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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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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 ...

Identifying Facies in a Transgressive Sequence from the Mid-Atlantic Coast part of Activities
David Krantz, University of Toledo
The transgressive coastal sequence will be explored by students in an activity based on high-resolution seismic profiles collected off Assateague Island, Maryland and Virginia.

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.

Demystifying the Equations of Sedimentary Geology part of Activities
Larry Lemke, Wayne State University
This activity includes three strategies to help students develop a deeper comfort level and stronger intuitive sense for understanding mathematical expressions commonly encountered in sedimentary geology. Each can ...

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 ...

Visualizing the Shields Parameter part of Activities
Tom Hickson, University of St. Thomas (MN)
The Shields parameter is a fundamental dimensionless variable that embodies the complex factors that interact to initiate motion on a sediment bed. Many students have trouble grasping this (and most other) ...

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 ...

Constraining sediment source geology and exhumation through conglomerate modeling and lag time part of Activities
Barbara Carrapa, University of Wyoming
This assignment is part of the Tectonics and Sedimentation course (graduate to post graduate level) and is aimed at this enhancing students' capability of independently assessing complex scientific issues.

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 ...

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 ...

Chemical and Physical Weathering Field and Lab Experiment: Development and Testing of Hypotheses part of Activities
Lisa Greer, Washington and Lee University
This exercise combines an integrated field and laboratory experiment with a significant scientific writing assignment to address chemical and physical weathering processes via hypothesis development, experimental ...

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.