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Processes in Structural Geology and Tectonics

Ben van der Pluijm - University of Michigan
Stephen Marshak - University of Illinois

ISBN: 978-1-5323-0282-4; v2.6.3
DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2845.9126
© 2016-2020 The Authors

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Preface [open access] - Organizational philosophy; Information for users; Design and online annotation (personal and PSGTusers); Search; About the authors; Supporting materials.
Table of Contents
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1. Geologic Structures and Deformation Regimes
Depositional structures
Salt structures
Igneous/volcanic structures
Impact structures
Deformation structures
Deformation regimes (Frictional regime, Plastic regime)
Structural Analysis
Plate tectonics
Supplementary Material
Concept summaries
Stereonet software
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Geologic Structures (2019)

2. Force and Stress
Force and Units
Newtonian and continuum mechanics
2D and 3D stress
Stress ellipsoid
Stress relationships: normal stress and shear stress
Mohr construction for stress
Stress states
Measurement of stress (at surface, at depth)
Lithospheric stress
Supplementary Material
Terminology, Units and conversions
Mohr construction activity
Stress tensor
Stress trajectories
Stress software
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Force&Stress (2019)

3. The Frictional Regime
Processes of brittle deformation
Tensile cracking
Axial deformation experiments
Formation of shear fractures (faults)
Failure criteria (Mohr, Coulomb, von Mises)
Faults and stress
Stress and fault types: Andersonian theory
Frictional sliding
Friction criterion (Byerlee)
Stress and sliding
Role of fluid pressure
Supplementary Material
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Frictional Regime (2019)

4. Joints and Veins
Surface features
Joint arrays
Joint spacing
Origin of joints
Origin and history of veins
Syntaxial and antitaxial veins
En-echelon veins
Supplementary Material
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Joints and Veins (2019)

5. Faults and Faulting
Fault types and geometries
Fault systems
Fault bends
Dimensions and Subsidiary faults
Fault surfaces
Fault rocks (Cataclasites, Mylonites, Pseudotachylytes)
Fault character with depth
More on mechanics of faulting
- Thrust paradox
- Thrust wedges
Faults and Society
Supplementary Material
Fault Types
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Faults and Faulting (2019)

6. Deformation and Strain
Deformation components
Strain ellipse (and ellipsoid)
Coaxial and non-coaxial strain
Strain path and superimposed strain
Strain quantities
Strain states
Representations of strain
Finite strain analysis
- Spherical objects
- Angular changes
- Length changes
Supplementary Material
Types of strain
Strain activity
Mohr construction for strain
Strain software
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Deformation and Strain (2019)

7. The Plastic Regime
Strain rate
Crystal defects (Point defects, Line defects/Dislocations)
Crystal plasticity
- Dislocation creep
- Glide
- Climb
- Twinning
- Recovery
- Recrystallization
Diffusional processes and microstructures
Deformation mechanism maps
Confusing Terminology?
Supplementary Material
Crystal slip systems
Summary table
Calcite twinning analysis;
Deformation mechanism map activity
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Plastic Regime (2019)

8. Folds and Folding
Fold anatomy
Fold classification
Fold systems
Mechanics of folding
- Bending
- Buckling
- Fold (Biot) equation
Kinematics of folding
- Flexural folding
- Neutral-surface folding
Fault-related folds
- Fault-bend folding
- Fault-propagation folding
- Detachment folding
Superimposed folding
- Fold interference
- High-strain folding and transposition
Supplementary Material
Dip isogons
Strain-modified fold (Biot-Ramberg) equation
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Folds (2019)

9. Fabrics and Fabric Elements
- By metamorphic grade
- By morphology (cleavage, schistosity, gneissosity)
- (Axial plane) cleavage
Shear zones/Mylonites
- Shear sense indicators
Foliations and strain
Supplementary Material
Crystallographic fabrics
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Fabrics (2019)

10. The Lithosphere
What is rheology?
General rock creep behavior
Elastic, viscous and composite linear rheologies
- Maxwell relaxation time and Earth behavior
Insights from rock deformation experiments
- Pl, T, Pf, ê
Non-linear rheology
- Plastic flow stresses
- Crust and upper mantle strength curve(s)
Defining lithosphere and asthenosphere
- Lithologic vs rheologic layering.
Supplementary Material
Rock creep parameters
Lecture Presentation
Lithosphere PPT (2020)

Lithosphere1 video (2020)
Lithosphere2 video (2020)

11. Whole Earth Structure and Plate Tectonics
Earth’s layers
Earth’s topography
The crust
The mantle
The tenets of plate tectonics
- Today’s plates
- Plate boundaries
Kinematic of plate tectonics
- Linear and angular velocities
- Absolute and relative motions
Mechanics of plate tectonics
Tectonic cycles
- Wilson cycle
- Supercontinent cycle
Supplementary Material
Studying Earth's interior
Vectors and plate velocities
Lecture Presentation
Plate Tectonics PPT (2020)

Plate Tectonics1 video (2020)
Plate Tectonics2 video (2020)

12. Extension Tectonics
Today’s divergent plate boundaries
- Ocean Ridges
- Lithologies (ophiolite)
Failed rifts
Structural styles of rifting
- Pure shear systems
- Simple shear systems
Stretching factor
Metamorphic core complexes (and isostasy)
Rift evolution and Passive margins
Causes of rifting and extension
Supplementary Material
Today's plates and boundaries
Lecture Presentation
Extension Tectonics PTT (2020)

Extension Tectonics video (2020)

13. Contraction Tectonics
Convergent plate margins
- Downgoing slab and Forebulge
- Trench
- Accretionary wedge
- Forearc basin and volcanic arc
- Backarc region
Stages of collision (Convergence-Suturing-Thickening-Collapse-Delamination)
Structures of collision
- Fold-thrust belts
- Fold-thrust kinematics
Related processes
- Extrusion tectonics
- Terrane accretion
Orogenic architecture
- Synoptic cross-sections
- Curved orogens (oroclines)
Speculations on orogenic style
Supplementary Material
Terminology (incl fold-thrust belts)
Balanced cross-sections
Lecture Presentation
Contraction Tectonics PPT (2020)

Contraction Tectonics1 video
Contraction Tectonics2 video

14. Wrench Tectonics
Classes of strike-slip faults
- Transfer faults
- Transcurrent faults
Strike-slip systems
- Transpression and transtension
- Restraining and releasing bends
- Strike-slip duplexes
Continental strike-slip faults
Oceanic strike-slip faults
- Transform faults
- Fracture zones
Supplementary Material
Lecture Presentation
Wrench Tectonics PPT (2019)

Wrench Tectonics video

15. A Global View and Regional Essays (open-access PDF version)
Global deformation patterns
What can we learn from regional perspectives?
Some speculation on contrasting orogenic styles
Essays: Experts explore major tectonic settings around the world. Instead of offering comprehensive reviews, these essays aim to capture the excitement of regional geology and to inspire further exploration.
Lecture Presentation
- Time, Place and Tectonics PPT (2016)

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ISBN 978-1-5323-0282-4


Email: (reaches Ben van der Pluijm)

© 2016-2020 The Authors Last Update: 07-Apr-2020