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Tectonics & Geodynamics (GEOL30002)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeGEOL30002
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

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 is $380 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

  • Understand health and safety principles and develop basic risk assessment strategies for field work
  • Document and interpret complex 3D geology in the field, such as that which might arise from orogenesis, poly-deformation and/or high-grade metamorphism
  • Construct cross-sections through regions of complex structural and metamorphic history
  • Explain at least one model for the origin of the gross structure of planet Earth
  • Explain the role of the stress field in controlling the motion of the lithospheric plates
  • Describe the controls on the way in which temperature varies within the Earth and how these variations relate to deformation, metamorphism and magmatism
  • Explain the geodynamic controls on basin formation and relate these to sedimentation, basin inversion and basin preservation
  • Evaluate extreme metamorphic events (such as ultra high pressure and ultra high temperature conditions) within the plate tectonic framework
  • Explain the dynamic linkages between deformation and metamorphism during orogenesis
  • Document in writing and present to your peers an advanced synthesis of the geodynamics of at least one region of Earth

Last updated: 21 March 2019