Fundamentals of Structural Geology and Rock Mechanics:
- Stress and Strain in two and three dimensions, Rheology, rocks failure, and fracture criteria.
- The interior of the Earth, physical characteristics, compositional and rheological of the various shells of the planet. The concept of isostasy and isostatic equilibrium. Plate tectonics: plates, limits of the Wilson cycle.
- Faults, fractures, shear zones: descriptive elements and classification criteria.
- Folds: descriptive elements, the classification criteria and relations between folds and faults;
- Lineation, foliation, cleavage.
Tectonic regimes and structural associations with Elements of Global Tectonics:
-Convergent plate boundaries: main characters of subduction zones (arc-trench systems and Cordillera);
-Fold and thrust belts and nappe complex: definitions, nomenclature, syn-orogenic basins, deformation vs metamorphism;
Transform boundaries and Strike-slip tectonics: structural, relations with other structures and tectonic settings, pull-apart basins, extrusion tectonics;
Extensional tectonics: types of normal faults, extensional basins, models of the rift. Continental drift: The contribution of the various disciplines in the evolution of thought from continental drift to plate tectonics.
Examples of Regional Tectonics
• the Alpine-Himalayan chain;
• the Apennines: stratigraphic aspects, structural, palaeo-environmental geological evolution from the Mesozoic to Quaternary Apennines of Lazio, Abruzzo and Umbria-Marche Apennines and relations with the rest;
• The system of East-African Rift: rift geometries and volcano-tectonic deformation along the Rift Valley and the area of the triple junction dell'Afar;
• Rifting and spreading centers in the icy satellite of Jupiter: Ganymede.
Introduction to Active Tectonics and Geology of the Earthquake
• Earthquakes: distribution and characteristics in different tectonic settings, seismogenic active and capable faults, focal mechanisms, notions of seismic hazard.
• Recognition and methods of representation of structural elements: linear and planar elements, use of the compass, stereographic projections.
• Measurement of Geologic structures and Map pattern: geological boundaries and rule of V; strike-lines and slope triangle, exercises on inclined layers, faulted, folded and angular unconformity.
• Reading and interpretation of real geological maps: identification and characterization of succession, structures and of the geological evolution, exercises on real faults and folds;
Geological cross-sections: construction of geological cross-sections at different scales and difficulties through the Apennines.
Digital processing of geological maps in GIS and geological cross-sections
ATTIVITA' DI CAMPO:
Litho- bio-stratigraphic aspects
Recognition and description of the outcropping lithologies by the physical characteristics of the rocks: composition, color, grain size, texture, sedimentary structures, geometry and thickness of the layers, unconformity, paleontological content (with the help of the lens);
-development of stratigraphic logs;
- Geo-lithological MAP of the visited outcrops and extrapolation of the geological boundaries through geometric structural methods.
1) Recognition and measurement with the compass of planar and linear structural elements at the mesoscopic scale (layer bedding, fault planes, fractures, cleavage, kinematic indicators, hinge lines and axial surfaces of mesoscopic folds etc..).
2) a description of the structural associations in the rocks through geological and structural diagrams and sections.
3) Stereographic projections of the measured structural elements and their relationships with the paleostress field.
4) Synthesis on the geometric, kinematic and timing of the observed deformations and their classification in the context of regional geological and tectonic evolution.
5) Execution of geological cross sections with the appropriate orientation and drafting a structural-geological legend.