Evidence for Active Tectonics in local watersheds-Fluvial geomorph

Cathy Connor
University Alaska Southeast
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Initial Publication Date: July 10, 2008


In this lab, student analyze imagery from fieldtrip sites to identify fluvial geomorphic and tectonic processes.

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Upper division dedicated geomorphology course

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

know how to
-interpret images to identify faults
-make map measurements to calculate mountain sinuosity and stream gradients and lengths
-identify watershed boundaries from maps

How the activity is situated in the course

Stand alone exercise about mid-way through course


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Interpretation of imagery taken from field trip sites visited the week previously by students

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Identification through field observation and map/image in lab measurements of processes that create landforms occuring over long time-scales

Other skills goals for this activity

Students generally work in groups and bounce hypotheses off one another. Group discussions foster rejection of ill-formed ideas and focus and hone better hypotheses about how land-forming processes are working locally.

Description of the activity/assignment

Students have read pertinent chapters in text, read synergistic journal papers, and done homework assignments to prepare for a fieldtrip to areas featured in lab. Having visited and viewed areas of interest they are asked to analyze pertinent images for landform quantitative parameters.
Designed for a geomorphology course

Determining whether students have met the goals

Assess student responses to lab questions relative to what is known in published literature.

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Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs

Geologic Map of Southeastern Alaska
1992 Gehrels and Berg USGS

Geomorphic Indices Chapter: in Active Tectonics: Earthquakes, Uplift and Landscapes
Edward Keller and Nicholas Pinter. Prentice Hall, NJ ISBN 0-02-363261-5 PBK