Short course: Structure, permeability and fluid flow at depth in the Earth's crust

Picture_1405 - wgpicWe invite any MSc.-, PhD-students and PostDocs as well as industry members in the field of earth sciences to apply for a three day short course given by Prof. Stephen Cox at RWTH Aachen University.

Date: October 11th - 13th 2011 (full day, 9am through 5pm)
Professor Stephen F. Cox, The Australian National University, Canberra Australia
Number of participants: 25
Application deadline:
October 1st
Geologie Endogene Dynamik, Lochnerstraße 4-20, 52056 Aachen, Germany
Costs: free for all academic people and students, travel and accomodation on your own expense.

Application through: Simon Virgo (
Permanent link:
Download a PDF (Poster): click!

Download the presented slides (15 PDFs, 264.2MB): click! (password will be shared during lecture)
Download additional literature (3 papers, 11.4MB): click! (password will be shared during lecture)

About the lecturer:

Picture_1373 - Stephen Cox

Stephen Cox is professor of structural and economic geology in the Research School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University.  His research interests are primarily in the coupling between deformation processes and fluid flow in crustal regimes, with applications to ore genesis and crustal mechanics.  His research is pursued via field-based studies, microstructural, microchemical and stable isotope analyses, high-pressure – high-temperature experimental studies, and some numerical modelling.  He holds a BSc (Hons) degree from the University of Tasmania and a PhD degree from Monash University.
Stephen is an external partner of the FRACs research consortium. He is currently based as a visiting scientist at RWTH-Aachen University for a half-year sabbatical.

Research School of Earth Sciences:
The Australian National University:
Stephen's personal website:

Short course description and schedule:

Picture_1403 - WGGMAbstract: This course explores the coupling between deformation processes, permeability evolution and localization of fluid flow at depth in the Earth’s crust, with emphasis on fluid flow during crustal deformation.  The course links aspects of structural geology, rock mechanics, ore genesis and earthquake seismology to illustrate the dynamic competition between permeability-creation processes and permeability destruction processes in the continental seismogenic regime.  The course involves a series of lectures, interspersed with practical exercises and discussions over three days.  Examples will be drawn from experimental studies, analyses of ancient exhumed vein systems, fault zones and shear zones (both mineralized and unmineralised), as well as contemporary seismogenic systems.


09:00 - 09:30   Introduction and background
09:30 - 10:00   Fluid pressure regimes in the crust
10:00 - 10:30   Introduction to fluid flow in porous and fractured media

morning coffee

11:00 - 11:30   Stress regimes in the crust
11:30 - 12:30   Crustal permeability at the grain-scale


13:30 - 14:30   Macroscopic fracturing and related permeability enhancement - descriptive geometry
14:30 - 15:00   Practical exercise 1: Interpreting shear sense in fault-vein arrays
15:00 - 16:00   The mechanics of macroscopic failure and permeability enhancement in rock

coffee break

16:20 - 17:00  Practical exercise 2: An exploration drilling exercise in an epithermal Au-Ag vein system

19:00 -   Group Dinner

Picture_1404 - failure mode diagramDAY 2

09:00 – 10:30   The role of fluid pressure in fracture formation

morning coffee

11:00 – 11:30   Practical Exercise 3: Mohr circle analysis of effects of stresses and fluid pressures on failure.
11:30 – 12:30   Practical Exercise 4: Using λ∼σ failure mode diagrams to analyse stress and fluid pressure states during failure


13:30 – 14:40    Vein textures
14:40 – 15:10   Practical exercise 5 -  Examination of vein samples

coffee break

15:30 – 16:30   Flow and permeability distribution in faults, shear zones and evolving fault networks
16:30 – 17:00   The role of competence contrasts in localising fracture permeability and fluid  flow

Picture_768 - fracsimageDAY 3

09:00 – 10:00   Fold-related permeability enhancement
10:00 – 11:00   Practical Exercise 6 -  Structurally-controlled gold mineralisation

coffee will be served from 10:30 onwards

11:00 – 12:00   Permeability and fluid pathways in intrusion-related systems


13:00 – 14:30   Seismogenic systems – An introduction
14:30 – 15:30   The dynamics of permeability and fluid pathways in a seismogenic framework

coffee break

15:50 – 17:00   Discusssion and demonstrations of hypocentre distributions

Picture_1407 - SC Cox GED 2011