Università degli studi dell'Insubria

Geology and lithology

Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL SCIENCES
Academyc year when starting the degree: 
2018/2019
Year: 
1
Academyc year when helding the course: 
2018/2019
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Credits: 
9
Period: 
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
156
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (56 hours), Exercise (68 hours), Laboratory (32 hours)
Requirements: 

The student must have knowledge of the theoretical bases of mathematics, chemistry, physics and geology.

Final Examination: 
Orale

ASSESSMENT MODE
Verification of learning will be through an oral final exam.
Assessment of learning involves the assignment of a final vote.
REQUIRED SKILLS
The student will be required to:
- Participate actively in the course by following the topics discussed on the deliveries, on the recommended texts, on the reference websites;
- Understand vocabulary and scientific concepts and their application in discussions during the course, written assignments and oral exams;
- Have the ability to redraw the diagrams and sketches , and to properly comment on the images, that have been presented in the course.

Assessment: 
Voto Finale

The purpose of the course is to allow the student to acquire knowledge, skills and skills in identification and management:
- the types of geological, seismic and volcanic hazards;
- actions to mitigate disasters related to seismic and volcanic activity.
The student will experience the materials, methods and tools of Geology for the Environment, especially from the point of view of the assessment of the stability and safety of a site from the seismic and volcanic point of view.
He will be able to appreciate A) variability and scale factors in natural processes associated with seismicity and vulcanism, and B) vulnerability of the physical environment to seismic and volcanic phenomena, C) geological criteria for the siting of a critical facility (nuclear power plant, dam) relative to possible impacts of geological hazards, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and assess the pertinent methodological implications; and D) the general principles governing civil protection plans in case of seismic and volcanic emergency.

Methodological and conceptual approach. The Shape of the Earth and the representation of the landscape. Earth and Planetary sciences. Radiative budget. Rotation and revolution. Milankovitch cycles and climatic changes. Origin and nature of the forms of the landscape. Surficial effects of water, wind, ice, weathering, volcanism, tectonics and human activities. Physical geography, geomorphology and landscape analysis; the anthropogenic component of the Holocene morphogenesis. Geomorphology and archaeology. Fundamentals of stratigraphy and dating methods for the study of the Holocene.
The materials of the Geosphere: minerals and rocks. The minerals: properties, methods of study and classification. Rocks: physical properties mineralogical and chemical composition, classification. Lithological cycle. Sedimentary rocks: processes and environments, textures and structures, components, types and classifications, compaction and diagenesis. Igneous rocks, intrusive and volcanic magmatic processes, structures and their geological significance, composition, types and classification. Metamorphic rocks: metamorphic processes and their geological significance, composition, types and classification. Laboratory and field experience of rock recognition, with particular reference to their geo-mechanical characteristics. Geological resources, economic value of rocks and natural fluids, availability, mining and use.
Geometry and stratimetry rocks. Three-dimensional reconstruction of rock bodies: definition and measurement of their geometrical and structural parameters, methods of representation. Geological Time and stratigraphy. The age of the Earth: methods of absolute and relative measurement of Geological Time. The basic principles of stratigraphy: relations between rock bodies and inference on their temporal succession, types of stratigraphic units. Sedimentary environments and facies. Law of correlation of facies (Walther's Law). The scales of geological time and their use. Outline of geological structure of the Italian territory.
The deformations of the rocks and the seismicity. Notes on the dynamics of the Earth Crust: continental and oceanic crust, plate tectonics, ocean ridges, continental drift, Benioff plane and subduction. Elementary tectonic structures: fractures, foliation, faults and folds. The association of primary tectonic structures. The tectonic style of a region. Vertical movements of the ground surface. Active tectonics. Structural geology and earthquakes, magnitude, macroseismic intensity; shallow and deep seismicity, coseismic environmental effects and their relations with the local tectonic environment, paleoseismicity. Surface faulting, relations between magnitude, intensity, surface rupture length and surface displacement ; geological criteria for the evaluation of seismic activity.
Introduction to hydrogeology. The hydrological basin. Permeability and hydraulic gradient. Ground water and artesian water table, piezometric surface. Environmental Geology. Variability and scale factors in the natural processes. The role of Geology in environmental protection. Hazard, Vulnerability, Risk. The characterization of the environmental component of natural hazards. Stratigraphic and geomorphic indicators for the reconstructing the paleoenvironmental evolution of an area, and defining trends of the ongoing physical processes. Geology and Land Use planning. Geology and climate change, the so-called "global warming."

