Visualizing folds using Google Earth
Syncline in a mapping area near Dubinovka, Iran (32 08 57.72N, 56 42 25.77E). Note: the image is rotated so that north is toward the left.
Students map folded rocks
and creating cross sections even before we get to folds and fold
terminology. I introduce terminology as they need it and use fold
terrains to help them develop a picture of real-world fold structures.
Syncline in a mapping area near Dubinovka, Iran (32 08 57.72N, 56 42 25.77E). Strikes and dips are plotted on the image. Note: the image is rotated so that north is toward the left.
Students begin by mapping strikes
and dips on a simple fold structure in eastern Iran (right), add fold
symbols to their maps (example at left), and sketch cross sections. They
use what they have learned about outcrop patterns of contacts plus the
Google Earth 3D view to help them visualize the structure.
Mapping area in Anti-Atlas Mountains of Algeria
The tilt, pan, and rotate features
in Google Earth are instrumental in helping students make sense of more
complex fold terrains, and students have little difficulty mapping folds
and creating schematic cross sections of areas such as the one in the
Anti-Atlas Mountains of Algeria shown at left. Simple exercises such as
these are important in helping students develop a picture of real-world
Mapping area in Anti-Atlas Mtns. of Algeria alongside a reconstructed cross-section.
Go to the next step: Other mapping projects
Go to Visualizing inclined
contacts - Visualizing strike &
dip - Visualizing vertical
contacts - Visualizing horizontal
contacts - Visualizing folds - Other mapping projects