Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 41

Structural

Geology
Spring 2003

Structural Geology
Structural

geologists are concerned


with why parts of the Earth have been
bent into folds and others have been
broken by faults.
Mapping of these structures provides
important information to land
managers and mineral exploration.
Understanding of these features help
us understand the dynamic Earth.

Plate Tectonics

Tectonic Structures
Most

structures are driven by the


forces of Plate Tectonics
The kinds of structures are determined
by:

Temperature and pressure


Composition
Layering
Anisotropy or Isotropy of the layers
Amount of fluids present

Tectonic Structures
Time

(or rate of change) is very


importance
A rock may behave in a ductile or brittle
fashion depending upon how quickly it is
deformed

Tectonic Structures
Ductile

deformation produces:

Folds
Ductile Faults
Cleavages
Foliation

Tectonic Structures
Brittle

Deformation

Certain types of folds


Brittle Faults
Joints

Nontectonic Structures
Nontectonic

structures can mimic


tectonic structures
Meteor impacts
Landslides
Structures produce by gravitational forces

3-Dimensional Objects
Visualization

of 3-Dimensional Objects

Structural Geology
Subdisciplines

of Structural Geology

Field Relations
Make

accurate geologic maps


Measure orientations of small structures to inform us of
the shape of larger structures
Study the sequence of development and superposition
of different kinds of structures

Rock Mechanics the application of physics to


the study of rock materials.
Tectonic and Regional Structural Geology
Study of mountain ranges, parts of entire
continents, trenches and island arcs, oceanic
ridges

Applications of Structural
Geology

Engineering

Issues

Bridges
Dams
Power Plants
Highway Cuts
Large Buildings
Airports

Applications of Structural
Geology
Environmental

Issues

Earthquake hazard
Location of landfill sites
Contamination cleanup
Distribution of groundwater
Mineral exploration

Scale in Structural Geology


Microscopic

Need magnification

Foliation, Micro folds


Mesoscopic

Hand specimens and

outcrops
Foliation, Folds, Faults
Macroscopic

Mountainside to map

levels
Basins, domes, Metamorphic Core
Complexes

Scale in Structural Geology


Non-penetrative

structures not present on

all scales
Faults
Isolated folds
Penetrative

structures found on any scale


that we chose to study
Slaty cleavage
Foliation
Some folds

Scale and Folds

Figure 1-6

Fundamental Concepts
Doctrine

of Uniformitarianism
Law of Superposition
Law of Original Horizontality
Law of Cross-Cutting Relationships
Law of Faunal Succession
Multiple Working Hypotheses
Outrageous Hypothesis

Fundamental Concepts
Pumpellys

Rule Small structures are


a key to and mimic the styles and
orientations of larger structures of the
same generation within a particular
area.

Plate Tectonics
Driving

Mechanisms

Convection
Push-Pull Theory
Plate

Boundaries

Divergent
Convergent
Transform

Geochronology
Absolute

Age Dating
Review of atomic structure
Most useful isotope decay processes

Using radioactivity in dating


Reviewing
Atomic

basic atomic structure


number

An elements identifying number


Equal to the number of protons in the
atoms nucleus
Mass

number

Sum of the number of protons and neutrons


in an atoms nucleus

Using radioactivity in dating


Reviewing

basic atomic structure

Isotope

Variant of the same parent atom


Differs in the number of neutrons
Results in a different mass number than the
parent atom

Using radioactivity in dating


Radioactivity
Spontaneous

changes (decay) in the


structure of atomic nuclei
Types of radioactive decay
Alpha emission
Emission of 2 protons and 2 neutrons (an
alpha particle)
Mass number is reduced by 4 and the
atomic number is lowered by 2

Using radioactivity in dating


Types

of radioactive decay
Beta emission
An electron (beta particle) is ejected from
the nucleus
Mass number remains unchanged and the
atomic number increases by 1

Using radioactivity in dating


Types

of radioactive decay
Electron capture
An electron is captured by the nucleus
The electron combines with a proton to
form a neutron
Mass number remains unchanged and the
atomic number decreases by 1

Common Types of Radioactive


Decay

Using radioactivity in dating


Parent

an unstable radioactive

isotope
Daughter product the isotopes
resulting from the decay of a parent
Half-life the time required for onehalf of the radioactive nuclei in a
sample to decay

A radioactive decay curve

Using radioactivity in dating


Radiometric
Principle

dating

of radioactive dating

The percentage of radioactive atoms that


decay during one half-life is always the
same (50 percent)
However, the actual number of atoms that
decay continually decreases
Comparing the ratio of parent to daughter
yields the age of the sample

Using radioactivity in dating


Radiometric
Sources

dating

of error

A closed system is required


To avoid potential problems, only fresh,
unweathered rock samples should be used
Blocking Temperature The temperature
below which a crystal lattice traps
radioactive daughter products.

Geochronology
Mineral
Zircon
Garnet
Rutile
Muscovit
e
K-spar
Biotite
Hornblen
de

Syste Daughter Blocking T


m
C
U-Pb 207, 206Pb
>800
U-Pb 207, 206Pb
700-725
U-Pb 207, 206Pb
550-650
87
Rb-Sr
Sr
Rb-Sr
Rb-Sr
K-Ar

Sr
87
Sr
40
Ar
87

300
480

Geochronology
Uranium-Lead

Method (U-Pb)

Most reliable technique for rocks


Ages exceed 10 million years
Use of Zircons for dating
U
235
U
232
Th
238

Pb (half-life = 4.5x109yrs)
207
Pb (half-life = 0.7x109yrs)
208
Pb (half-life = 1.4x109yrs)
206

Uranium-Lead Method

Uranium-Lead Method

Geochronology
Robidium-Strontium

(Rb-Sr)

Most applicable in rocks over 100 million


years old
Whole-rock ages are more reliable in RbSr
No gaseous daughter elements
Principle source of error is later
metamorphism and hydrothermal
alteration.
Rb

87

Sr + (half-life = 48.8x109yrs)

87

Geochronology
Potassium-Argon

(K-Ar)

Used for rocks around 1 million years old


Ar is a gas and can be easily released from most
rocks
Biotite, muscovite, hornblende retain argon
better than other minerals

Low blocking temperatures (300C - 480


C)
Ca +
(half-life = 1.2x109yrs)
40
Ar
40

40

Geochronology
Argon-Argon (40Ar-39Ar)
Samples must be irradiated to convert 39K
to 39Ar
Can determine the cooling history of the
rocks
Useful for determining the time of uplift,
metamorphism, or emplacement of
structures

Geochronology
Samarium

- Neodynium (Sm-Nd)

Used mainly for dating ocean floor basalts


because sea water is abundant in Sr but
depleted in Nd
Therefore, can be used to determine
contamination by sea water and
hydrothermal alteration
Sm

147

Nd (half-life = 106x109yrs)

143

Rock Cycle