APPLIED STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY
Learning outcomes of the course unit
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 balanced 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.
Previously achieved Structural Geology exam
Course contents summary
Workflow of fracture pattern predictions in reservoirs including the construction of balanced cross-section and the study of natural analogues exposed at the surface to obtain empirical laws suitable to be used to populate reservoir models.
1 – Crustal-scale geological cross-sections: purposes, boundary geological information and techniques for the geometric construction.
2 – Cross-section balancing techniques and application to the Palazzuolo Anticline, Northern Apennines.
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.
5 – Probability distribution functions of fracture spacing data and indexes for quantifying fracture abundance: P10, FSR, H/S FSI, S/T, JSR, Cv, JPI, JRI.
6 – One week of field work in the Palazzuolo anticline: quantification of fracture abundance in this natural analogue and discussion of the implication of the results for the buried structures predicted in the previously discussed geological cross-section (point 2).
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 uploaded on Elly every week. To download the slides, the registration to the online course is required. The slides are part of the teaching material but they do not replace the recommended book. Students are invited to periodically check the teaching material available in Elly.
Lectures and heuristic-Socratic lectures, case studies, cooperative learning, field activity.
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 expected from the geological cross-section along the Santerno river valley and, in particular, in the area of the Palazzuolo Anticline;
3 – oral exam.
The field work week will be spent in the Santerno river valley, south of Imola, Italy.