Basin-scale Controls on Sedimentary Architecture, Jurassic Tank

Thomas Hickson
St. Thomas University
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This activity was designed for an Upper Division Undergraduate class on Sedimentology and Stratigraphy.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

How the activity is situated in the course

This project was designed to go along with in class discussion for the final 5 weeks of a 15 week term.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

By the end of this project, students should be able to:
  • explain how Jurassic Tank works, why it was built, and how it can be used to link the real world (outcrops and subsurface, well data) with numerical models of basin-scale sedimentation.
  • interpret a cross section diagram in terms of changes in base level, subsidence, or sediment supply.
  • link specific, real-world depositional environments to parts of a cross section diagram and understand how they respond to changes in base level, subsidence, or sediment supply.
  • apply sequence stratigraphic concepts and terminology to a cross section diagram.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

In this project, students interpret a high-resolution image of result from an experimental run of the Jurrasic Tank sedimentation simulator at the St. Anthony Falls Lab at the University of Minnesota. They are expected to interpret depositional environments, characterize simulated stratigraphic sections, and interpret the overall sedimentary architecture of the simulated basin. All of these observations are to put together onto a poster which is the final product of the project.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Student teams produce a poster combining all the requested interpretation onto one graphic. They are requested to turn in a full-sized electronic version as well as a small printed poster as a part of their portfolio.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Teaching materials and tips

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Supporting references/URLs