Fall 2022 - EASC 309 D100

Global Tectonics (3)

Class Number: 1912

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
    SSCK 7654, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 14, 2022
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    AQ 5035, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Kevin Gillen
    Office: TASC 1 Room 7223
  • Prerequisites:

    EASC 201, 204, 205, 206 and 207. All with a grade of C- or better.



The study of motion and deformation of the earth's crust and upper mantle at a regional and global scale. A detailed examination of plate tectonic theory: plate boundary types, mechanics of plate movements, basin formation and mountain building. Case studies of major orogenic belts of the world highlighting regional structural deformation processes in response to tectonic stresses. Students are required to attend a weekend field trip during this course. Students with credit for EASC 407 prior to fall 1998 may not take this course for further credit.


General: The Plate Tectonics paradigm is the fundamental basis for all aspects of our current understanding of the Earth Sciences. We will examine the fundamentals of plate tectonics, mechanics of plate motions, characteristics of major plate boundaries, neotectonics, formation of orogenic belts, tectonic controls on major sedimentary basins, tectonic controls on the formation and location of all major economic deposits (metal, hydrocarbon and industrial), the evolution of tectonic processes over time, tectonic controls on climate change and the evolution of life, and many other aspects of how plate tectonics drives our world and how the planet drives plate tectonics. Student seminars will provide in-depth information on specific topics. Labs will include simple exercises in plate motions, paleomagnetics, structural geology, as well as other techniques used to study tectonic systems.


Students successfully completing this course will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the principles of Plate Tectonics and the various lines of evidence used in support of the Plate Tectonics paradigm
  • demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental importance of Plate Tectonics in the context of Earth evolution and how the theory accounts for the development of Earth’s geological features, both past and present
  • identify and describe lithospheric plates, plate boundaries, relative movements of the plates, and place them within a Global Tectonics context
  • assess first motions data and apply it to focal mechanism solutions
  • calculate and assess relative plate motions


  • Short Essay & Presentation 5%
  • Term Paper & Presentation 20%
  • Laboratory Exercises/Assignments 20%
  • Midterm Exam 20%
  • Final Exam 35%


A computer or tablet, internet access, Canvas and Zoom access, and a webcam.
Ideally, lectures and lab will be F2F; if not, lectures and labs will be provided synchronously through Canvas and Zoom.



Course E-Text:

"Global Tectonics"; Kearey, P., Klepeis, K.A. and Vine, F.J.; 3rd Edition 2013; Blackwell Publishing;
ISBN: 97811188445105


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html