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Module GLU22906: Dynamic Earth 2: Structure and Microscopy

  Module GLU22906
Co-ordinator: Dr David Chew
Course Type:  
Assessment:

Theory examination (70%); practical examination (15%); in-course laboratory assessment (15%).

ECTS: 10 Credits
Prerequisites:

GUL22905

Contact hours & timing:

Hilary Term
Lectures/Practicals Four lectures and one 3-hour practical per week

Module Learning Aims

(1) To investigate how, why and where rocks undergo deformation. (2) To understand the different plate tectonic environments, and their evolution in time and space (3) To be able to interpret two-dimensional representations of geological data (maps) in three dimensions. (4) To understand the physical and chemical properties of minerals and how minerals can be investigated using the polarised light microscope.

Module Content

This module investigates the structure of the Earth from the scale of plate tectonics through to investigation using the polarising microscope. The structural geology lectures cover the principles of rock deformation and the classification of structural features. The tectonics lectures provide an overview of active plate tectonic processes. These various processes are exemplified by a series of practical exercises that aim to develop an understanding of plate tectonics and the visualisation of structures in three dimensions. The module also introduces the principals of crystallography and the theory and practice of using a polarised light microscope to look at minerals in thin sections of rock. The rock-forming minerals are examined in detail in terms of where they are found, what they look like through the microscope, what chemical elements they contain, and their physical stability.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • investigate and explain how, why and where rocks undergo deformation
  • describe the different plate tectonic environments, and their evolution in time and space
  • interpret two-dimensional representations of geological data (maps) in three dimensions
  • describe the physical and chemical properties of minerals and describe how minerals can be investigated using the polarised light microscope.