EARTHSCI 706 : Special Topic


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

No prescription

Course Overview

The Semester 2 2020 EARTHSCI 706 special topic is an advanced course in applied structural geology: 'Faults, fluids and ore-deposits'. Some of the world's most important ore deposits form as a result of hot water moving through structurally-controlled sub-crustal plumbing systems. As we move toward a green economy and make the just transition to a low carbon future, we will need to utilize precious and critical metals, some of which are only economic as byproducts of other targets. An understanding of the geometry of deposits is fundamental for making good decisions on the economic and environmental viability of extraction.

This blended-online course is designed to build your confidence in applying concepts of structural geology to mineral exploration. We start with theory and work our way through key deposit types. We finish with practical considerations of good practice.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Be able to visualise conceptual structural models and fault-fluid interactions for a range of ore-forming hydrothermal systems (Capability 1)
  2. Have gained confidence in reading and learning from scientific literature in the fields of structural and economic geology (Capability 1, 2 and 5)
  3. Have increased your understanding of structural geology as it pertains to mineral exploration (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  4. Be aware of good practice and common pitfalls in applied structural geology of ore deposits (Capability 1 and 5)
  5. Have increased your skills in working effectively within a team to solve problems and maximise quality of an output (Capability 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  6. Have gained confidence in your ability to deliver and discuss scientific information (Capability 2 and 4)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Annotated Bibliography 17.5% Individual Coursework
Problem Solving 1 15% Individual Coursework
Problem Solving 2 10% Group Coursework
Academic Writing 22.5% Individual Coursework
Consultancy Report 20% Group Coursework
Consultancy Presentation 10% Group Coursework
Reflection 5% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Annotated Bibliography
Problem Solving 1
Problem Solving 2
Academic Writing
Consultancy Report
Consultancy Presentation

Key Topics

  • Principles of structural geology as applied to hydrothermal gold deposits
  • Processes controlling fluid flow in fracture-controlled hydrothermal systems
Deposit types
  • Structural controls on ore localisation in epithermal gold-silver deposits
  • Structural controls on ore localisation in orogenic gold deposits
  • Deformation and modification of volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits
  • Creation of permeability in the porphyry copper environment
  • Structural analysis of drill core
  • Targeting at the district scale using integrated geological-geophysical interpretation

Learning Resources

All learning resources are available online via CANVAS

Special Requirements

No special requirements. An optional field trip may be offered.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard [15] point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 2 hours of discussion per week, with the balance of time for reading and assignments.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 14/07/2020 09:48 a.m.