Geological Cartography




The discipline is based on a strong practical component which prime goal is to provide the methods and knowledge that enables the student to perform a coherent geological map in any stratigraphic, structural and igneous-metamorphosed setting and under the most varied professional-technical-scientific context.


The student must acquire skills to carry out geological surveys at several scales in a real situation; to produce a geological map on a topographical surface, tracing the geological limits and the geometry of tectonic structures, separating the lithology and integrating it into the stratigraphy, and finally, to incorporate all the information transposing it to a field report.


The student must acquire experience in GIS-georeferencing and transposing the field surveys at any scale to a digital media using ArcGIS, AUTOCAD or GEMS.


The student must learn how to compose and organize a technical-scientific report.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

José Carlos Ribeiro Kullberg, Martim Afonso Ferreira de Sousa Chichorro


Weekly - 4

Total - 56

Teaching language





The discipline requires a mainstreaming of the different areas of geosciences, providing a way for the student to practice the intersection of the various concepts acquired under the Sedimentology, Igneous Petrology and Structural Geology. It is convenient that all the students have been formally approved in the following disciplines of Geological Engineering (1st Cycle): 1st Semester: General Geology and Mineralogy. 2nd Semester: Stratigraphy and Paleontology, topography and field Geology and Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology. 3rd Semester: Sedimentary Petrology and sedimentology. 4th Semester: geological and geographical representation systems, structural geology and geochemistry. 5th Semester: Geology of Portugal.


The student will have to demonstrate basic skills in topography and field geology, sedimentary and igneous petrology, and structural geology. The fundamental principles of geology to be applied in the relative geochronology of geological events should be already apprehended.


BARNES,  1991. Basic Geo Mapping. GSL

COMPTON 1985. Geology in the field: Ny, J. W & Sons

GROSHONG 2006. 3-D Structural Geol, Springer

LISLE 2004. Geologic structures maps. P. guide.Elsevier

McCLAY  1987. Mapping geolog structures. GSL

THORPE & BROWN 1985. Field Description of Igneous Rocks. GSL

FRY 1996. Field Descrip of Metamorphic Rocks. GSL H.S.

TUCKER 1996. Sedimentary rocks in the field. The G.F.Guide S.

Teaching method

Teaching Methods


At an initial stage,  theoretical concepts of Geological Mapping will be introduced to prepare students for the fieldwork. These introductory classes are based on slides projection (power point supports). There will also be classes in the laboratory for the interpretation of published geological maps from geologically complex areas. Mapping interpretation exercises together with the implementation of geological profiles will be privileged.


The most important component of the discipline is the field work, where the student will produce a geological map at scale 1/10000 during an intensive geological survey. Based on this work of practical nature the student should be able to draft a group report.

Evaluation method


The individual final evaluation is obtained through a weighting which comprises three components:

A - conducting a theoretical and practical Mini-test (30%);

B - conducting field report (production of a geological map and subsequent report) (40%);

C - Oral presentation of field work (30%);

Assiduity criteria require the student’s presence in  at least 2/3 of the theoretical and practice classes and 2/3 of  the field classes;  not accomplishing this last requisite runs for the exclusion of the student.

The final classification (CF) is obtained by weighting, as follows:

CF = 30% A + 40% B + 30% C where A, B and C cannot be

Compared to C (Oral presentation of field work) evaluation is based on the following criteria:

D –Quality of  group work presentation (group evaluation) - (40%)

E - Individual participation in the presentation (30%).

F - individual oral evaluation (30%)

Note 1: a mark increase that can go up to 0,5 points (in 20) can be contemplated on the basis of demonstrated dilligence and quality of requested geological profiles.

Note 2: a mark increase that can go up to 0,5 points ( in 20) can be contemplated on the basis of demonstrated dedication and quality of field observations during the geological survey.

Subject matter


The academic course contents will be developed in four stages:

- Stage 1. Introduction of theoretical concepts of cartography and analysis / interpretation of maps at different scales  with the production of geological profiles.

- Stage 2. In the classroom and in field context (near the  college) the student is trained to use the compass to represent the outcrops in the field book, to mark geological boundaries and to trace  the attitude of planes and linear structures.

- Stage 3. Field component. During five days the student will have to conduct a geological survey at scale 1/10000.

- Stage 4. Production of a field report, respecting the model proposed by the teacher.

PROGRAM General Theoretical and practical

1. Geological mapping - definitions and objectives.

2. Geological mapping - applications.

3. Reading geological maps.

4. How to prepare a geological map.

5. The field surveys (indispensable material ...).

6. The handling of the compass in real situations. Measurement of Planar-Linear Attitudes

7. Studies to support geological mapping: bibliography, photo geological interpretation, digital modeling of the terrain, satellite (remote sensing), geophysics, etc.

8. Cartography and field description of sedimentary rocks.

9. Mapping igneous and metamorphic rocks. Mapping igneous intrusive and extrusive bodies.

10. Mapping of geologic structures at different scales. Faults, shear zones, fractures, folds, cleavage / foliation, delineations.

11. Geometric , kinematics and dynamics analysis of complex geologic cartographic patterns and structures at the mesoscale.

12. Geo-referencing and transferring the cartography to digital media (arcgis, autocad)

13. How to prepare a field report?

14. Fieldwork. Geological mapping of an area in the Iberian Peninsula, simulating a real situation in a professional-research context.


Programs where the course is taught: