Modern Active Tectonics

Mondays, 10:15 - 11:45, room 116 Luisenstr. 37
Thursdays, 10:15 - 11:45, room
116 Luisenstr. 37
(lectures and seminar part, most likely from October to December only)
Exercises will be held in the field, in Spain, just before the start of the 1st year field mapping course, plus one day ahead of departure spent in a computer lab
(all details will be discussed during first day of class)

first day of class: 17.10.2016

language: English

Instructor: Sara Carena

Office hours: none. If you have questions on the class material, please ask them in class, which is the place for all such questions. If you have questions on background knowledge, pick up appropriate books in the library and read them on your own, or ask classmates to help you. If your question is about organizational issues that involve only yourself (i.e. they are of no interest to the rest of the class), use email.

On 17.10. (first day of class) I will distribute the syllabus, and go over all organizational issues, including final exam and field exercise. Please make sure to be present, if you think you may want to take this course. Late-comers will not be able to have any input in the organization of the course, all decisions will be made on the first day.

Using cellphones, laptops, cameras or audio/video recorders in class is in general not permitted, unless you have a certificate for a specific disability that states exactly what device/s you are allowed to use and under what circumstances (no generic "suitable aids" from a GP, it needs to say which specific devices and for doing what, and the certificate needs to be from a specialist for your condition, issued no more than one year ago). Temporary disability (e.g. you broke your hand and are therefore unable to write for x weeks) needs a certificate that has an expiration date on it (e.g. "Mr. Smith cannot use his right hand until May 15th, and in the meantime should be allowed to use a recorder"). Any recordings made under such conditions cannot be distributed to anyone else in any form, including to your own classmates.

If occasionally computer access is needed for class-related purposes (e.g. presentations), I will inform you.

In all other cases, if I notice you handling electronic devices, I will ask you to leave the room for the rest of that day. If you have something urgent to tell someone, leave the room and make a call.
Other than personal note-taking by hand writing, any form of recording in this class is not permitted. Typing notes on laptops is specifically not allowed, due to both the noise produced by tapping on keys, and the temptation of checking email and surfing the web.


Before you show up for class, please make sure that you are proficient in the basics of structural geology and tectonics as taught in Bachelor-level courses. In general, I expect that you know and can apply all the concepts and techniques illustrated in Davis & Reynolds, Structural Geology of Rocks and Regions, chapters 1 – 10 and all appendices included. In particular, you may want to refresh topics related to fractures, faults (i.e. brittle regime), stress, and strain. These concepts will not be repeated in class, at best they may be briefly mentioned in the context of other topics, but they are the foundation on which this course is built and they can be part of your exam.
This course is not a walk in the park. If you have large "black holes" in your background, they will cascade into inability to follow the course from the beginning, falling further and further behind, and final exam failure. This is true for all other first semester courses as well. The Master program is only two years: there is no time built into it to make up for things you did not learn earlier on.


Some of the files may require a password, which will be supplied on the first day of class if necessary.

Papers to read:

Davis et al. 1983

Hubbert 1951

King et al. 1994

Hubert-Ferrari et al. 2000

Additional papers may be added to this list later in the semester, depending also on how many students sign up for the course. These four are the papers that we will definitely read.

Updated 06.12.2016
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