Sandy Hollow Virtual Field Geology Exercise
Exercise 1 "Sandy Hollow: Stratigraphy" is a guided exploration of the Permian—Cretaceous stratigraphy at Sandy Hollow, including the Permian Phosphoria Formation, the Triassic Dinwoody Formation, the Cretaceous Kootenai Formation (members 1-4), and the Cretaceous Colorado Group (Blackleaf Formation). Students are tasked with construction of a representative graphic log of these units based on geo-referenced YouTube videos and GigaPan images embedded in Google Earth.
Exercise 2 "Sandy Hollow: Mapping" is a map project that tasks students with creating a hand-drawn geologic map of Sandy Hollow based on provided geo-located bedding measurements and rock unit identifications. Contact locations are informed by color changes that are clearly visible in Google Earth imagery. An embedded YouTube video introduction filmed on location is provided.
Exercise 3 "Sandy Hollow: Structural Analysis" is a stereonet-based project that asks students to compare the orientation of cleavage with the orientation of the axial plane of a major fold in Sandy Hollow. Students create two stereonets, one showing cleavage orientations as poles and another showing bedding orientations, the fold axis, and the orientation of the axial plane (π-diagram). This process requires synthesis of provided structural measurements and the geologic map (specifically, the axial trace) generated by the students in Exercise 2. Exercise 3 was informed by a MS thesis by Elizabeth A. Helmke at Montana State University.
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Activity LengthI have scheduled a total of five days for this activity, two for Exercise 1, two for Exercise 2, and one for Exercise 3. I expect students will spend 4-5 hours per day on this activity.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description and Teaching Materials
This exercise consists of the following files, provided in a zipped folderFolder: Exercise 1 Stratigraphy
Sandy Hollow Stratigraphy (Exercise 1).kml contains instructions and geo-located YouTube videos and GigaPan photosFolder: Exercise 2 Mapping
graphic_log_template.pdf is a template that students can print to create graphic logs
Example_Log_Symbols.pdf is an example of standard symbols and drafting techniques used in the creation of graphic logs.
Folder: Exercise 3 Structural Analysis
Sandy Hollow Mapping (Exercise 2).kml contains instructions, a geo-located YouTube video introduction, and a collection of 44 points with rock unit identifications and bedding measurements.
MT_Block Mountain_topo_base.pdf is the topographic base map for this mapping exercise.Legend.pdf is a document with standard geologic map symbols and space for students to draft their own lithologic symbols for each map unit.
Sandy Hollow Virtual Field Geology Exercise.zip (Zip Archive 10.5MB May19 20)
Sandy Hollow Structural Analysis (Exercise 3).kml contains instructions, a geo-located YouTube video, and geo-located cleavage measurements.AllUnits_bedding.xls is an Excel table of all bedding measurements provided to students in Exercise 2.
Kk2_cleavage.xls is an Excel table of the cleavage measurements from the Kootenai Formation, Member 2, which are also provided as part of the .kml.
lambert-equal-area-stereonet.pdf is a stereonet that students can print to draft their diagrams.
Technology NeedsStudents should have access to a computer capable of running Google Earth online using a free web browser like Google Chrome or Firefox, a printer, a method of scanning to .pdf, drafting pencils and pens, an eraser, colored pencils, tracing paper, and a thumb tack.
Teaching Notes and Tips
This collection of exercises can easily be modified. KML files are editable, so instructors can assess any changes they would like to make and edit the instructions accordingly. For a shorter experience, students can complete only Exercise 1, or Exercise 1 and 2. Exercise 3 depends on completion of Exercise 2. The instructions are written assuming that students will submit assignments to a folder on a LMS page. This text should be modified if a different submission method is preferred.
References and Resources
Link, P. K. and Hackett, W. R., 1988, Guidebook to the Geology of Central and Southern Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, Idaho Geological Survey, 319 p.