Teach the Earth > Geoscience in the Field > Designing Field Experiences > Activities > Structural and bedrock mapping along the York Rd, Lewis and Clark County, Montana

Structural and bedrock mapping along the York Rd, Lewis and Clark County, Montana

Miriam Barquero-Molina
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
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This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process. This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This page first made public: Dec 8, 2011


This is a road mapping exercise with which students can get acquainted with the concept of detailed "structural mapping," combined with bedrock lithological mapping, and interpretation of structural data

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I have used this activity during a summer field methods course (field camp). Students were mostly juniors and seniors in Geology.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students need to know how to map lithologies, how to use a compass, how to read a topographic map, and must have taken a course in structural geology.
This exercise can be used as an introduction to structural mapping, or as an involved project in structural mapping, but the students need to at least be familiar with the basic concepts of structural geology

How the activity is situated in the course

It was a stand-alone exercise within a 6-week field course


Content/concepts goals for this activity

This exercise should reinforce the following ideas/concepts:

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

The idea behind the assignment is to have students walk along the 2 mile traverse on the York Rd, NE of Helena, MT (north of the Canyon Ferry Reservoir), and construct a detailed geologic and structural map of that includes the different lithologies seen along the road, as well as reflects the complexity of the structures seen on the traverse.
Depending on the level of difficulty that the instructor sets for this exercise, students could be asked to:

Determining whether students have met the goals

You look at their maps and fieldbooks, and evaluate their work in terms of data collection, valuable sketches, mapping skills, stereonet work and interpretation of structural data.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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