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Classroom Activities for Teaching Sedimentary Geology

This collection of teaching materials allows for the sharing of ideas and activities within the community of geoscience teachers. Do you have a favorite teaching activity you'd like to share? Please help us expand this collection by contributing your own teaching materials.

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Fluvial and Alluvial Sedimentology Incorporating Google Earth part of Activities
Elizabeth Cassel, Franklin and Marshall College
A lab activity for an undergraduate sedimentary geology course focused on fluvial and alluvial sedimentology, incorporating Google Earth.

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Digital Sandstone Tutorial part of Activities
Kitty Milliken, University of Texas at Austin, The
The Tutorial Petrographic Image Atlas is designed to give students more exposure to petrographic features than they can get during organized laboratory periods.

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Using Computer Spatial Technologies (Geoplus Petra) for Subsurface Geological Analysis part of Activities
Dave Barnes, Western Michigan University
The lab project is a culminating activity (following work with conventional core and petrophysical logs) in which the students compile a subsurface "project" using computer spatial technology software, ...

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Deriving bedform phase diagrams part of Activities
Tom Hickson, University of St. Thomas (MN)
Students derive bedform phase diagrams from Middleton and Southard (1984) by plotting the original data (stolen using DataThief software from the publication) in Excel and defining bedform field boundaries. These ...

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Where Did That Quartzite Clast Come From?: A Problem-Based Provenance Study part of Activities
Andrew Hanson, University of Nevada-Las Vegas
Students conducted microprobe geochemical provenance studies on quartzite clasts contained within a Tertiary conglomerate in southern Nevada, as well as quartzites that occur in the pre-Cambrian-Mesozoic ...

Using Real Data from Ice Cores and Salt Cores to Interpret Paleoclimate part of Activities
Kathy Benison, Central Michigan University
The goals of this project are to engage sedimentary geology students in critical thinking about global warming. I present information about how ice cores and halite cores record past temperature data. Then, ...

Growing Salt: An Independent Course Research Project Investigating Chemical Sediments part of Activities
Kathy Benison, Central Michigan University
In this assignment, students design, implement, and report on their own mini-research project involving the growth of salts. This gives students practical research experience, as well a better understanding of how ...

Cementation and Neomorphism: Incorporating the Basics of Diagenesis into Any Sedimentary Geology Course part of Activities
Kathy Benison, Central Michigan University
Diagenesis is an important sedimentary process and undergraduate students greatly benefit from learning how to recognize and interpret common diagenetic features. This can be accomplished with a two to three week ...

Sedimentation and Tectonics: Geologic History of the Appalachian Basin part of Activities
Bosiljka Glumac, Smith College
This culminating mini-project challenges students to utilize all the skills and knowledge acquired throughout the semester, thus effectively reviewing and summarizing many key concepts linking sedimentation and ...

Use of a Lab-Field Couplet to Link Rock Classification and Facies Interpretation part of Activities
Allison Tumarkin-Deratzian, Temple University
Students examine hand samples in the lab, then describe formations and interpret facies succession at a local outcrop. Linked lab and field components doubly reinforce understanding of course concepts.

Density-modified flow part of Activities
James Trexler, University of Nevada-Reno
Students study and experiment with the effects of slope and denisty differences on density-modified currents, flowing in fresh water.

Subsurface sequence stratigraphic correlation using well logs part of Activities
M. Royhan Gani, University of New Orleans
Subsurface well logs (gamma and resistivity) are used to construct a cross section based on sequence stratigraphic principles. In this assignment, students will learn how to correlate well logs applying basic ...

Shape of gravel particles. What does it mean? part of Activities
Patricia Manley, Middlebury College
This is a lab assignment using three sets of gravel-size clasts. The purpose is to show how to measure gravel-size clasts and what their shape can discern about the environment they were formed in. This utilizes ...

Formation and preservation of raindrop imprints part of Activities
Carol Mankiewicz, Beloit College
Students design an experiment to investigate the formation and/or preservation of raindrop imprints. Students experience working in groups, designing an experiment, collecting data, and presenting data both orally ...

Calculation of Stream Discharge Required to Move Bed Material part of Activities
Reed Schwimmer, Rider University
Students will measure stream velocity, depth, and grain sizes across two channel transects. After constructing both a longitudinal profile and two cross sections, students will calculate the discharge required to ...

Simplified Carbonate Sequence Stratigraphy part of Activities
maya elrick, University of New Mexico-Main Campus
Sequence stratigraphy is jargon-laden and typically presented in an overly complicated manner which turns many students off. This lab is a simple and straightforward introduction to sequence stratigraphic ...

Sequence Stratigraphy Model (for Macintosh) part of Activities
Dennis Hubbard, Oberlin College
This is an interactive model that generates facies parasequences based on user defined sea-level curves, initial profile and other easily defined input conditions.

Using a Flume to Demonstrate Fluid Properties and Sediment Transport part of Activities
Jill Singer, Buffalo State - SUNY
A laboratory recirculating flume offers ideal opportunities for conducting demonstrations designed to help students observe and understand a variety of fluid properties and the basics of sediment entrainment and ...

Moraine Sediments part of Sedimentology, Geomorphology, and Paleontology 2014:Activities
Lisa Tranel, Illinois State University
In this assignment students look at the provenance of glacial sediments and the size and shape of clasts to investigate the sources of moraine material and what happens as glaciers transport sediment. Students ...

Where Did That Quartzite Clast Come From?: A Problem-Based Provenance Study part of Activities
Andrew Hanson, University of Nevada-Las Vegas
Students conducting geochemical provenance studies are forced to deal with obvious things such as manipulating/interpreting geochemical data, but also must deal less obvious factors such as considering earlier ...

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