3 credits - Fall 2014 - Tuesdays 3:30-4:30 and Wednesdays 11:30-12:30 in FDA 348


Christie Rowe (christie.rowe[at]mcgill.ca, Office: FDA 402)

About this course

The rheology of the crust is important on all time and length scales - from the motion of tectonic plates, to the flow of soils, for engineering applications and for hazard estimation. This course will cover a broad range of topics in a mostly qualitative survey, with an emphasis on interpreting past deformation from the rock record.

We will meet 1-2 times per week. The first meeting will be a discussion session focused around 1-2 journal articles, with discussions run by students. The second meeting will be held for student presentations on practical applications and methods, and presentations of project results (mostly in the 2nd half of the semester).

The course includes 1 field trip (September 10-13) to visit the Norumbega Shear Zone. We will visit a number of exposures representing a range of depths of deformation, and will map a fracture/fault/pseudotachylyte network in a newly discovered exposure to generate a data set for use in the class. We will be collaborating with Mark Swanson and Steve Pollock and their students from University of Southern Maine. If the work is successful, the class will have the opportunity to co-author a publication.

Pre-req: structural geology. Background in tectonics, metamorphic geology, and geophysics would be useful.


Each week we will read 1-2 journal articles for discussion together. The students will take turns presenting the papers. Reading list below is preliminary.


5% 1 page + figures for field trip handout
30% Reading Seminar (meets weekly)
Each week, one student will present 10-15 min overview of reading material, with slides or examples, and lead the discussion. Students will lead discussion twice during the semester.
10% Participation
20% Leading discussion
25% Give a lesson:
Teach the other students about some research method of your choice. This could be a technique you use in your own research, or something you have never done but would like to learn. You can demonstrate the method, teach a lesson, or give a lecture about it illustrated with examples. You will have 30 minutes for this lesson.
40% Individual Research Project could involve microstructural studies, analytical studies, or modeling. Data and samples collected on the class field trip may be used for the project. 25% Paper Instructions here
5% Peer reviews written for other students
15% Presentation (20 minutes)
TOTAL: 100%

McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore, all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offences under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (see www.mcgill.ca/students/srr/honest/ for more information).


Week Date Topic Reading for Tuesdays Wednesday meeting Notes
1 Sept 4, 4pm Organizational meeting, plan field trip Everybody read: Swanson (2013) Pseudotachylyte-bearing strike-slip faults in mylonitic host rocks, Fort Foster Brittle Zone, Kittery, Maine. in: Abercrombie et al. (eds), Earthquakes: Radiated Energy and the Physics of Faulting. AGU Monograph 170 p. 167-179

Swanson and Bampton (2009) Integrated digital mapping in geologic field research: An adventure-based approach to teaching new geospatial technologies in an REU Site program. in: Whitmeyer, Mogk and Pyle (eds) Field Geology Education: Historical Perspectives and Modern Approaches. Geological Society of America Special Paper 461, 117-133

None Be ready to discuss with Mark Swanson during the field trip
Swanson (2006) Late Paleozoic strike-slip faults and related vein arrays of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Journal of Structural Geology v. 28 n. 3 456-473

West and Hubbard (1997) Progressive localization of deformation during exhumation of a major strike-slip shear zone: Norumbega fault zone, south-central Maine, USA. Tectonophysics v. 273 185-201

Swanson (1999) Kinematic indicators for regional dextral shear along the Norumbega fault system in the Casco Bay area, coastal Maine. in: Ludman and West (eds) Norumbega Fault System of the Northern Appalacians Geological Society of America Special Papers v. 331 p. 1-23

Passchier and Simpson (1986) Porphyroclast systems as kinematic indicators. Journal of Structural Geology v. 8 n. 8 831-843

Sanderson and Marchini (1984) Transpression. Journal of Structural Geology v. 6 n. 5 449-458

Shipley et al (2013) Structural geology practice and learning, from the perspective of cognitive science. Journal of Structural Geology v. 54 72-84

Sibson (1975) Generation of pseudotachylyte by ancient seismic faulting. Geophysical Journal International v. 43 n. 3 775-794.

