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This subject covers geological processes involved in large-scale tectonics and introduces advanced topics in structural and metamorphic geology. The subject will begin with a one-week pre-semester field trip to East Gippsland, where students will develop their geological mapping and structural analysis skills. Lecture topics include the structure and composition of the Earth; plates defined in terms of the thermal and rheological structure of the outer part of the Earth; isostasy; stress and strain in the crust and lithosphere; structural and metamorphic processes in orogenic belts, their origin and their relationship to continental amalgamation and fragmentation; intraplate deformation; deformation mechanisms; shear zone processes; the analysis of poly-deformed terranes and high grade metamorphic processes including partial melting and melt loss.
The field trip will take place in the weeks immediately prior to the normal commencement of classes for Semester 1. The estimated cost of the field trip and payment options can be found at http://ecommerce.science.unimelb.edu.au/product.asp?pID=73&cID=19&c=241822. Price may vary slightly at time of field trip.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, students should comprehend advanced geometrical techniques in structural geology, and the controls on the first-order features of the Earth. Students will also understand how the plates that make up the Earth's surface are defined by large-scale thermal and rheological properties of the Earth. They will have developed the skills in laboratory geology that are relevant to the understanding of deformed rocks, and the skills to draw together observations from petrology and structural geology to interpret Earth processes. They will appreciate how the processes that occur within and between plates can be interpreted in terms of the stress and strain in the outer parts of the Earth.
Last updated: 22 July 2021