© 2002

Geodynamics of the Lithosphere


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XIII
  2. Kurt Stüwe
    Pages 1-13
  3. Kurt Stüwe
    Pages 15-45
  4. Kurt Stüwe
    Pages 47-131
  5. Kurt Stüwe
    Pages 133-194
  6. Kurt Stüwe
    Pages 195-249
  7. Kurt Stüwe
    Pages 251-319
  8. Kurt Stüwe
    Pages 321-348
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 349-449

About this book


This book is an introduction to the quantitative treatment of geological problems. It was originally written as a guide for field geologists who wish to quantitatively understand or test their tectonic models. However, the book is an introduction to geodynamics for anyone in the earth sciences. The book provides an understanding of basic concepts of map projections, plate tectonics, heat flow, isostasy, geomorphology, kinematics stress, strain and rheology. In later chapters these concepts are integrated to examine a variety of geodymaic problems: chapter 6 focuses on problems relevant to structural geology, and chapter 7 looks at problems relevant to the field of petrology. In a detailed appendix, a wide range of numerical methods are introduced, such as the finite difference method, Fourier series or the least squares method. Lists of useful mathematical constants, internet addresses and references are also included in the book.


Approximation Deformation Lithosphere Lithosphäre Rheologie Rheology geomorphology mechanical modelling mechanische Modellierung plate tectonics thermal modelling thermische Modellierung

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology and PaleontologyUniversity of GrazGrazAustria

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

"The book is a reflection of the author’s amazing grasp of various facets of geodynamic processes, technically a difficult subject to communicate – discussed in most lucid terms. This book differs from its predecessor Geodynamics by Turcotte and Schubert, a classic textbook in its own right, in that the target audience purportedly is the field geologists. The new book also differs in its emphasis on orogenesis, metamorphism, heat transport, crustal thickening and geomorphology, probably an indication of the author’s own predilections as a geologist. The high point of the book is its treatment of mathematics and the way in which it is made accessible to field-oriented geologists. .. Here is a book that is highly eligible to be included in the geology graduate studies under our universities. I also encourage our geologists to read this educative book, indeed a valuable addition to the expanding information base on quantitative geodynamics."

C. P. RAJENDRAN, Current Science Dec. 2003

"This book by Kurt Stüwe is a great and interesting introduction to quantitative physical geology ... . I liked the problems at the end of each chapter. … The author does a great job of cross-referencing chapters and sections of the book. … this book would be a great place to start learning. I believe that anyone with a solid math and physical science background and an interest in quantitative geology would enjoy this book … ." (Joe Ho, SIAM Review, Vol. 47 (4), 2005)

"The numerous black and white figures … are clearly drafted and on the whole succeed in conveying often quite complex concepts and relationships within a well structured text with carefully set out equations. … the reader is rewarded with a deeper understanding of the matters in hand and an introduction to the literature … . Each chapter ends with a series of concise problems with elegant solutions … . provides important data, an excellent conversion table and a comprehensive list of relevant web sites." (David Nowell, Geoscientist, Vol. 14 (1), 2004)

"This is a rather admirable book. … It is all done very well … . The author is good at explaining why equations have the form they do, and what the different terms within them mean. Anyone who can really follow and master this book in detail will be a very good all-round quantitative geologist indeed. … This book will be an excellent starting point and introduction to many topics in geodynamics. … The book is short, concisely explained, and well-produced." (James Jackson, Geological Magazine, Vol. 140 (2), 2003)

"This monograph … deals in a pretty comprehensive way with the physical and mathematical modeling of the lithosphere of the earth, thus representing a textbook and reference at the same time. … Altogether the author succeeded in writing an excellent book … . warmly recommended to geologists or geophysicists … . Moreover, it can be of immediate use to engineers involved in the construction of streets, bridges, buildings, tunnels, or mining facilities closely related to the properties of the earth’s mantle … ." (H Lippmann, Applied Mechanics Reviews, Vol. 56 (3), 2003)

"This is a very different book … . Stüwe approaches the subject from a more geological direction … . In my opinion, his efforts are rewarded with a text that I think will stand the test of time … . Stüwe’s book offers an alternative route into topics that can seem daunting because of the attached mathematics. … It certainly is a book that I will keep to hand as a useful reference ... ." (G. A. Houseman, The Australian Geologist, Issue 126, 2003)

"The book intents to bridge the gap between mathematics and the modelling of geodynamic processes. Its purpose is to introduce the field geologists, be it a structural geologist or petrologist, with ‘the beauty and simplicity of descriptions with equations’. … The book is very well written and clearly illustrated. The author assures that little mathematical knowledge is required." (Prof. Dr. Manuel Sintubin, Geologica Belgica, Vol. 5 (1-2), 2002)

From the reviews of the second edition:

"The book consists of seven main chapters. … STÜWE has written his book in a simple and attractive style. … If even a person is not a specialist in physics and mathematics, he will read this book with interest and pleasure, and will learn most ideas without a problem. … you need to read this book by STÜWE to observe and to wonder at his excellent explanation of the geological phenomena. … the reviewer recommends strongly this book for all geoscientists." (D. A. Ruban, Zentralblatt für Geologie und Paläontologie Teil II, Issue 1-2, 2008)