cod. 1009110

Academic year 2024/25
1° year of course - Second semester
Fabrizio BALSAMO
Academic discipline
Geologia strutturale (GEO/03)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
72 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

At the end of the course, the student will be able to:
- be able to evaluate the quality of the geological information available on a study area;
- be able to work in a team for addressing complex geological problems;
- produce geological models of buried structures and related cross-sections;
- perform quantitative structural analysis of brittle deformational features associated with folds and fault systems at the reservoir scale;
- perform statistical analysis of field data to obtain empirical scaling laws;
- develop conceptual models of fluid flow patterns in reservoir-scale structures.


Structural Geology

Course unit content

The student will be able to discuss the main methods of structural and microstructural data collection, and to statistically analyse them. This is finalized to the predict the brittle deformation in subsurface by studying natural analogues exposed at the surface to obtain empirical laws suitable to be used to populate reservoir models.

Full programme

1 – Crustal-scale geological cross-sections: purposes, boundary geological information and techniques for the geometric construction.
2 – Cross-section balancing techniques and application
3 – Predicting fracture patterns in buried geological structures: conceptual templates, kinematic models, numerical models and natural analogues.
4 – Techniques for the quantification of fracture abundance in natural analogues: linear and circular scan lines, circular scan windows, topology of fracture sets. Techniques for the quantification of microstructural fabric.
5 – One week of field work in the Central-Northern Apennines: quantification of fracture abundance in a natural analogue and discussion of the implication for applicative studies.


Georg Mandl – Rock Joints, The Mechanical Genesys. Spinger-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2005, ISBN-10 3-540-24553-7.
Scientific papers on specific subjects and teaching material (PPT slides).
The slides of the lectures and the scientific papers selected in the classroom for individual work will be provided at the end of lesson. The slides are part of the teaching material but they do not replace the recommended book.

Teaching methods

Lectures (class or remote teaching, synchronous or asynchronous), case studies, class exercise, cooperative learning, field activity.

Teaching material will be uploaded weekly in ELLY.

Assessment methods and criteria

Both diagnostic (early stages) and formative (intermediate stages) evaluations will be carried out by mean of informal discussions at the end of some lessons.
The final evaluation results from:
1 – report on a scientific paper dealing with rock fracturing and applications to fluid flow or rock quarrying;
2 - written report on the results of the field activity and discussion of the implications for the prediction of fracture patterns in the buried structures;
3 – oral exam.

Other information

The field work week will be spent in the Central-Northern Apennines and/or Elba Island.