Sedimentary Petrology Field Trip to Gravel Quarry near Rotterdam Junction, NY

Paul Ryberg
,
AGES Department Clarion University of PA
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Summary

Sedimentary Petrology: one field trip involves visiting an exceptional glacial outwash gravel quarry, where students measure, identify and count clast types, measure cross-bedding directions, and examine the early stages of lithification of gravel to conglomerate. The gravel deposits are also representative of the local surficial aquifer material that lies nearby in the subsurface

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Context

Audience

This is a field trip activity (2-3 hours) for an upper level undergraduate class in sedimentary petrology

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students must have completed a course in Physical Geology with lab. They must be able to identify various types of rocks (and minerals in them) in hand samples

How the activity is situated in the course

This activity is conducted at one field trip stop on a required weekend field trip in sedimentary petrology to eastern NY and New England

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

  • Students should be able to interpret the relationships of sedimentary deposits from glacial and fluvial systems
  • Students should be able to analyze the concept of provenance of sedimentary clasts
  • Students should be able to analyze the relationships of clast size and shape to sediment transport
  • Students should be able to analyze the concept of cementation in sedimentary deposits

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

  • Students should be able to interpret changes in deposition through time
  • Students should be able to interpret regional change in paleogeography with time

Other skills goals for this activity

  • Students should be able to improve rock and mineral identification skills
  • Students should be able to improve on field data collection skills
  • Students should be able to work effectively in small groups

Description of the activity/assignment

This is a Stratigraphy Sedimentary Petrology field trip stop at an exceptional glacial outwash gravel quarry, where students measure, identify and count clast types, measure cross-bedding directions, and examine the early stages of lithification of gravel to conglomerate. The gravel deposits are also representative of the local surficial aquifer material that lies nearby in the subsurface.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students will be evaluated using the categories of "exceeds," meets," or "does not meet" all of the goals stated above

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