Course Code: ES7006
This course investigates the processes at work in the main tectonic environments of our planet (rifts and ridges, subduction zones, collisional mountain- and plateau-building, and strike-slip faults). Physical mechanisms of deformation are introduced, based on theoretical and experimental rock mechanics, and it is shown how they operate in integrated fashion over a wide range of spatial and time scales (from crystals to plates, and from millions of years to seconds). Examples will be drawn from the most typical and best understood regions of the world, with a strong emphasis on eastern Asia. The emphasis will also be placed on active faulting and tectonics, to throw light on the processes through which faults generate earthquakes, and on what can be learnt about crustal structure and rheology from earthquakes. Large-scale deformation models will be discussed. The course includes a field trip to one outstanding region of Asia or the world (for example, the Himalayan MFT in Nepal, Ailao Shan Shear zone in Yunnan, Assal Rift in Djibouti).