Structural Geology Lab Syllabus 2018 - GEOL 3310

Thursday 2:30-4:30, DSC 280

Instructor: Harmon D. Maher Jr.

Goals: The goal of this lab is to teach participants basic structural geology skills. These include: map and cross section interpretation and construction, visualizing in 3-D (structure contours), geologic mapping, and structural analysis. Specific goals for each of the 9 labs are listed below.

This is a work in progress, and I may need to change some of these labs substantially.

Lab mechanics: Remember that these labs build on each other. You will need the skills you learn in the earlier labs to complete later labs. Therefore, make sure you understand the material of earlier labs.You will need a good scale (ruler with cm and inches), colored pencils, and a calculator (we will use trig functions extensively!). Some labs will require write-ups. Since writing skills are necessary for effective communication they are an important component of your work. I reserve the right to change the order of the labs, or modify content of individual labs in order to respond to class needs. Unless otherwise noted the labs will be due a week after they are handed out. Late labs will be accepted if I haven't graded the assignment yet. Otherwise they will be accepted, but the highest grade possible is the equivalent of a low C (i.e. just passing). No labs will be accepted however, after the last day of lecture. You should plan on spending the two hours of class time scheduled for lab in the class room.

Grading scale: 240 points are possible. >210 = A+ / 210 to >200 = A / 200 to >190 =A- / 190 to < 180 = B+ / 180 to < 170 = B / 170 to > 160 = B- / 160 to < 150 = C+ / 150 to < 140 = C / 140 to > 130 = C-, any lower you don't want to be, but you can continue the pattern.

Field Trip: A weekend field exercise is required for the course, and is the focus of the last and biggest lab. The date and locality is TBA ASAP.

Contact info:, 402 554 2662.

Lab 1: Reading geologic maps (20 pts.):

Lab 2: Structure contour construction (20 pts.):

Lab 3: Structural interpretation of images and map construction (20 pts.):

Lab 4: Constructing cross sections (20 pts.):

Lab 5: Structural Analysis (2 weeks) (40 pts.):

Image to right is a stereonet plot of bedding from an area of Tertiary folding in Svalbard. The image won't mean much to the uninitiated, but you will learn not only who to read the image but how to create such plots.

Lab 6: Shear strength analysis lab (20 pts.).

Lab 7: Strain measurement lab (20 pts.).

Lab 8 : Description of structures in hand specimens (20 pts.):

Lab 9: Mapping project (60 pts.)

Image to right of UNO students at Baraboo Wisconsin in fall 2014, mapping the structural geology.

Copyright Harmon D. Maher Jr., This may be used for non-profit educational purposes as long as proper attribution is given. Otherwise, please contact me. Thank you.