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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; v2.1.10
DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2845.9126
© 2016-2018 The Authors and WW Norton

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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; Unconformities; Salt structures; Igneous/volcanic structures; Impact structures; Deformation structures; Deformation regimes (Frictional regime, Plastic regime); Plate tectonics.
Supplementary Material - Concept summaries; Reading.
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Structures (2018)

2. Force and Stress
Force and Units; Newtonian and continuum mechanics; Trigonometry; 2D and 3D stress; Normal stress and shear stress; Mohr construction for Stress; Stress states; Measurement of stress (at surface, at depth); Lithospheric stress states.
Supplementary Material - Terminology, Units and conversions; Mohr construction activity; Stress tensor; Stress trajectories; Reading.
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Force&Stress (2018)

3. The Frictional Regime
Processes of brittle deformation; Tensile cracking; Axial deformation experiments; Formation of shear fractures; Failure criteria; Faults and stress; Andersonian theory; Frictional sliding; Byerlee’s law; Stress and sliding; Role of fluids.
Supplementary Material - Terminology; Reading.
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Frictional Regime (2018)

4. Joints and Veins
Surface features; Elasticity; Joint arrays; Joint spacing; Origin of joints; Origin and history of veins; Syn- and anti-taxial veins; En echelon veins; Lineaments.
Supplementary Material - Terminology; Reading.
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Joints and Veins (2018)

5. Faults and Faulting
Fault types and geometries; Fault systems; Fault bends; Dimensions; Fault surfaces; Fault rocks (Cataclasites, Mylonites, Pseudotachylytes); Fault character with depth; More on mechanics of (reverse) faulting; Thrust paradox; Thrust wedges; Faults and Society.
Supplementary Material - Fault Types; Reading.
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Faults and Faulting (2018)

5b. About Earthquakes
Global distribution; Basic mechanics (stick-slip); Earthquake waves, seismograms and magnitudes; Fault plane solutions; Probabilities (time-dependent, time-independent); Order and Recurrence; Groundshaking; Beyond plate boundaries.
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Earthquakes (2018)

6. Deformation and Strain
Deformation components; Strain ellipse (and ellipsoid); Coaxial and non-coaxial strain; Superposed strain; Strain quantities; Representations of strain; Finite strain analysis (Spherical objects, Angular changes, Length changes).
Supplementary Material - Types of strain; Strain activity; Mohr construction for strain; Reading.
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Deformation and Strain (2018)

7. The Plastic Regime
Strain rate; Viscosity; Crystal defects (Point defects, Line defects/Dislocations); Crystal plasticity; Dislocation creep; Glide; Climb; Microstructures; Twinning; Recovery; Recrystallization; Diffusional processes and microstructures; Deformation mechanism maps; Confusing Terminology?
Supplementary Material - Terminology; Crystal slip systems; Summary table; Calcite twinning analysis; Deformation mechanism map activity; Reading.
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Plastic Regime (2018)

8. Folds and Folding
Fold Description; Fold Classification; Dip isogons; Fold systems; Fault-related folds (Fault-bend folding, Fault-propagation folding, Detachment folding); Elements of fold style; Superposed folding; Bending and buckling; Fold mechanics and fold math; Fold strain.
Supplementary Material - Terminology; Dip isogons; Strain-modified Biot-Ramberg equation; Reading.
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Folds (2018)

9. Fabrics and Fabric Elements
Foliations (By Metamorphic grade, Morphology, Porphyroblastesis, Strain); Shear zones (Shear sense indicators, Strain); Lineations; Boudinage.
Supplementary Material - Terminology; Crystallographic fabrics; Reading.
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Fabrics (2018)

10. The Lithosphere
What is rheology?; Insights from rock deformation experiments; Characteristic stress-strain behaviors; General rock creep; Elastic, viscous and composite linear rheologies; Maxwell relaxation time and Earth behavior; Non-linear rheologies; Plastic flow stresses; Crust and upper mantle strength curve(s); Defining lithosphere and asthenosphere; Lithologic vs rheologic layering.
Supplementary Material - Terminology; Creep parameters; Isostasy; Reading.
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Lithosphere (2018)

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; Reading.
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Plate Tectonics (2018)

12. Extension Tectonics
Today’s divergent plate boundaries (Ocean Ridges, Lithologies); Failed rifts; Structural styles (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; Terminology; Reading.
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Extension Tectonics (2018)

13. Contraction Tectonics
Convergent plate margins (Downgoing slab, 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); Speculations on orogenic style.
Supplementary Material - Terminology; Terminology of fold-thrust belts; Balanced cross-sections; Reading.
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Contraction Tectonics (2018)

14. Wrench Tectonics
Classes of strike-slip faults (Transfer faults, Transcurrent faults); Strike-slip systems (Transpression, Transtension, restraining and releasing bends, Strike-slip duplexes); Continental strike-slip faults; Oceanic strike-slip faults (Transform faults, Fracture zones).
Supplementary Material - Terminology; Reading.
Lecture Presentation (PDF) - Wrench Tectonics (2018)

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

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ISBN 978-1-5323-0282-4


Email: (reaches Ben van der Pluijm)

© 2016-2018 The Authors and WW Norton Last Update: 10-Apr-2018