Postgraduate course

Geodynamics and Basin Modelling

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codeGEOV254
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Semester of Instruction


Objectives and Content

The course gives an introduction to quantitative geodynamics. In the first part an overview of plate tectonic processes is given. The equation for thermal energy balance for the lithosphere is developed, and it is shown how the equation may be applied on various geological models and processes. Vertical movements expressed as uplift or exhumation and the concept of isostacy and flexural strength is then examined. Mechanics of the crust and lithosphere deformation is covered including a discussion of plate driving forces, the rheology of the lithosphere, elastic, brittle and viscous deformation processes. The response of rocks to applied forces is discussed and modelled. Dynamic processes including lithosphere extension, basin formation, and continental collision are discussed. Lastly the course gives an introduction to quantitative geomorphology, erosion models on orogenic scale and short and long range transport mechanisms. The course uses Matlab to calculate and visualise the evolution of temperature, strength, basin subsidence, and surface erosion for simple cases.

Learning Outcomes

After comleting the course GEOV254 the student should know how to:

- solve the heat equation for simple geologic problems

- create Matlab programs to calculate temperature and heat flow for various geological scenarios

- create Matlab programs to calculate dependent strength within the lithosphere

- explain Eulerian and Lagrangian reference frames

- explain the concepts of uplift, subsidence, burial, exhumation, denudation

- explain local and regional isostasy, and solve simple isostatic problems related to erosion and sedimentation

- describe the basis for the equation showing depth of the oceans as function of age

- describe the McKenzie rift model, and explain the concepts crust and mantle stretching factors, backstripping, tectonic, thermal, and isostatic subsidence

- explain fundamentals of stress and strain

- explain what controls the rheology of the oceanic and continental lithosphere

- explain erosion models at an orogenic scale, and short and long term transport mechanisms

Required Previous Knowledge

Basic principles of geophysical methods and physics of the solid earth; GEOV111, GEOV112

Forms of Assessment

  • Written report for each of the obligatory exercises after each lectures¬†
  • Oral presentation one topic of the course material
  • Individual written assignment to be delivered by the end of the course
  • Oral exam on written assignment and other course content

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Portfolio assessment

    Withdrawal deadline