Active Tectonics

Institution: DSTA (UNIPV)


Term: 1st Semester – Academic Year 2018-2019

Instructor: Giovanni Toscani (

CFU: 6


Duration: 01-10-2018 – 30-11-2018 (48 hrs both lectures and practice)

Schedule: ??

Office hours: Fri 2-4 PM or by appointment



Scope of the course is to introduce students to the basic concepts of geological structures and their kinematics. Topics covered include fault growth and kinematics, slip distribution on the fault plane, seismogenic sources and associated main parameters, stress and strain propagation. The course consists of a first part  where theory will be illustrated trough lectures and a second part (tutorial sessions) where the students will be asked to solve some practical problems through exercises and the use of specific software and will perform analogue models in order to visualize and better understand the fault growth, kinematics and surface effects.



Introduction/review on main geological structures (folds and faults) and their kinematics. Analysis of geological cross sections and subsurface maps. Geometrical and kinematic relationships between folds and faults. 3D analysis of geological structures. Seismogenic characterization of an active fault, surface effects of active faults, seismogenic structures parameters. Slip rate calculation, 3D analysis of instrumental seismicity, coulomb stress change and transfer during earthquakes. Experimental analysis of fault kinematics through analogue and numerical models; reconstruction of fault geometry and kinematics from surface deformations.



Basic knowledge of main geological concepts about folds and faults.



  • Kearey, P., Vine, F. (1996). Global Tectonics (second edition). Blackwell Science.
  • Bull, W. (2009). Tectonically Active Landscapes. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Keller, E., Pinter, N.. (2002). Active tectonics: earthquakes, uplift and landscape. Prentice Hall.
  • Course notes, scientific articles and other material will be provided during the course.



The final examination will consist of a 20 min presentation during which the student will discuss one of the topics/exercises/experiments presented during the course. The topic of the presentation will be assigned by the instructor.