EaES 440

Structural Geology and Tectonics

Instructor: Stein
Components: lectures, labs, homework, field trip, paper
Prerequisite: EaES 102, Math 180, and either Phys 101 or 141, or consent of the instructor
Timing: fall semesters
Frequency: every year
Credits: 4 credit hours

Understanding geological structures is key to determining the physical evolution of the earth through time. These structures depend, in part, on the type of rocks and the type of deformational forces. Examining present-day active tectonics aids in our understanding of past events and determining how and why old structures formed.


Topics in this course include elementary stress and strain relations, folds, fabrics, and faults, and deformation mechanisms. Basic plate tectonic concepts with regional geological examples are discussed. There is one required weekend field trip to Baraboo, Wisconsin. This area is part of a larger region that was deformed by large-scale compression in the Proterozoic, presumably due to a collision with another continental fragment.

In addition, a written term paper with an oral presentation is required. The current textbooks for this class are "Earth Structure: An Introduction to Structural Geology and Tectonics" (Van der Pluijm and Marshak) and "Structural Analysis and Synthesis" (Rowland and Duebendorfer).