Structural Geology By Haakon Fossen

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Approaching structural geology

What can today be defined as modern structural geology was born out of field observations?

Today indirect observations can also be made from remote data such as seismic data and satellite data, but the fact that observations trigger questions in the mind of the open-minded student remains the same.

Answers can be sought through more careful and systematic observations, which commonly involve field measurements, thin section studies, plotting and analyzing structural data, utilize more.

Advanced methods such as radiometric dating, and so on. In addition, we can set up physical experiments in the lab or use numerical modeling to further explore and test our hypotheses.

Each of the different methods that structural geologists use in their pursuit of a satisfactory answer has its advantages and limitations.

Observations of structures, be it in the field or from remote sensing imagery, portray the final results of deformation processes, while the actual deformation history is, in most cases, unknown.

The evolution of structures through progressive deformation can be observed in laboratory experiments, but how representative are such minute-,

Hour- or perhaps week-long observations of geologic histories that span thousands to millions of years in nature? And how well do meter-scale models reproduce kilometer-scale natural examples?

Numerical modeling, where we use computers, physics, and mathematical equations to model deformation, is hampered by simplifications required for the models to be runnable with today’s codes and computers.

Besides, input parameters such as material properties or preexisting heterogeneities may be uncertain.

Nevertheless, by combining different approaches we are able to obtain realistic models of how structures can form and what they mean.

Field studies will always be important, as any modeling, numerical or physical, must be based directly or indirectly on accurate and objective field observations and descriptions.

Objectivity during fieldwork is both important and challenging, and field studies in one form or another are the main reason why many geologists choose to become geoscientists!

AuthorHaakon Fossen
PDF Size20 MB


Structural Geology Book PDF Free Download

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