Produce a 1-page (+ as many figures as you like) summary of your assigned paper for the field trip handout. Turn in by email no later than 09:00 September 9
2 Sept 10-13 FIELD TRIP TO MAINE - data collection and geological tourism!
3 Sept 16 Structure of faults and shear zones Sibson (1986) Earthquakes and rock deformation in crustal fault zones. Annual Reviews in Earth and Planetary Sciences v. 14, 149-175.
This is a long paper but we will return to it throughout the semester.
Meet to compile field trip notes and photos Should choose project topic and lesson topic by Sept 20
4 Sept 23 Reading the record of crystal plastic deformation Jyotsana Stipp et al. (2002) The eastern Tonale fault zone: a 'natural laboratory' for crystal plastic deformation of quartz over a temperature range from 250 to 700C. Journal of Structural Geology v. 24 n. 12 1861-1884 Hendrik will give a presentation on the regional mapping of deep crustal shear zones in Namibia/South Africa
5 *Sept 30 Rock Friction Christine: Ikari, Marone and Saffer (2011) On the relation between fault strength and frictional stability. Geology v. 39, n. 1, p. 83-86

Christine: Marone (1998) Laboratory-derived friction laws and their application to seismic faulting. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences v. 26, 643-696 (this is super long, presenter should designate which sections class should read)

Catherine LA-ICPMS

Matthew Using slickenlines to estimate paleostress directions

Reading group led by Christine, Christie back for Weds
6 Oct 7 Pulverization and Solution Creep Olgaard and Brace (1983) The microstructure of gouge from a mining- induced seismic shear zone. Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci & Geomech. Abstr. v. 20 n. 1, 11-19

Catherine Shimizu (1995) Kinetics of pressure solution creep in quartz: theoretical considerations. Tectonophysics v. 245 n. 3-4 121-134

Sophie Coulomb3

Jyotsana XRF

7 Oct 14 Elastic lithosphere - timescales Paul: Nur and Mavko (1974) Postseismic viscoelastic rebound. Science v. 183 n. 4121 204-206

Andres: Lindsey and Fialko (2013) Geodetic slip rates in the southern San Andreas Fault system: Effects of elastic heterogeneity and fault geometry. JGR v. 118 n. 2 689-697

Naomi Measuring strain using Image Analysis

Nick Transmission electron microscopy

Friday speaker: meet Laura Wallace who uses GPS to measure slow slip and elastic deformation, and discovered a microplate.
8 *Oct 21 Deformation around magmatic intrusions Nils Paterson et al. (1989) A review of criteria for the identification of magmatic and tectonic foliations in granitoids. Journal of Structural Geology v. 11 n. 3 349-363

Nils Zhang et al. (2012) Modelling of deformation around magmatic intrusions with application to gold-related structures in the Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia. Tectonophysics v. 526-529 133-146

Reading group meeting only, led by Nils
9 *Oct 28 Paleopeizometry Ben Stipp et. al (2010) A new perspective on paleopiezometry: Dynamically recrystallized grain size distributions indicate mechanism changes. Geology v. 38 n. 8 759-762

Ben Platt and Behr (2013) Lithospheric shear zones as constant stress experiments. Geology v. 39 n. 2 127-130

Reading group meeting only, led by Ben. Please attend Ben's PhD talk Weds at 12:30 on Pofadder Shear Zone
10 Nov 4 Ductile flow and temperature Sophie Wilks and Carter (1990) Rheology of some continental lower crustal rocks. Tectonophysics v. 182 57-77

Nick:Jamieson et al. (2011) Crustal melting and the flow of mountains. Elements v. 7 235-260

Rohanna Research on sheared rocks in the Himalayas - quartz fabrics, Ar/Ar dating, monazite geochron.
11 Nov 11 Strain localization Naomi: Tullis and Yund (1985) Dynamic recrystallization of feldspar: A mechanism for ductile shear zone formation. Geology v. 13 n. 4 238-241

Naomi: Chester and Logan (1986) Implications for mechanical properties of brittle faults from observations of the Punchbowl Fault Zone, California. Pure & Applied Geophysics v. 124 n. 1/2 79-106

Andres Determining source parameters from seismic waves
12 Nov 18 Granular flow Matthew Thompson and Grest (1991) Granular flow: Friction and the dilatancy transition. Physical Review Letters v. 67 1751-1754

Matthew Monzawa & Otsuki (2003) Comminution and fluidization of granular fault materials: implications for fault slip behavior. Tectonophysics v. 367 n. 1-2 127-143

Paul Studies of recent/active fault scarps
First draft (complete) of papers for peer review
13 Nov 25 Temperature and strength profiles - bringing it all together! Kelian Platt and Behr (2011) Deep structure of lithospheric fault zones. Geophysical Research Letters v. 38, n. 24, 6p.

Review: Sibson (1986) Earthquakes and rock deformation in crustal fault zones. Annual Reviews in Earth and Planetary Sciences v. 14, 149-175.

Exchange peer reviews, discuss papers Reviews complete
14 Dec 2 Research Project Presentations (20 min ea) Research Project Presentations Research Project Presentations Research Project Presentations
* Christie out of town

Methods Talks Topics

Research Projects