Geosciences for risk and environment management
Study-unit Code
Geosciences for environmental sustainability
Massimiliano Rinaldo Barchi
  • Massimiliano Rinaldo Barchi
  • 42 ore - Massimiliano Rinaldo Barchi
Course Regulation
Coorte 2023
Learning activities
Discipline geologiche e paleontologiche
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Opzionale (Optional)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
Plate tectonics is the unifying, general theory framing all the Earth phenomena and processes. The Global Tectonic course is focused in understanding the tectonic processes at global scale, as related to the onset and evolution of the sedimentary basins and to the geological processes responsible for geological hazard in the presently changing world.
Reference texts
Kearey P., Klepeis K.A., Vine F.J. - Global Tectonics – Wiley-Blackwell (III edition).
Further texts:
Nick Rogers (Ed.) – (An Introduction to) Our Dynamic Planet – Cambridge University Press
Fowler C.M.R. – The Solid Earth – an Introduction to Global Geophysics (IIEdition)
Davis G.H., Reynolds S.J., & Kluth C. - Structural geology of Rocks and Regions - John Wiley & Sons. (3rd Edition, 2011).
Educational objectives
Students attending the course are expected to have a comprehensive view of the global tectonics processes, understanding in particular:
- how sedimentary basins are formed in different tectonic framework;
- which are the main subsidence mechanisms, as related to the rheology of the lithosphere and mantle;
- which are the main hazard sources related to natural processes and how human activity may affect these processes.
Basic geology and geophysics, acquired during the first level degree courses.
Teaching methods
Lectures (frontal lessons), alternated with open class discussions on selected, relevant topics of the course.
Other information
All teaching materials are available for download on the Uni-Studium Platform, which is also used as the main tool for teacher-students communications.
The teacher can be also contacted at the following e-mail address: massimiliano.barchi@unipg.it.
Learning verification modality
At the end of the course, the learning of the student will be assessed through a multiple answers test (or an oral exam if the written text is not possible, e.g. for pandemic).
During the course, open discussion of the single topics will allow continuous assessment of class participation. The discussions will also allow the teacher to evaluate the class heterogeneities and integrative explanations on specific geological pre-requisites (e.g. basic geology, basic geophysics, etc).
Extended program
1. Introduction to Global Tectonics
a. The Plate Tectonics Theory
b. The Planet Earth, Surface and Interior
c. Rheology of the Lithosphere and of the Mantle
d. Plate Kinematics and Dynamics
2. Divergent Plate Boundaries
a. Evolution of Divergent Plate Boundaries: from Continental Rifts to Ocean Gulfs to Mature Oceanic Basins
b. Sedimentary basins at Divergent Plate Boundaries: Continental Rifts and Passive Continental Margins; Aulacogens
3. Transform Plate Boundaries
a. Oceanic Fracture zones
b. Continental Transforms
c. Pull-apart basins
4. Convergent Plate Boundaries
a. Evolution of Convergent Plate Boundaries: from Oceanic Subduction to Continental Collision
b. Subduction systems and associated basins
c. Non-Collisional and Collisional Orogens
5. Fold-and thrust belts an foreland basins
a. Accretionary wedges and Critical Taper Theory
b. Foreland fold-and-thrust-belts
c. Foreland basins
d. Deep-water fold-and thrust belts at continental passive margins: toe thrusts
6. The Northern Apennines of Italy
a. Crustal and Mantle structure
b. Tectonic evolution
c. Style of Deformation of compressional and extensional structures
d. Active Tectonics and Seismicity
7. Overviews on relevant topics
a. Global Tectonics and Sedimentary Basins: Continental Rift. Sag basins. Aulacogens. Passive Continental Margins. Oceanic Basins. Pull-Apart Basins. Oceanic Trenches. Forearc basins. Back-arc extensional basins. Intermountain basins. Foreland basins (Foredeeps, Wedge-top basins, Fore-bulge and Back-bulge).
b. Global Tectonics and Earthquakes, with notes on anthropogenic seismicity.
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