69724 - Geology and Applied Geology M

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

Learning some basic concepts for the understanding of geologic bodies, and rocks that constitute them. Reading and interpreting the geologic elaborates. Learning some notions of applied geology, essential for the correct use of engineering techniques in the field of civil works, with particular reference to geologic hazards.

Course contents

Requirements/Prior knowledge.

A high-school level understanding of physics, inorganic chemistry and physical geography is required to attend with profit this course. In addition, the student who knows nothing about the dynamics of Earth is recommended to get acquainted with this topic on high-school textbooks. Fluent spoken and written Italian are necessary pre-requisites, since all lectures, tutorials and study material are in Italian.

Course Contents.

The 1st module of this course gives the student basic information on the following subjects: (a) identifying rocks and soils in hand samples as well as outcrops; (b) reading and interpreting geologic maps, stratigraphic schemes and geologic cross-sections; (c) estimating the effects of the geodynamic processes on volcanic, seismic and alluvial hazards.

The 2nd module of this course is mainly about hydrogeology and landslides, with emphasis on the interpretation of large-scale geomorphologic maps, the monitoring techniques and the risk mitigation interventions.

At the end of the course, the student is expected to understand terminology and contents of the geologic elaborates required for the planning of engineering works.

Readings/Bibliography

Recommended reading

PRESS F., SIEVER R., GROTZINGER J., JORDAN T. H., Capire la Terra, ed. Zanichelli.

BOSELLINI A., Le scienze della terra e l'universo intorno a noi. (volume 1), ed. Zanichelli.

ELMI C. e DIRETTO M., Geologia, ed. Pitagora.

 

Recommended reading for further information

DESIO A., Geologia Applicata all’Ingegneria, ed. Hoepli.

TREVISAN L., GIGLIA G., Introduzione alla Geologia, ed. Pacini.

SCESI L., PAPINI M., GATTINONI P., Geologia applicata, volume 1 - Il rilevamento geologico-tecnico, ed. CEA.

Teaching methods

The first half of the 1st module is dedicated to the following topics: identification of common minerals in hand samples; identification of common rocks and soils in hand samples and outcrops by means of texture, structure, composition and easy-to-assess physical-chemical properties; study of plutonic, volcanic, sedimentary, diagenetic and metamorphic processes, in the framework of the geodynamic processes which control the lithogenetic cycle.

The second half of the 1st module is dedicated to the following topics: application of the principles of stratigraphy, tectonics and geomorphology to the interpretation of geologic maps, stratigraphic schemes and geologic cross-sections; preliminary assessment of geologic hazards related to volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and floods.

The 2nd module is dedicated to the following topics: interpretation of large-scale geomorphologic maps; elements of hydrogeology; classification, causes and modeling of landslides; monitoring techniques; interventions for the mitigation of landslide risk.

For the whole duration of the course, lectures are supplemented by exercises, organized in two or more rounds of 25 students. Starting from the last week of the 1st module, students are allowed to participate to field trips in the Southern Alps and/or in the Northern Apennines.

Assessment methods

The assessment procedure is composed of three partial tests.

The 1st module ends with two partial oral tests (identification of two rock samples and two objects reported in a geologic map) to be performed in 30 minutes, with the help of graphs and schemes from the course guidebook. Both tests are integrated with general questions about the geologic processes and their practical implications. In order to get a passing grade, it is necessary to explain the origin of the sampled rocks/soils and the mapped objects. A higher grade can be awarded to the student who provides a detailed description of the sampled rocks/soils and the mapped objects, pointing out their engineering characterization in a clear technical language. A failing grade in one or both tests can derive from the ignorance of basic concepts, sometimes worsened by a misuse of the technical language.

The 2nd module ends with a partial written test, to be performed in 120 minutes. The written test consists of three series of open questions (evaluated as 12/30, 12/30 and 6/30), related to the interpretation of a large-scale geomorphologic map. On demand from the student, the written test can undergo an oral revision. In order to get a passing grade, it is necessary to explain the origin and the evolution of the mapped objects. A higher grade can be awarded to the student who demonstrates an organic understanding of the theoretical and practical contents of the module, writing about them in a clear technical language. A failing grade in the written test can derive from the ignorance of basic concepts, sometimes worsened by a misuse of the technical language.

When the student has achieved at least a passing grade for each partial test, the final grade is calculated as an average of the three partial grades. If necessary, the teachers of the two modules decide together about a positive or negative rounding of the average number.

Teaching tools

Video projector and personal computer are used for all lectures and some exercises. In the exercise room, 270 samples and 14 geologic maps of Italy at a 1/100000 scale are available. The 1st module DVD, which can be purchased from the copy service of the faculty library, encloses the following study material: (a) all computer presentations projected in the lecture theatre, with many additional explanations; (b) high resolution pictures and complete descriptions of the best 100 available samples; (c) high resolution scans of the 14 available geologic maps, with a list of objects to search and many finding examples; (d) the module guidebook (also available in photocopy). A separate guidebook is available for the 2nd module. Each student is recommended to help him/herself with an 8x - 10x magnifying glass, which is particularly useful for the identification of fine-grained rock and soil samples.

Office hours

See the website of Alberto Landuzzi

See the website of Lisa Borgatti