Structural Geology





It is expected that, after concluding the discipline, students are able to identify, analyze and interpret geological structures of tectonic origin and acquire special skills on the use of the stereographic net (Schmidt projection and statistical projections) applied to geological and geotechnical problems. The discipline also aims at giving formation and tools for comprehensive interpretation of geological maps of structurally complex areas. With the final 3-to-4-day field trip, it is supposed that students get new and deeper skills on field work, specially on the identification and measuring of geological structures, on the identification of different types of contacts (tectonic and non-tectonic), and on the definition and correlation of tectono-stratigraphic units, the starting point for geological mapping.


General characterization





Responsible teacher

José Carlos Ribeiro Kullberg


Weekly - 5

Total - 111

Teaching language






It is recommended that students have already concluded the following disciplines, successfully, which are previous to this discipline: General Geology, Mineralogy, Stratigraphy and Sedimentary Petrology and Sedimentology.



G. H. DAVIS (1984) – Structural Geology of Rocks and Regions. J. Wiley & Sons, New York, 492 p.

M. C. KULLBERG & J. C. KULLBERG (2003) – Geologia Estrutural - Apontamentos de apoio às aulas Fac. Ciências Tecn., UNL, Lisboa, 184 p.

B. A. van der PLUIJM & S. MARSHAK (1997) – Earth Structure: an Introduction to Structural Geology and Tectonics. WCB/McGraw-Hill, USA, 495 p.

J. G. RAMSAY & M. I. HUBER (1983-1998) – The Techniques of Modern Structural Geology. Academic Press,Inc., London, 3 Vol.

R. J. TWISS & E. M. MOORES (1992) – Structural Geology. W.H. Freeman & Co., New York, 532 p.

Teaching method


- Tutorial teaching and traditional learning methods for the traditional classes (theoretical and practical);


- Assisted online methods for complementary classes, using the Moodle tool;


- Classes on the field for the field component of the discipline.

Evaluation method

Written tests for theoretical (T) and practical (P – stereographic projection; M – analysis and interpretation of maps) components. Students can choose to  make each part on separate days. Final classification (F) through the equation: F=1/2(T) + 1/2[(P+M)/2].

For final approval F>9,5 and T, P and M >=8,0 (in a 0-20 scale).

Subject matter




Theoretical classes:


Objectives of Structural Geology. Introduction to basic concepts (1 lecture). Part I – Geometrical analysis of geological structures: fractures, folds, cleavage and schistosity, lineations. Synthesis of geometrical analysis on different scales; vergence. Igneous intrusive bodies (5 lectures). Part II – Stress and strain. Rheology. Kinematic analysis of geological structures: mechanisms of fracturation, folding and emplacement of igneous intrusive bodies (5 lectures). Part III – Tectonics and regional deformation. Analysis of large-scale structures, in different geodynamic environments: extensional, compressional and strike-slip. Salt and magmatic diapirism. The concept of “structural level” (3 lectures).


Practical classes:

The use of Stereographic Projection in Structural Geology (the Schmidt net). Foundations, basic mechanisms and practical exercises. (8 lectures, 3 hours each). Analysis and interpretation of geologic maps of regions with complex structures (6 classes – 18 hours). Field trip (optional, after the ending of the discipline) (5 days).



Programs where the course is taught: