Structural Geology

Science & Technology
Earth & Environmental Sciences
Course Code
EAES 2550
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered


Course Description
This course describes the deformation of rock. Students will learn about stress and strain, plate tectonics, structural analysis, techniques of collecting structural data, and some economic applications. Field trips will be required.
Course Content
  • Geological structures in the field and on geological maps.
  • Primary geological structures compared to geological structures caused by deformation.
  • Deformation and strain (mechanisms, displacement vectors, kinematic analysis).
  • Force and stress (sources of stress, dynamic analysis, stress vectors, Mohr diagram, elastic/plastic/viscous behaviour, experimental results).
  • Brittle structures (deformation, fractures, faults, folds).
  • Ductile structures (deformation, folds, lineation, foliation, shear zones, metamorphism).
  • Tectonics and structural provinces (earth structure, structure of continental and oceanic crust, extensional provinces, compressional provinces, provinces dominated by shear).
  • Tools and techniques of structural geology (geological map, geological cross-section, geologic compass, stereonet, orthographic projection, strain/stress ellipsoids, Mohr diagram).
  • Economic applications of structural geology (vein mineral deposits, faulted coal seams, petroleum traps, hydraulic fracturing).
Learning Activities

Lectures, labs, occasional field trips.

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation citeria at the beginning of the semester.  Evaluation will be based on the following:

Labs and Assignments                20 - 30%

Lab Exams                                 15 - 25%

Term Exams                               20 - 30%

Final Exam                                  30%

Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing EAES 2550, a student will be able to:

  • Describe a range of geological structures.
  • Identify and describe geological structures at continental to hand specimen scales.
  • Recognize structural elements, and measure their orientations using a geological compass.
  • Use kinematic analysis to explain geological structures.
  • Use dynamic analysis to explain geological structures.
  • Evaluate geological data, and draw simple geological maps and matched cross-sections.
  • Describe some economic applications of structural geology.
Textbook Materials

Students should consult the bookstore for the latest required course materials, including the textbook. 


a)  Davis, G.H., Reynolds, S.J., Kluth, C.F.; Structural Geology of Rocks and Regions; John Wiley and Sons


b)   van der Pluijm, B.A., Marshak, S.; Earth Structure; W.W. Norton and Company

  or equivalent.

Other course materials:  "Rite in the Rain" waterproof notebook or equivalent, rock hammer, hand lens, mineral identification kit, safety eyewear.


Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for EAES 2550
Alexander College (ALEX) ALEX SOSC 2XX (3)
Athabasca University (AU) AU GEOL 319 (3)
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU SCEL 2XX (4)
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR GEOL 2XX (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG GEOL 2XXX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU EASC 204 (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU GEOL 2XXX (3)
University Canada West (UCW) UCW SCIE 2XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO EESC_O 325 (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV EOSC_V 323 (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC GEOG 2XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV GEOG 2XX (4)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC EOS 202 (1.5)
Vancouver Community College (VCC) VCC EVSC 2XXX (3)
Vancouver Community College (VCC) No credit

Course Offerings

Summer 2024