Structural geology is the study of processes and products of rock deformation. This course introduces the techniques of structural geology through a survey of the mechanics of rock deformation, a survey of the features and geometries of faults and folds, and techniques of strain analysis.
A great variety of processes affect the surface of the Earth. Topics to be covered are production and movement of surficial materials; soils and soil erosion; precipitation; streams and lakes; groundwater flow; glaciers and their deposits.
The course combines aspects of geology, climatology, hydrology, and soil science to present a coherent introduction to the surface of the Earth, with emphasis on both fundamental concepts and practical applications, as a basis for understanding and intelligent management of the Earth's physical and chemical environment.
The geologic record demonstrates that our environment has changed over a variety of time scales from seconds to billions of years. This course explores the many ways in which geologic processes control and modify the Earth's environment and serves as an introduction to Environmental Earth Science Field Course (12.120), which addresses field applications of these principles in the American Southwest.