• Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Earth and Marine Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Stephen Cox
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

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.

The field geology component of the course is a practical, field-based program  which introduces the fundamentals of geologic mapping techniques in undeformed  to simply folded and faulted and relatively unmetamorphosed sedimentary and  igneous terrains. The week will comprise three assessable assignments: measuring  stratigraphic columns, mapping igneous contacts, and introduction to mapping  deformed sediments.

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates (EMSC2012)  but will be assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

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

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Recognize, interpret and discuss structures produced by simple crustal deformation.
  2. Map and analyze using quantitative methods the geometry of structures in simply folded and faulted regions.
  3. Construct accurate geological maps and cross-sections, and predict structures at depth and in areas of poor outcrop in simply folded and faulted regions.
  4. Create a detailed professional report presenting original data on the structural geology and stratigraphy of an area that has been mapped, including predictions about the location of structures at depth.
  5. Analyze the geometry of simple structures (folds, faults, fractures, veins and shear zones), evaluating the stress regimes that produced them, the displacements and strains associated with their development and outline assumptions and limitations with the conclusions drawn.
  6. 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, 5, 6)
  • Structural geology laboratory and fieldwork assignments: three laboratory assignments, one half-day field assignment and one full day field assignment (20%; LO 1, 5, 6)
  • Presentation of maps, cross-sections and a professional report based on data collected during field mapping during Field Geology component (50%; LO 1, 2, 3, 4

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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

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed EMSC2012 or GEOL2012.

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.

Assumed Knowledge

Prior completion of an introductory level Earth Science course would be an advantage.


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 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4878
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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
2863 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 In Person N/A

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