Plate Tectonics

By Prof. Pitambar Pati   |   IIT Roorkee
Learners enrolled: 932   |  Exam registration: 121
The aim of this course is to introduce the concept of plate tectonics and its relevance to the students. The geodynamics of plate movement, its affect on various segments of the earth is less understood yet. The application part of the course is mainly confined in the concept of mineral and hydrocarbon exploration, paleogeographic changes, sedimentary basin development and closure, climate changes and understanding the seismic nature of the active segments of the plate boundary zones. A special segment in this course is neotectonics meant for application of tectonics in understanding the recent plate movement and its effect on our daily life.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: MSc, MTech, Ph.D students of Earth Sciences, Mining Geology, Civil engineering, Petroleum and mineral exploration

PREREQUISITES: BSc. In Geology for MSC and Ph.D students. For M.Tech students, introduction to geo Sciences

INDUSTRY SUPPORT: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Mineral Exploration corporation Limited Coal India
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Core
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Civil Engineering
  • Earth Sciences
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 24 Jul 2023
End Date : 13 Oct 2023
Enrollment Ends : 07 Aug 2023
Exam Registration Ends : 18 Aug 2023
Exam Date : 28 Oct 2023 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Earth’s interior constitution and concept of lithospheric plate. Composition, heat flow, pressure and gravity variation in earth
Week 2: Oceanic and continental types of Earth’s crust, their composition, mineralogy and major structural features
Week 3: Types of plates, type of plate margins, Euler’s pole, sense of displacements of plates
Week 4: Creative Plate Margin: Composition, seismic structure, magmatic activities, gravity variation, isostatic balance and evolution
Week 5: Conservative Plate Margin: Transform and transcurrent faults and plate motions, seismicity, structure and evolution. Different structure associated with transpression and transtension environments
Week 6: Destructive Plate Margins: Surface manifestations, geophysical and geological characteristics, sedimentological, metamorphic and magmatic characteristics, isostatic balance, gravity variation, thermal structure
Week 7: Orogenesis: Plate tectonics and mountain building processes, orogeny and epiorogeny, Fault plane solution
Week 8: Concept of plate tectonics in mineralization and hydrocarbon exploration: Types of plate setting and basin formation, mineralization in different plate settings
Week 9: Magmatism and metamorphism in plate tectonics: Different types of plate setting and igneous activities, Volcanoes and their products, metamorphism and its products in different plate boundaries
Week 10: Indian Plate: Configuration and characters of Indian plate margins; Himalayan orogeny and tectonic models; Indian seismicity
Week 11: Neotectonism: Identification of paleo and neotectonic features. Surficial expression of neotectonism and its effect on geomorphology
Week 12: Active fault mapping

Books and references

1. Kearey,P., Klepeis Vine, F. J., Global Tectonics. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. UK 2013
2. Condie, K.C., Plate Tectonics and Crustal Evolution, Butterworth-Heinemann 2003
3. Summerfield, M. A., Geomorphology and Global Tectonics. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. UK 2000
4. Davies, G.F., "Dynamic Earth: Plates, Plumes and Mantle Convection", Cambridge 2000
5. Tomecek, S.M., Plate Tectonics, Chelsea House, New York 2009
6 Frisch, W.; Meschede, M., and Blakey, R. Plate Tectonics: Continental drift and mountain building. Springer 2011
7. The Solid Earth, An Introduction to Global Geophysics By C. M. R. Fowler, Connie May Fowler, Clarence Mary R. Fowler ‘Cambridge University Press, 2005

Instructor bio

Prof. Pitambar Pati

IIT Roorkee
The Instructor completed his Ph.D in 2008 from IIT Roorkee and working as a geologist in Geological Survey on India up to 2012. He has five years of industrial work experience in Geological Survey of India and more than six years of teaching experience as assistant professor of this institute since 2013. The instructor is working as Associate Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences in IIT Roorkee at present. The instructor was shortlisted among the outstanding teachers list of the institute in 2018 in PG level.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 28 October 2023 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Roorkee .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

MHRD logo Swayam logo


Goto google play store