The University of Southampton
Courses

SOES2033 Structural Geology, Exploration Geophysics, GIS and Remote Sensing

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Structural Geology 1. To introduce the fundamentals of rock deformation. 2. To describe the principal features of compressional, strike-slip and extensional tectonic systems. 3. To appreciate the applications and uses of structural geology, including natural resources and hazards. 4. To introduce basic techniques in practical structural geology, including the stereographic projection, cross section balancing and structural data analysis. 5. To reinforce basic field skills and undertake an investigative exercise. 6. To develop communication, analytical and team skills. Exploration Geophysics 7. To introduce the basic principles and methodology of exploration geophysics. 8. To emphasise the role of exploration geophysics particularly in hydrocarbon and mineral exploration. 9. To give initial training in the operation of basic geophysical instruments and data interpretation. 10. To reinforce basic field skills and undertake an investigative exercise. 11. To develop communication, analytical and team skills. GIS and Remote Sensing 12. To introduce concepts of Earth observation and remote data acquisition techniques. 13. To introduce concepts of digital spatial data manipulation, processing, and visualisation. 14. To apply data manipulation and visualisation methods to terrestrial and marine data sets. 15. To introduce concepts of global positioning systems. 16. To provide a hands-on, skills-based experience.

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Development of 3D perception
  • Working with others as a small team
  • Manipulation of data using spread sheets
  • Assessment of data quality
  • Working as part of a team
  • Time management of project
  • Presentation of scientific results
  • Report writing
  • Familiarity with remote sensing systems, image processing, and GIS.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Presentation and manipulation of data, e.g. using the stereographic projection, the methodology of picking seismic reflectors, tying to wells, etc
  • Cross section restoration using section balancing techniques
  • Practical experience of small scale geological structures and determining tectonic context
  • Handling of geophysical equipment and selection of appropriate geophysical methods
  • Earth science applications of remote sensing techniques e.g. mapping, plate tectonics, deformation during earthquakes, hazard assessment and mitigation.
Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Appreciate the effect of variables (e.g., temperature, pressure, fluids, time) on rock rheology. Understand the concepts of stress, strain, deformation in shear zones and the use of bedding, cleavage and way-up information in structural analysis.
  • Able to understand the basic physical principles underlying the gravity, magnetic, electrical and seismic methods of exploration geophysics
  • Familiar with the geological applications of exploration geophysics
  • Aware of which methods are best suited to particular natural resource exploration targets.
  • Practically experienced in the operation of a gravimeter, magnetometers and an electrical resistivity meter
  • Capable of planning and carrying out a simple geophysical survey
  • Conversant with the procedure of field data reduction and processing techniques.
  • Able to understand how geophysical anomalies. e.g. simple Bouguer gravity anomalies and magnetic anomalies can be interpreted
  • Aware how seismic refraction and seismic reflection profiles are interpreted
  • Able to know how borehole geophysics is used in exploration and exploitation
  • Aware of the limitations of certain geophysical interpretations.
  • Understand brittle and ductile deformation processes.
  • Aware of how to undertake an investigative field experiment.
  • Be familiar with ground, air, satellite and marine based sensor platforms
  • Be able to select and apply appropriate data manipulation and visualisation methods for a number of Earth Science applications, including Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
  • Be able to operate PC-based visualisation software effectively
  • Be able to plot, map, and interpret, Earth Science data and present the results in an organised and concise fashion
  • Have an enhanced ability to visualise three-dimensional structures
  • Familiar with the geological applications of exploration geophysics
  • Be able to classify and understand processes forming rock fabrics, faults, fractures and fault zone rocks.
  • Describe and classify folds.
  • Be aware of the principal features of compressional, strike-slip and extensional tectonic systems (including basin formation) with active and ancient examples
  • Be confident presenting and manipulating data using the stereographic projection.
  • Understand construction of balanced cross-sections from compressional and extensional systems.
  • Be able to undertake an investigative field experiment and perform data analysis and interpretation.
  • Contribute effectively as a member of a team

Syllabus

Structural Geology Lectures will provide an account of geological structures from the scale of plate tectonics to the sub-microscopic, emphasising basic mechanical and tectonic principles as well as geometrical description. Laboratory exercises are designed to introduce widely used structural applications such as the presentation and manipulation of data using stereographic projections, construction of balanced cross-sections and techniques of structural mapping. There is a one-day field class to collect data for structural and statistical analysis. There is a one-day field class to collect data for structural and statistical analysis as part of a team. This will take place at a weekend normally following Week 2. Exploration Geophysics Lectures will provide an introduction to the theory and practice of exploration geophysics. Geophysics practical work forms an integral part of the module and provides training in the field, use of geophysical equipment and data interpretation. GIS and Remote Sensing The principal software platform will be ArcGIS incorporating various remote sensing data sets as well as topographic data. You will learn the basics of image processing, spectral data analysis and applications in geosciences including digital elevation models.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Structural Geology Formal Lectures (13 x 45 minute lectures): Will provide an introduction to the theory underlying structural geology and tectonics. The lectures provide the material required for a robust understanding of the brittle and ductile behaviour of rocks in the Earth’s crust and of plate tectonic processes at a variety of scales. Each lecture systematically covers the main concepts and topics by the use of PowerPoint presentations, supported by illustrated handout materials. The lecturers’ own experience in these fields is incorporated where possible. Appropriate references to parts of course textbooks and introductory journal references are provided at each lecture. Practical sessions (5 practicals, over ~15 hours): Exemplify the theory covered during formal lectures and allow you to develop appropriate practical skills in structural data analysis. Practical sessions include a one day field trip to collect structural data for further analysis (see below). Support: Support during practicals and lectures provided by staff and postgraduate demonstrators. Further support is available from the coordinator and other teaching staff by arrangement. Field Classes: During a one-day field class in Dorset which will take place at a weekend after Week 2, you will develop basic and investigative field skills whilst being introduced to concepts of effective teamwork. The fieldwork will also exemplify theory covered in lectures. The fieldwork will also exemplify theory covered in lectures. Subsequent practical sessions will develop data analysis and results presentation skills. Exploration Geophysics Formal Lectures (15 x 45 minute lectures): will provide an introduction to the theory underlying exploration geophysics. Exploration Geophysics techniques covered will include seismic reflection, seismic refraction, gravity and magnetic surveying, electrical methods and borehole techniques. Laboratory Classes (6 practicals over 15 hours): exemplify theory and allow you to develop appropriate practical skills in exploration geophysics data collection, reduction and interpretation. Practical classes are fully interactive affording hands-on experience of using geophysical instruments and equipment under laboratory and local campus conditions (weather permitting). GIS and Remote Sensing: Support will be available when practical classes run 1. Hands-on teaching in computer workstations by experienced staff. 2. Lectures to describe different remote sensing systems and their applications 3. Independent learning using image processing and GIS software. A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs

TypeHours
Teaching141
Independent Study159
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Blackboard. Much of the lecture material is summarised at http://blackboard.soton.ac.uk/. Instructions for accessing this material will be given during the course

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 30%
Examination 50%
Examination 60%
Practical 50%
Practical 40%
Project 70%

Linked modules

Pre-requisites

To study this module, you will need to have studied the following module(s):

CodeModule
SOES1002Dynamic Earth
SOES1001Earth Materials
SOES1008EARTH & OCEAN SYSTEM
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