Structural Geology

Course Details

Course Number: GEOS 3434  Section Number: 201

Spring 2014

Location: Bolin Hall

Classroom Number: 117

Days & Times:
  • Lecture: MWF 11:00 am - 11:50 am
  • Lab: W 1:00 pm - 2:50 pm

Course Attachments

Schedule of topics  structure-calendar-S14-20140110-130054.pdf


REQUIRED Author: ROWLAND Edition:3RD 07 Publisher:WILEY
  ISBN: 9781405116527

REQUIRED Author: FOSSEN Edition:10 Publisher:CAMB
  ISBN: 978052151664

MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Jonathan D. Price   
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Course Objectives

Structural geology introduces students to the nature of deformed earth materials, the processes of deformation, and the application of continuum mechanics in assessing deformation.

Specific objectives

  •     Understand stress and deformation
  •     Understand the information preserved in structural features
  •     Learn to quantify and mathematically manipulate structural information
  •     Understand structures in light of tectonism and orogenesis.
  •     Become proficient in extending limited two-dimensional information into a regional three-dimensional picture

Course Expectations

The course is divided into two components: lecture and laboratory.

Lecture will be evaluated through the following means:

  • 2 examinations (midterm - 16%, Final - 19%)

Laboratory through the following means:

  • Weekly lab assignments (35%)
  • Culminating lab report (10%)
  • Field trip notebook, assignment, and report (10%)


Grading Standards

In this class, the following numerical equivalents for grades are used: A = 100-90% | B = 89-80% | C = 79-70% | D = 69-60% | F = 59-0%.

Final Exam5/5/2014  10:30 AM

Submission Format Policy

 I will issue specific assignments in class and lab.  These will include specific assignments from the required laboratory textbook.  Completed work may be remitted to the professor in person, through his office mailbox (Bolin 102), or by electronic submission.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Late work penalizes everyone as it requires slowing my grading to accommodate it.  

Unless otherwise specified, assignments are due at the beginning of your lab one week from their issue.

I will only permit one late assignment per student this semester.  And late assignments will be provisionally accepted only with my express approval.  These will be evaluated at discounted credit. 

Start early - complete the assignments on time. 

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Required.  But don’t show up ill – if you have a fever, stay home.  Absenteeism will be addressed on an individual basis, and the professor reserves the right to drop students with poor attendance.  However, any excuse (for absence or otherwise) is better when delivered ahead of the absence.

Other Policies

The official source of internet information for this class is D2L on the MSU network - it shall be considered the authoritative web source for the class for this semester.  All assignment info, grades, official schedule, etc... will be on the D2L site.

Most students state that structural geology is the most challenging class within the undergraduate geoscience curriculum.   It incorporates attributes of geometry and spatial reasoning.    It relies heavily on careful measurement and calculation.  It requires practice for mastery.  You cannot do structural geology unless you master the techniques covered in the  exercises.   In short, plan on spending a good portion of each week on this class.

And you will be rewarded for your efforts.  Structural geology is used extensively in field course.  And most geologists and some environmental scientists utilize these techniques professionally.  The concepts covered here better aid an understanding of the dynamics of the lithosphere and can be generally applied to the deformation of materials.

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.