Grand Valley State University
Mapping extensional crack arrays in asphalt as normal fault system physical analogues part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Activities
Students map extensional crack arrays in asphalt, at full-scale, using long pieces of inexpensive craft paper and markers, map the connections between individual cracks in the arrays, and study (descriptively) crack arrays patterns e.g., en-echelon zones of right-stepping cracks, left-stepping cracks; relay ramp to crack connections; strike-slip fault to crack connections. Individual cracks in the arrays end, step, and connect in ways that mimic well-known and well-studied regional-scale normal fault systems. -
Maps, Folds, Stereonets, and Simple Fabric Analysis part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Activities
This analysis involves analyzing structures shown on beautiful, rich, detailed, and well-prepared outcrop bedrock geology of a real region. Students construct a number of stereonets step-by-step, and the map-scale simple fabrics come to life. Students also prepare an accurate cross-section using data from the stereonet analysis. -
Radiometric Dating Isochron exercise part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
Hands-on introduction to using the isochron method to determine radiometric ages.
Maps, Folds, Stereonets, and Complex Fabric Analysis part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Activities
This analysis involves analyzing meso- and macro- structures shown on beautiful, rich, detailed, and well-prepared outcrop bedrock geology of a real region. Students construct a number of stereonets step-by-step, and the map-scale complex (polyphase) fabrics come to life. -
The science behind Plate Tectonics part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
Plate tectonics is a quantitative, robust and testable, geologic model describing the surface motions of Earth's outer skin. It is based on real data and assumptions, and built using the scientific method. New space geodesy data provide important quantitative (and independent) tests of this model. In general, these new data show a close match to model predictions, and suggest that plate motion is steady and uniform over millions of years. Active research continues to refine the model and to better our understanding of plate motion and tectonics. The exercise presented here aims to help students experience the process of doing science and to understand the science underlying the plate tectonic theory. Key words: plate tectonics, global plate motion models, assumptions, geologic data (spreading rates, transform fault azimuths, earthquake slip vectors), space geodesy tests.
Global tectonics part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Courses
Global Tectonics is our capstone course. Half of the course is devoted to getting a handle on basic plate kinematics (which is not covered explicitly in any other courses). Half of the course explores topics that integrate material from other courses students have taken into a global and/or tectonics context.
Plate tectonics: A deep time and planetary perspective part of Workshop 2012:Essays
John Weber, Geology Department, Grand Valley State University James Lawrence Powell, in his poignant and insightful popular science book, Mysteries of Terra Firma, lists and discusses the three big ideas ...