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Cursus: GEO4-1410
Mechanisms of deformation and transport in rocks
Cursus informatie
Studiepunten (ECTS)7,5
Categorie / NiveauM (M (Master))
CursustypeCursorisch onderwijs
Aangeboden doorFaculteit Geowetenschappen; Graduate School Geowetenschappen; M Earth Sciences;
Contactpersoonprof. dr. C.J. Spiers
Telefoon030-253 4972
dr. A.R. Niemeijer
Overige cursussen docent
dr. C.J. Peach
Feedback en bereikbaarheid
Overige cursussen docent
Contactpersoon van de cursus
prof. dr. C.J. Spiers
Overige cursussen docent
3  (05-02-2018 t/m 20-04-2018)
TimeslotD: D (WO-middag, WO-namiddag, Vrijdag)
Cursusinschrijving geopendvanaf 30-10-2017 08:00 t/m 26-11-2017 23:59
Inschrijven via OSIRISJa
Inschrijven voor bijvakkersNee
Na-inschrijving geopendvanaf 22-01-2018 08:00 t/m 23-01-2018 23:59
PlaatsingsprocedureStudiepunt/Student desk
The course aims to provide a state-of-the-art background in materials science, as needed:
  • to interpret field and experimental data and observations on rock behaviour at a quantitative, mechanistic level;
  • to critically evaluate current research literature on rock deformation and physical properties;
  • to construct models of rock and fault behaviour under conditions relevant to the crust and mantle;
  • to apply such models in the solution of geological, geophysical, geo-technical and geo-resources problems; 
  • to begin independent research in the field and/or laboratory.
Large scale deformation and fluid or melt transport phenomena occurring within the Earth's crust and mantle are ultimately controlled by processes operating at the micro- and mesoscopic scales. Therefore, in order to model large scale dynamic processes operating in the crust and mantle, and to interpret deformation- and transport-related structures preserved in rocks, an understanding of the mechanisms of deformation and transport that operate in Earth materials is needed.

This course addresses such mechanisms, using an advanced materials science approach. It forms a core component of the Earth Materials Track within the Master Programme Earth Structure & Dynamics (ESD). It is also a useful and frequent choice for students following other ESD tracks.

Topics covered include the following:

Part 1 – Transport Mechanisms (Lecturer = Peach):
Properties of geofluids; fluid/melt transport through rock; electrical conductivity of rock; percolation theory; Effects of deformation and microstructural change on transport properties. 

Part 2 Deformation Mechanisms (Lecturer = Niemeijer):
Elastic behaviour and thermodynamics of stressed solids; Defects and diffusion; Diffusion creep, superplasticity, deformation of solid/liquid/melt systems; Dislocation dynamics and intracrystalline plastic flow; Microstructure, recrystallization and deformation fabrics; Fracture mechanics and failure of rocks and ceramics;  Fault slip, friction and slip-stability; Deformation behaviour of key rock materials under crustal and mantle conditions.

Throughout the course, examples will be given of applications in Geology, Geophysics, Geo-resources and Geo-storage.

