autumn 2020
GEO-3104 Advanced Structural Geology - 5 ECTS

Last changed 31.12.2020

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the fall semester.

Applicants from outside the Nordic countries: 15 April for the fall semester.

Type of course

This course is available as a single course.

Admission requirements

Bachelor's degree in geology, or a similar degree following a programme of study of at least three years duration, or similar education approved in accordance with the Norwegian Universities Act section 3-4. In addition, specialization in geology worth the equivalent of at least 80 ECTS credits is required. Normally, an average mark of C or better is required at the bachelor's degree level or other programme for basis of admission.

Application code: 9371.

Course content

The course covers the tools of analysis of deformation structures in rocks. Different methods for the quantitative analysis of meso-scale to micro-scale deformation structures will be taught. Strain analysis, folding theory, and infinitesimal strain concepts will be covered. The course has emphasis on the mechanical properties and development of brittle (fracturing and frictional) as well as viscous deformation. The processes of the latter will be covered by microstructural studies. During a 1-day field trip during the semester, the students will see examples of mesoscale structures in several outcrops.

Recommended prerequisites

GEO-2002 Introduction to structural geology and maps

Objectives of the course


The student has

  • knowledge of the basic principles of strain analysis
  • knowledge of brittle structures and their stress prientation
  • understanding of the pysics and processes of viscous deformation
  • understanding of the machanical conditions of the different types of deformation structures
  • knowledge of basic fold theory
  • understanding of different deformation processes


The student can

  • use structural data, observations, and theoretical knowledge to study rocks.
  • recognize different geological structures in the field.
  • analyze the structures in terms of strain (viscous structures) or stress orientations (brittle structures).
  • analyze fold patterns and fold shapes.
  •  recognize different deformation processes and their temperature conditions.
  •  use macro- and mesoscale structures, and kinematic indicators to analyze the mechanical conditions and deformaton history.
  •  describe and analyze structural elements from field observations.
  • use stereographic projections to analyze superposed folding histories.

General competences

The student can

  • carry out the most important elements of structural geological research projects: penetrating literature, carrying out field research, analyzing data, and communicating results to fellow students/scientists.
  •  solve problems analytically and quantitatively and present the results in written English.
  •  work independently and in a team.

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

22 hours of lectures, 22 hours exercises, 1 days of field excursion.


4 hours written exam that counts 100% of the final grade.

Grading scale: Letter grades A-F, whereof F is fail. There will be a re-sit exam for students who did not pass the previous ordinary examination.

Compulsory learning activities:

Admittance to the examination requires:

-  approved  exercises and field report

- approval of training in health, safety and environment prior to the field course and excursion. This includes the use of helnmets, hifh-visibility safety vests etc., and the use og geological equipment (e.g. hammer, spade, scraper, magnifier) in field.

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 5
  • Course code: GEO-3104