Geology (GEOL) 319

Structural Geology: The Architecture of Earth's Continental Crust (Revision 3)

GEOL 319 course cover

Revision 3 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online with a home lab component. This course is charged a lab fee.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: GEOL 200 and GEOL 201 or equivalent. Students should have a working knowledge of elementary geometry.

Centre: Centre for Science

GEOL 319 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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Geology 319 is designed to familiarize you with the structure and evolution of Earth’s continental crust. This knowledge is useful for a variety of purposes, from petroleum and mineral exploration, to finding groundwater, to controlling pollution, to deciding where to build homes. The course is delivered in two, interdependent parts, in which sections often build on previous sections. These parts include theory, in which students will study the results and synthesis of structural geological studies, and practice, in which students will learn how to use the tools of structural geology (e.g., geological maps and a geological compass).


Theory (Study Guide)

  • Unit 1: An Introduction to Earth's Ever-Changing Crust
  • Unit 2: Basic Techniques for Interrogating the Rock Record
  • Unit 3: Stress, Strain, and Deformation
  • Unit 4: Faults
  • Unit 5: Folds: Waves of Solid Rock
  • Unit 6: Nonorogenic Structures
  • Unit 7: Case Study of the North American Cordillera

Practice (Lab Manual)

  • Lab Unit 1: Using Geological Maps: Part 1
  • Lab Unit 2: Using Geological Maps: Part 2
  • Lab Unit 3: The Stereonet: A Three-Dimensional Graphical Calculator
  • Lab Unit 4: Solving Problems of Structural Geometry
  • Lab Unit 5: Displacement on Faults
  • Lab Unit 6: Fold Orientation: Structural Clues
  • Lab Unit 7: Introduction to the Geological Compass


To receive credit for GEOL 319, you must score an average of at least 60 percent on the assignments and score at least 50 percent on each of the two parts of the final examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

7 Assignments (6% each) Final Exam: Part I: Theory Final Exam: Part II: Lab Total
42% 33% 25% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Davis, G. H., & Reynolds, S. J., & Kluth, C.F. (2012). Structural Geology of Rocks and Regions, 3rd ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Marshak, S., & Mitra, G. (1988). Basic Methods of Structural Geology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Other materials

The course materials include a Study Guide, Laboratory Manual, Assignment Manual, and a Course Manual. Students require the use of lab kits which can be borrowed from the Athabasca University Library. Students will also have to provide some of their own supplies including coloured pencils, a protractor, a drafting compass, at least one drafting triangle, tracing paper, and both metric and English scales.

Special Course Features

This course is available both online and in print.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the GEOL 319 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “C-” (60 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, November 8, 2011

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