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GE414 Structural Geology and Tectonics

Course description for academic year 2021/2022

Contents and structure

This course covers how to classify and interpret geological structures at the mesoscale,  the theory of forces, stress, strain, brittle and ductile deformation, and introduces plate tectonic environments and the geological history of Norway. In addition to theory, applied skills are developed, including the construction of bedrock maps and geological profiles,  interpretation of geological maps, stereonets and Mohr circles. There is a major practical component consisting of a field course incorporating independent geological mapping, digital mapping techniques, compass measurements and stereonet plotting. The course is structured into the following modules: Descriptions of structures at the mesoscale; Construction and interpretation of geological maps and profiles; Mapping methods and digital approaches; Stereonets; Deformation theory; Plate tectonics and Norwegian geological history.

Learning Outcome

The students should be able to:

  • name, classify and interpret geological structures
  • understand terms such as stress, strain, brittle and ductile deformation
  • use failure criterion and stress conditions to determine rock stability
  • understand the most important plate tectonic environments
  • understand the most important geological events that shaped the bedrock of Norway

The students should be able to:

  • Construct and interpret geological maps and profiles
  • Independent mapping of lithologies and structures in the field
  • Utilise simple digital mapping tools
  • Perform structural measurements with compass
  • Plot and analyse structural measurements in stereonets
  • Conduct simple constructions and calculations with the Mohr circle

The students should be able to:

  • identify geological structures in the field 
  • understand the content of structural geology articles and reports
  • interpret the geological history of an area based on map relationships
  • apply structural geology techniques to solve various problems

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge

The course is based on:

GE-406: Geology basics

GE-413: Cartography and GIS

GE-408: Mineralogy and Petrology

MA-414: Mathematics

FY-400: Introduction to physics

GE-436: Sedimentology

Teaching methods

Lectures, exercises, field practice (5 days)

Compulsory learning activities

  • Participation in field course (5 days) and delivery of field report
  • Approved assignments


Written examination under supervision, 4 hours.

Grading A-F, where F corresponds to failed.

Examination support material

Calculator, set square, pair of compasses

More about examination support material

Course reductions

  • GE414 - Strukturgeologi og geologisk kartlegging - Reduction: 10 studypoints