The students will learn to apply the theoretical concepts acquired in the previous physics courses to study the properties of continuous media, both in laboratory than in geophysical methodologies. The students will thus learn to describe, in a quantitative manner, the behaviour of natural systems and the principles of continuum mechanics and rheology with physical/mathermatical models


teacher profile | teaching materials


Introduction and math background: scalars and vector operations, divergence, curl, gradient, tensors, matrix algebra
Elasticity: stress and strain tensors, Hooke's law, general elasticity relationships, Elastic moduli: Young, incompressibility, shear, Lamè constants, circular diagram of 2-D stress (Mohr circle).
Granular media: classificationa and mechanical properties, strenght, lishopsheric stress pattern, saturated media: Terzahi principle, effective pressure, total pressure. Dyanmic conditions, flow motion and Darcy's law
Rheology: Fragile behaviour, viscositym visco-elastic models (MAxwella nd Kelving-Voigt) .
Elastic waves: origin and propagation of P and S- waves, reflection and transmission coefficients, moment tensor and focal mechanisms (beach balls)

Core Documentation

- Introduzione alla Meccanica delle Terre e delle Rocce (Cozzi, Della Monica)
- Fundamental of Geophysics, Lowrie, Cambridge ed.

Reference Bibliography

- slides and additional material will be distrubuted during the course

Type of delivery of the course

A series of lectures plus a practical part in the lab, with the execution of three tests


The attendance is mandatory

Type of evaluation

To the oral exam, it will be requested to present a technical report on the three laboratory tests that are carried out during the course.