Methodological and Conceptual Approach

The Shape of the Earth and the representation of the landscape

The Earth in space. Radiative budget. Rotation and Revolution. Millennial movements and climatic variations.
Origin and nature of the forms of the landscape. Effects on the earth's surface of water, wind, ice, wheatering, volcanism, tectonics and human activity. Physical geography, geomorphology and landscape analysis; the anthropic component of Holocene morphogenesis. Geomorphology and Archaeology. Fundamentals of stratigraphy and dating methods for the study of the Holocene.

The materials of the Geosphere: minerals and rocks

Minerals: properties, methods of study and classification. Rocks: physical properties mineralogical and chemical composition, classification. Cycle of the rocks. Sedimentary rocks: processes and environments of origin, textures and structures, components, types and classifications, compaction and diagenesis. Igneous rocks: intrusive and volcanic magmatic processes, structures and geological meaning, composition, types and classification. Metamorphic rocks: metamorphic processes and their geological meaning, composition, types and classification. Experiences of recognition of rock types in the laboratory and on the ground with particular reference to their geo-mechanical characteristics. Economically useful materials, availability, extraction and use.

Geological time and stratigraphy

The age of the Earth: the absolute and relative measurement methods of geological time.
The basic principles of stratigraphy: relationships between rocky bodies and indications about their temporal succession, types of stratigraphic units. Sedimentary environments and facies. Facies correlation law (Walther's Rule). The scales of geological times and their use.

The deformations of the rocks and the seismicity

Overview of crustal dynamics: continental and oceanic crust, plate tectonics, oceanic ridges, continental drift, subduction. The elementary tectonic structures: fractures, foliations, faults and folds. The association of elementary tectonic structures. The tectonic style of a territory. Vertical movements of the ground. The neotectonica. Structural geology and earthquakes; Magnitude; Macroseismic intensity; effects on the ground and their relationship with the local tectonic environment. Earthquake surface faulting; relationships between magnitude, intensity, surface rupture length and surface displacement; geological criteria for the evaluation of seismicity.

Geology of the Environment

Variability and scale factors in natural processes. The role of Geology in environmental protection. Hazard, Vulnerability, Exposure, Risk. The characterization of the environmental component of natural hazards. Elements of sitology: geological criteria for the construction of a critical facility and methodological implications, with examples of the study of sites for nuclear plants. Stratigraphic and geomorphological indicators for the reconstruction of the paleoenvironmental evolution of an area, definition of the evolutionary trends of ongoing physical processes, land use and land use planning. Geology and climate change; The Quaternary; the so-called "global warming". Geology and sources of energy.

Cartography and Litology Laboratory

This part of the course includes the reading of topographic maps; the execution of topographic profiles and the demarcation of the river basins on the IGM topo maps at 1: 25000 scale; the learning in the laboratory and on the ground of the elementary notions for the recognition of minerals, rocks, and for the mapping of geological formations, with particular reference to recent deposits and soils; the learning of the elementary notions for the measurement of the layering of the stratification plans, and for the detection of the sedimentary and tectonic structures present in a rock.

John P. Grotzinger, Thomas H. Jordan, Capire la Terra, Terza edizione italiana condotta sulla settima edizione americana, Libro multimediale, cod. ISBN 978-8808-82123-2 , pag. 752 , Zanichelli.
Guida del Parco delle Gole della Breggia
Material available online at http://web.fis.unico.it/geolito/
Slides of the classroom presentations available on e-learning

The course includes frontal classroom lectures and lab activities. As for Laboratory of Cartography and Lithology, please note that the attendance to the Lab activities is mandatory. This part of the course includes the reading and interpretation of topographic maps; the execution of topographic profiles and the delimitation of the drainage basin on IGM topo maps at scale 1: 25000; understanding geological maps and performing geological profiles; learning in the lab and on the ground (4 field trips during the course, individual fieldwork for personal training) of elementary notions for the recognition of minerals, rocks, and field mapping of geological formations, with particular reference to recent deposits and soils; the learning of elementary notions for the measurement of the strike and dip of geological planes (bedding, faults) with a compass, and for the detection of the sedimentary and tectonic structures present in a rock.
Cartography Laboratory, 16 hours at "Aula Cartografia - Anello", Via Valleggio 11, Como.
Field trip at Brunate (4 hours excluded transfer), Breggia Gorges Park (4 hours excluded transfer), Gravedona (24 hours excluded transfer, overnight) and Rifugio Ventina (24 hours excluded transfer, overnight); individual fiedlwork for personal training.
In the very exceptional case in which a student cannot follow the laboratory activities, alternative didactic courses will be defined to be carried out independently.

I am available for meeting students on Wednesady, 11:00 at my Room in via Valleggio 11, Environmental Labs, Anello; please confirm via email.

Professors

FRIGERIO CHIARA
BARILARO FEDERICA