processes change under the influence of changing pressures and temperatures with increasing depth in the lithosphere, and (2) examining the basic types of structures produced by single episodes of brittle and ductile deformation of the continental crust, and how their styles and geometries vary as a function of depth in the continental crust.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1.    Recognise structures produced by simple crustal deformation.

2.    Map and quantitatively describe the geometry of structures in simply folded and faulted regions.

3.   Produce geological maps and cross-sections, and infer structures at depth and in areas of poor outcrop in simply folded and faulted regions.

4.    Interpret the geometry of simple structures (folds, faults, fractures, veins and shear zones) in terms of the stress regimes that produced them, and the displacements and strains associated with their development.

5.    Explain how the types of deformation processes and the styles and geometries of structures produced during continental deformation are influenced by the intensity of deformation, and by the depth and temperature of their formation in the Earth's crust.

Other Information

The compulsory 9 day field trip to the Wee Jasper area takes place during the first week of the mid semester break.

Students are required to pay a contribution towards the cost of the field trip; in 2016 it was $425.

Payment may be made online at ScienceShop: http://scienceshop.anu.edu.au/

Indicative Assessment

The structural geology and field geology components of the course are assessed separately, with equal weighting. Assessment will be based on:

  • 2-hour structural geology theory exam, to be held at a negotiated time after the mid-semester break (30%; LO 1, 4, 5)
  • Structural geology laboratory and fieldwork assignments: three laboratory assignments, one half-day field assignment and one full day field assignment (20%; LO 1, 4, 5)
  • Presentation of maps and cross-sections produced during field mapping during Field Geology component (50%; LO 1, 2, 3)

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Two hours of lectures and three hours of practicals weekly for seven weeks starting at the beginning of semester. A nine day field mapping exercise (including travel) will be undertaken during the mid-semester break.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 6 units of 1000 level EMSC courses. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed GEOL2012 or EMSC6031.

Prescribed Texts


McClay, K.R. (1987) The Mapping of Geological Structures, Open University Press.



Barnes, J. (1991)  Basic Geological Mapping. The Geological Field Guide.

Coe, A., Argles, T., Rothery, D., & Spicer, R., 2010. Geological Field Techniques, Wiley Blackwell.

Lisle, R. J., Brabham, P. & Barnes, J. 2011. Basic Geological Mapping (5th Edition), Wiley

Tucker M. E. 2003 Sedimentary Rocks in the Field. J. Wiley and Sons Inc.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $3444
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4590
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2761 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 In Person N/A

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