Active Tectonics Field Trip
ACTIVE TECTONICS, HAZARDS, ACTIVE TECTONICS AND SOCIETY, URBAN GEOLOGY, EARTHQUAKES
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Description and Teaching Materials
Structural geology field trip activities, in my general experience, tend to be out in the middle of nowhere. Thus it was quite a change when Susan Beck and I decided to lead an active tectonics course field trip to Los Angeles. Our class consisted of ~20 seniors and graduate students, as well as a visiting professor of political science. The goal was to gain a first-hand grasp of the many dimensions of active tectonics research and applications. Our list of activities, below, gives a sense for the range of experiences. An important dimension of this activity was preparing, through reading and presentation of germane literature. The strength of the trip importantly related to observing connections among fields, offices, professions, careers: university faculty, insurance company management, high department, emergency services at county level, consulting geologists, USGS geologists, etc.
Day 1: Overview of the tectonics of the Los Angeles Basin, followed by tour of paleoseismology sites and discussion of research results at those sites. Our guide was Jim Dolan, USC.
Day 2: Visit to the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), with presentations by Jill Andrews (on knowledge transfer), Kurt Abdouch (earthquake education goals), and then a focus on the Master Model approach to seismotectonic analysis in the LA Basin.
Day 3: Site-specific visits to examine landslide mitigation, and role of consultants in evaluating seismic hazards in developments. Our host was Bruce Clark, Leighton and Associates.
Day 4: Plate tectonic animations of Pacific/North American plate motions. Tanya Atwater. Folding, faulting, liquifaction, and paleoseismology, Santa Barbara. Ed Keller and Larry Gurollo.
Day 5: Ventura anticline and related active tectonic phenomena. Our guide was Art Sylvester.
Day 6: Wrigthwood paleoseismology site, and Pallett Creek site, San Andreas fault. Tom Fumal, USGS.
Day 7: San Bernardino County Emergency Services Center. Denise Benson, Wes Reeder, Valerie Pilmer.