Advanced Structural Geology

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content


Structural Geology and Tectonics examines the deformation of earth´s lithosphere. The course aims to provide advanced theoretical aspects of rock deformation. Besides quantitative aspects of stress and strain analyses, the broad spectrum of deformation complexities in contractional, extensional and strike-slip regimes at various scales are highlighted. The course provides an in depth understanding of the rheological properties of the lithosphere, including brittle and plastic deformation processes at the microscale. At the macroscale, the interaction between climate and tectonic is discussed. Lectures are accompanied by a series of practicals with the objective to apply and strengthen the gained knowledge in various exercises.


The course includes a quantitative approach of stress and strain in various tectonic setting, advanced aspects of rock deformation and rheology in the light of brittle, ductile and plastic deformation processes, an appraisal of the spectrum of complex deformation geometries, approaches of balancing and restoring deformation, as well as aspects of climate-tectonic interaction. In a series of seminars, students apply their gained knowledge to regional geology aspects of Bergen, Norway and Scandinavia and beyond.

Learning Outcomes


The student

  • have an advanced understanding of stress, strain, rheology and deformation, including quantitative aspects thereof
  • recognize moderately complex structures and can relate these to specific deformation regimes
  • have an advanced insight into brittle and plastic deformation processes at the microscale and a basic knowledge of DPTt-path
  • know that tectonic styles can result from a combination of endogenous and exogenous processes


The student can

  • quantitatively describe stress and strain
  • qualitatively describe conditions for brittle and viscous failure
  • plot and interpret advanced structural data sets
  • unravel, restore and balance moderately complex deformation histories
  • discuss aspects in structural geology and tectonics with respect to the regional geology of Bergen and Norway at an advanced level

General competance 

The student

  • can undertake a structural field investigation with moderate complexity
  • understand and can evaluate structural data from reports, maps and publications
  • can participate in discussion in structural geology and tectonics at a moderate level

Semester of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Access to the Course
Access to the course requires admission to a program of study at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
Teaching and learning methods
  • Lectures, 2 hours per week
  • Practicals, 2 hours per week
  • Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
    Mandatory participation in practicals and fieldwork. Mandatory assignments are valid for 2 subsequent semesters.
    Forms of Assessment
    The forms of assessment are:
    • Written exam, 4 hours
    Grading Scale
    The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.
    Assessment Semester
    Examination both spring semester and autumn semester. In semesters without teaching the examination will be arranged at the beginning of the semester.
    Reading List
    The reading list will be available within July 1st.
    Course Evaluation
    The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department.
    Examination Support Material
    Non-programmable calculator, according to the faculty regulations
    Course Coordinator
    The course coordinator and administrative contact person can be found on Mitt UiB, or you may contact
    Course Administrator
    The Faculty for Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Earth Science has the administrative responsibility for the course and program