Skip to main content

Structural Geology for Exploration and Mining

An online course introducing the importance of structural analysis in mineral exploration and how to record, analyse and present data.

This four-week online course will teach you the basics of structural geology and how to analyse drill core. It will introduce you to the importance of structural geology to the industry, the basics of what to measure, methods of measurement, and how to record data.

The course has been developed by Professor Thomas Blenkinsop.

Register your interest

There are currently no upcoming dates available for this course, but you can register your interest by getting in touch.

Who it’s for

  • Geologists working on mining and exploration projects.
  • Masters level geologists on mining and exploration-related degrees.
  • Undergraduates on geology and exploration related degrees.

What you’ll learn

On completion of the course delegates should be able to:

  • clearly describe why structural analysis is so important in mineral exploration
  • identify, describe and understand the formation of the major types of structures found in deformed rocks
  • describe basic drilling procedures and the potential limitations of working with drill core
  • know about the different tools used to measure structures in drill core
  • identify and measure structural features in drill core
  • confidently record, present and analyse the data
  • relate structures to likely controls on ore bodies.

Topics covered

  • Geometry and formation of structures in deformed rocks.
  • Structures as seen in drill core.
  • An introduction to drilling and ore bodies.
  • Structural measurements needed in drill core.
  • A systematic and unified method for measuring planar and linear structures.
  • Recording, analysing and presenting structural measurements from drill core.


You will not require any specialist equipment and only need access to a computer with high speed internet.


The course will be delivered fully online.

  • Delegates will engage with illustrated articles, videos, quizzes and an online discussion forum.
  • There will be a live session scheduled during the course, which will be led by Prof Tom Blenkinsop. This will also be made available as a recording.
  • Each week consists of 13-15 activities that should take 10 to 20 minutes each.
  • The online forum will allow delegates to discuss questions with each other and with a tutor, in an unrestricted timeframe. Tutor replies to specific questions will be given within a maximum of 72 hours. Delegates will be encouraged to use the online forum to present their experiences at certain places in the course.
  • The course is scheduled to take 4 weeks, starting from 26 October, however delegates will have access to the course materials until 18 December 2020.


Knowledge covered in this course is not available comprehensively from other sources.

This course has been developed by Prof. Tom Blenkinsop, an academic at our School of Earth and Ocean Sciences. Tom has 30 years’ experience in structural analysis. Much of this has been carried out in the context of consultancy for problems of hydrothermal mineralisation for major mining companies.

Through this experience he has developed a unified and systematic approach to structural analysis, which includes new and simple methods of dealing with structures such as lineations, folds, and shear zones.

The methodology is outlined in Industrial Structural Geology: Principles, Techniques and Integration.*

The course teaches how to implement the method at a practical level.

*Blenkinsop, T. O. M., Doyle, M., & Nugus, M. (2015). A unified approach to measuring structures in orientated drill core. In Richards, F. L., Richardson, N. J., Rippington, S. J.,Wilson,R.W.&Bond, C. E. (eds) Industrial Structural Geology: Principles, Techniques and Integration. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 421.

We offer a gateway for businesses to access the wide range of expertise available within Cardiff University.