Continental Deformation


Building on material covered in Year 1, this module uses the principles of stress, strain and the physical conditions in the crust to examine the processes and products of rock deformation at a range of scales.

Wherever possible, emphasis is placed on quantifying description of geological deformation using, for example, strain determination methods, cross-section construction, stress analysis etc.

Aim: To develop the knowledge, techniques and skills necessary to measure, record and analyse geological structures in the field and interpret the structural and tectonic evolution of an area or region.


  • 10 hours of lectures
  • 20 hours practicals including lab and computer-based exercises


  • 1.5 hour exam: short answer section based on stereonets and Mohr circles. Essay section – answer 2 from 5 based on lecture topics
  • Coursework: 2000 word report based on analogue experiment

Key skills

  • Structural geology
  • Lab experiment in tectonics
  • Stereonets
  • Quantitative analysis of stress and strain
  • Computer based geological modelling