Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


Description and principles of quantitative analysis of geological structures
Descrizione e principi di analisi quantitativa delle strutture geologiche

A.Y. Credits
2021/2022 8
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Luca Lanci The hour before the lessons and the hour following the end of the lessons and by appointment
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Geology and Land-Use Planning (L-34 / L-21)
Curriculum: COMUNE
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course is aimed at learning the basic principles of structural geology, in particular the geometric and mechanical characterization of geological structures that are the result of deformation processes. The course emphasize the importance of quantitative aspects and numerical methods for which the use of computers is encouraged. Students are taught to acquire the data needed to solve a given problem, to be able to represent and interpret data using mainly numerical methods and to learn to organize results in a form that can be used by other people.


1. Representation of geological structures

1.1. Stereographic projections and applications.

1.2. Quantitative tools for analyzing vector data, directions and axes.

1.3. Coordinate systems and linear transformations.

2. Brittle deformation.

2.1. Rock failure criteria and geological significance.

2.2. The stress tensor

2.3. Cauchy's law and Mohr's circles.

2.4. Mohr-Colulomb failure criterion

2.5. Faults, description and classification.

2.6. Foliations and lineations.

2.7. Outline of analysis of fracture systems.

3. Ductile deformation.

3.1. Strain and geological significance.

3.2. Finished deformation in 2 dimensions,

3.3. Deformation matrix and Cauchy-Green tensor.

3.4. Methods of measurement of the finite deformation in 2 dimensions.

3.5. Folds, description and classification.

3.6. Folds, formation mechanisms.

Bridging Courses

-  Matematica.

-  Geologia I.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

·  The student must demonstrate the ability to master the basic knowledge of the methods used to describe and analyze the geological structures studied during the course.

·  The student must demonstrate the understanding of the concepts and theories provided by the course; be able to independently acquire and analyze the types of geological data described during the course by choosing the appropriate tecnique for specific cases; be able to assess the significance of the results obtained from their analysis.

·  The student must demonstrate the possession of the ability to use knowledge and concepts learned according to the specific logic of the discipline. He must be able to identify the most appropriate structural analysis techniques for specific contexts and to envisage hypotheses of analysis of non-trivial cases.

·  The student must show that he is able to communicate his knowledge, ideas and possible problems, in a clear way and using language properties.

·  The student is encouraged to study and learn independently using the recommended texts and to ask specific questions in the face of possible problems.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

The course includes field activities

Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


Class lessons and field exercises.


The following preliminary knowledge are required:

- Knowledge of the algebra of vectors and matrices.

- Knowledge of geology 101.

- Basic knowledge in the use of personal computers.

Course books

Geologia Stutturale, A. Fossen, Zanichelli.

Basic Methods of Structural Geology, Stephen Marshak & Gautum Mitra

The Techniques of Modern Structural Geology, Volume 1: Strain Analysis, John G. Ramsay & Martin I. Huber.


Written test; Oral interview.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students


Same as attending students


Same as attending students

Course books

Same as attending students


Same as attending students



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