Development of Transferable Skills
  • Ability to work in the team: Students will complete mini-projects and assignments in teams of two and are encouraged to interact with other teams to discuss the problems investigated.  Within this structure, students must distribute tasks and organize their workflow and time planning.
  • Written communication: Each mini-project or practical assignment results in a written product (report) that must be completed and handed in by a strict deadline..
  • Problem solving: The mini-projects, practicals and homework exercises given are extremely challenging and require creativity and imagination to envisage which processes have to be considered and how to describe them quantitatively.
  • Verbal communication skills: Students are strongly encouraged to participate in actively answering questions posed by the lecturers in class.
  • Work ethic.  The deadlines for completing mini-project/practical and homework exercises are extremely strict so that worked answers can be distributed to all students but only when all students have submitted a given product. Failure to be professional in meeting these deadlines results in disqualification from the course.
  • Analytical / quantitative skills: The miniprojects/practicals and homework exercises involve breaking complex problems, in the field of deformation and transport properties, down into their component parts, first conceptually.   The conceptual components must then be systematically described using suitable equations and parameter values, introduced in the lectures, to arrive at quantitative answers.  
Grading of practicals/mini-projects and homework:
  • These will be continuously assessed on a pass/fail basis
  • All assignments (pr + hw) given must be completed with a “pass” to pass the course
  • Where appropriate and possible, feedback will include worked answers for self-study
Examinations and grading of the course:
  • All assignments given (practicals and homework) must be completed with a “pass” to pass the course
  • The final grade is based on two written, closed-book examinations and is calculated as follows: Mid term exam Peach 37.5% + Final exam Niemeijer 62.5%
  • The minimum pass grade (weighted average of Parts Peach and Niemeijer) for the course is 5.5 out of 10, with all assignments completed. Grades between 5.50 and 5.99 are rounded up to 6.0. A grade of 5.49 or less is a fail.
  • The right to a repair examination is granted if the unrounded average grade for Parts 1 and 2 lies between 4.00 and 5.49 and if the student has completed and obtained a pass for all assignments. Repair exams may address Part 1 (Peach) or Part 2 (Niemeijer) – students may choose which they prefer to resit (one only). After the repair exam, the final course grade is calculated as the average of the grades obtained for Parts 1 and 2, with the repaired grade updated. If the course grade obtained is 5.50 or above it will be set at 6.0, i.e. no final scores higher than 6.0 are given. If the final grade is 5.49 or less, the result is a fail and the entire course has be redone if a pass is sought.
  • The right to a repair exam is not automatic if a student is ill.  De-registering for an exam or test due to illness does not automatically entitle students to take a repair test or exam.  After recovery, the student must supply a doctor’s note certifying that the student was ill on the day of the test/exam. Without this, students have no right to a repair exam.
Je moet voldoen aan de volgende eisen
  • Ingeschreven voor een opleiding van de faculteit Faculteit Geowetenschappen
  • Ingeschreven voor één van de volgende opleidingen
    • Earth Structure and Dynamics
  • Toelatingsbeschikking voor de master toegekend
BSc in Earth Sciences or other physical/engineering science. Basic knowledge of structural geology, (geo)chemistry, geophysics, and/or materials science and/or solid state physics. Basic knowledge of (continuum) mechanics, calculus, use of vectors and tensors.
Voorkennis kan worden opgedaan met
Modest gaps in BSc-level knowledge can be filled by self-study prior to and in parallel with the course.
Bronnen van zelfstudie
BSc level course readers/notes by the course teachers, plus recommended background reading for this course.
Verplicht materiaal
Course Notes will be made available, in the form of reader material and handouts, using Blackboard and/or Print on Demand.
Aanbevolen materiaal
A broad selection of useful books and papers will be recommended at the start of and during this highly interdisciplinary course.
Useful background textbooks, which also provide insight into the course content, include the following non-compulsory items:
• Karato, S-I. (2008). Deformation of Earth materials. Cambridge. • Gueguen & Palciauskas (1994). Introduction to the physics of rocks. Princeton University Press. • Ranalli (1987). Rheology of the Earth. Allen & Unwin, Boston.

Voorbereiding bijeenkomsten
Read the relevant sections of the readers and/or notes provided.
Homework is due at start of next 2-hour session unless otherwise stated in class
Practicals and mini-projects are due at start of next practical session unless otherwise stated in class.

Bijdrage aan groepswerk
Homework should be completed on an individual basis.
Practicals and mini-projects should be completed in teams of two.
Interaction and discussion amongst course participants is encouraged.

Practicals/mini projects

All Practicals/Mini-projects and homework assignments must be completed with a “pass” to complete the course. Feedback on assignments will be in the form of worked answers, where appropriate.

Minimum cijfer-

• All assignments given (practicals and homework) must be completed with a “pass” to pass the course
• The final grade is based on two written, closed-book examinations and is calculated as follows: Mid term exam Peach 37.5% + Final exam Niemeijer 62.5%.
• The minimum pass grade (weighted average of Parts Peach and Niemeijer) for the course is 5.5 out of 10, with all assignments completed. Grades between 5.50 and 5.99 are rounded up to 6.0. A grade of 5.49 or less is a fail.

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