Cutting Edge > Courses > Geophysics > Teaching Activities > Atlantic City Mapping Project

Atlantic City Mapping Project

Peter A. Knoop
University of Michigan
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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

This page first made public: Aug 13, 2007


The Atlantic City project combines magnetic and gravimetric surveys with standard geological field mapping techniques. Lack of outcrops and Banded Iron Formations (BIFs) are a key features of the mapping area, and the magentic survey data assist students in determining sub-surface trends and predicting exposurs of the BIF. Students also use combined gavity and magnetic data across a BIF layer to model in 2-D its geometry.

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A junior/senior-leve field geology course, which is required of all B.S. Geology students. Integrates geophysics into a core course in geology

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

* basic field geology mapping techniques
* general sedimentology, mineralogy, petrology, and geophysics

How the activity is situated in the course

This is general the final project in the course.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

* Analysis and interpretation of magentic survey data to infer trends in BIF.
* understanding relationships and manipulating model BIF to match observed gravity and magnetic data

Other skills goals for this activity

* writing a final report summarizing: o General geology of the mapping area
o Local-scale gravity survey of a BIF unit
o Regional-scale gravity survey of the Wind River Thrust
o Modeling of a BIF unit in the subsurface based on gravity and magnetics
* produce a geologic map and cross-section
* operation of a proton magnetometer and a gravimeter
* work with a team-mate collecting and interpreting data; produce individual final artifacts

Description of the activity/assignment

Uses online and/or real-time data Has minimal/no quantitative component Addresses student fear of quantitative aspect and/or inadequate quantitative skills Uses geophysics to solve problems in other fields

Determining whether students have met the goals

Evaluation of their maps and final report

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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