Teach the Earth > Geophysics > Teaching Activities > Resistivity Profile in an Urban Setting

Resistivity Profile in an Urban Setting

Bill Montgomery
New Jersey City University
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process. This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This page first made public: Jul 5, 2007


Activity in an urban setting that includes an electrical resistivity line and hydrogeological information from nearby monitoring wells that enables students to create a meaningful interpretation of subsurface hydrogeology.

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Udergraduate course in geophysics and/or introductory course for majors and non-majors. Designed for a geophysics course Integrates geophysics into a core course in geology Designed for an introductory geology course

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Basic conceptual understanding of "map" and "cross-sectional" view is desirable, if not essential. Basic understanding of electrical current propagation and "inverse modeling" is desirable.

How the activity is situated in the course

This project can serve well as a stand-alone exercise, but can also be easily integrated into a sequence of exercises that explore the different types of anomalies that different types of geophysical equipment detect. We can use the activity in environmental site assessment, for example, in conjunction with other geophysical techniques.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Use electrical resistivity line and subsurface information from nearby wells to create an integrated, subsurface hydrogeological interpretation.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Requires some analysis of data and some critical thinking in order to fully understand how electrical data and inverse modeling can be used to simulate / estimate subsurface hydrogeology.

Other skills goals for this activity

Develop familiarity in creation of basic subsurface interpretations.

Description of the activity/assignment

The student works with an electrical resistivity profile and well information (stratigraphy and static water level)taken in an urban area. The goal is to create an integrated subsurface interpretation from geological and geophysical data. The activity gives students practice in using simple quantitative data to create a hypothetical but data-driven picture of the subsurface. Uses online and/or real-time data Has minimal/no quantitative component Uses geophysics to solve problems in other fields

Determining whether students have met the goals

Each student will produce their own hydrogeologic interpretation.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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