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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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Using data from the Experimental Earthscape Facility (Jurassic tank) to visualize basin-scale stratigraphic architecture part of Activities
Tom Hickson, University of St. Thomas (MN)
Students use digital imagery from an experimental subsiding sedimentary basin to visualize the controls on basin-scale facies architecture, Walther's law, and sequence stratigraphic concepts. Students must ...

Estimation in Sedimentary Geology: Getting Students Comfortable with Rough Calculation of Rates and Magnitudes part of Activities
Chris Paola, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
The theme of this module is that the most important quantitative skill in sedimentary geology is not complex mathematics but rather a habit of approximate but accurate quantitative thinking. The most useful tool is ...

Understanding and Applying the Exner Equation part of Activities
Chris Paola, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
The Exner equation lends itself readily to visualization and physical examples; it is far more important in quantitative sedimentary geology than the usual topics from fluid mechanics that are included in ...

Minnelusa Project: A Capstone Exercise for Junior-Level Sedimentary Rocks and Processes Lab part of Activities
Dennis Kerr, University of Tulsa
The Minnelusa Project integrates core description and interpretation, lithologic unit identification from well log response, subsurface well log correlation, and subsurface mapping. The final goal is to propose and ...

Quantitative Analysis vs. Field Estimations: Helping Student to "Make Calls" and Practice Consistent Reporting Techniques when Solving Geological Problems part of Activities
Tom Morris, Brigham Young University
This field exercise challenges students, divided into "teams", to calculate the discharge of an ancient exhumed fluvial channel (Jurassic Morrison Formation). In one aspect of the exercise the students ...

Delta environments and paleogeography part of Activities
maya elrick, University of New Mexico-Main Campus
One of the most basic and useful aspects of stratigraphy is reconstructing paleogeography using correlated stratigraphic columns. This lab introduces students to the reconstruction of deltaic paleoenvironments ...

Red rock and concretion models from Earth to Mars: Teaching diagenesis part of Activities
Margie Chan, University of Utah
This activity teaches students concepts of terrestrial diagenesis (cementation, fluid flow, porosity and permeability, concretions) and encourages them to apply those concepts to new or unknown settings, including ...

Stratigraphic sequences in the North Carolina Coastal Plain delineated from well data part of Activities
Richard Diecchio, George Mason University
3-D visualization xercise to construct a stratigraphic cross-section and a correlation diagram to identify unconformity-bounded sequences, then to recognize the sequences on a geologic map.

The Desktop Delta part of Using Physical Models
Dr. Thomas Hickson (University of St. Thomas) and Karen Campbell (National Center for Earth Surface Dynamics) developed a small, two-dimensional deltaic sedimentation model for the Teaching Sedimentary Geology ...