Spatial Thinking Workbook > Teaching Activities > Fault Separation

Fault Separation

Laurel Goodwin, UW-Madison, and Carol Ormand, SERC at Carleton College
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Summary

Students use gestures to explore the relationship between fault slip direction and fault separation by varying the geometry of faulted layers, slip direction, and the perspective from which these are viewed.

Learning Goals

At the end of this exercise, students will:

Context for Use

This exercise accompanies a lecture on fault separation in an undergraduate structural geology course. Students need to know the difference between strike-slip and dip-slip faults prior to beginning the activity. This is one of several gesture exercises incorporated in the course, so students are accustomed to using gesture to describe and illustrate structural concepts.

Description and Teaching Materials

Students explore the relationship between fault slip direction and fault separation by varying the geometry of faulted layers, slip direction, and the perspective from which these are viewed. They work in teams to explore these complex geometric relationships via gestures.

Fault separation gestures (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 675kB Mar21 13)

Assessment

We walk around the room, watching and talking with the students as they work through the exercise. It's a quick and easy way to see whether students understand fault separation, and where they are struggling with this concept.

References and Resources

Goldin-Meadow, Susan (2011). Learning Through Gesture. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, v. 2, n. 6, pp. 595–607.

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