Teach the Earth > Structural Geology > Geologic Maps

Geologic Maps for Teaching Structural Geology

  • Geologic map of the Williamsville Quadrangle, Virginia. Bick, 1962 This 15 minute quadrangle map is located in the Appalachian Valley and Ridge province and contains moderately folded, Ordovician through Devonian sedimentary rocks. The folded sequence is cut by one major thrust fault. Robert Burger writes: 'Due to the map scale of 1:62,500, I scan the line of section at 300 dpi and at an enlargement of 200%. The scanned images are then printed on a color laser printer and assembled by students. This is the first major cross-section assigned in my course. Difficulty level for map interpretation: relatively easy; difficulty level for student-constructed cross sections: moderate.' (citation and description)
  • Bedrock geology of the Glens Falls/Whitehall Region, New York. Fisher, 1984 This map spans nine 7.5 minute quads stretching from the Grenville-age Precambrian basement of the southeastern Adirondacks across normal-faulted, gently-dipping Early Paleozoic shelf carbonates, across the Giddings Brook Thrust, and into the folds and thrusts of the Taconics. Difficulty level for map interpretation: moderate; difficulty level for student-constructed cross sections: challenging. (citation and description)
  • Bedrock geologic map of the Castle Reef Quadrangle, Teton and Lewis and Clark Counties, Montana. Mudge, 1968 This 7 1/2 minute quadrangle is located in northwestern Montana. Mississippian carbonates overlain by Jurassic siltstones and sandstones are folded rocks and cut by numerous thrust faults that exhibit classic thrust relationships. Robert Burger writes: 'This is the final map in the series of three I use in my structure course for student-constructed cross sections and is the most difficult, but it is manageable by the end of the course. Once again I scan the line of section at 300 dpi and at an enlargement of 200%, which gives students more room in which to work. Difficulty level for map interpretation: moderate to somewhat difficult; difficulty level for student-constructed cross sections: difficult.' (citation and description)
  • Geologic map of the Mystic Lake Quadrangle, Montana. Roberts, 1964 This 7 1/2-minute quadrangle is dominated by Ordovician through Cretaceous sedimentary rocks overlying Precambrian gneisses. The sedimentary rocks exhibit plunging folds of various wavelengths and are cut by both a thrust fault and a high-angle fault. Robert Burger writes: 'I find students have a much easier time of working with the map if I scan the line of section at 300 dpi and at an enlargement of 200%. The scanned images are then printed on a color laser printer and assembled by students. This is the second major cross-section assigned in my course. Difficulty level for map interpretation: moderate; difficulty level for student-constructed cross sections: moderate to somewhat difficult.' (citation and description)

Resources for Teaching with Geologic Maps

  • PASDA Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access: The Pennsylvania Geospatial Data Clearinghouse (more info) . Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access, PASDA, is the State Geospatial Data clearinghouse for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PASDA is also a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Clearinghouse node that provides free public access to geospatial data and metadata via the World Wide Web. PASDA supports search, display, and retrieval of GIS data, imagery, such as satellite images and aerial photographs, and metadata related to Pennsylvania. In addition to GIS data sets, PASDA also provides GIS tutorials, an extensive FAQ, information about metadata, and an online metadata entry form.
  • Why Some Students Have Trouble with Maps and Spatial Representations: An On-line Tutorial for Geoscience Faculty (more info) . This resource can assist college faculty in teaching effective use of maps and spatial representations. The site consists of a self-guided, interactive tutorial that leads Geoscience Faculty through issues and considerations about spatial thinking. The tutorial is designed to capture some of the results of cognitive studies of spatial thinking and cast them into terms that are relevant and accessible to geoscience educators.
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