Short Demonstrations A


Turbidite vs Debris Flow: A Class Debate on Deep Water Depositional Systems (Bosiljka Glumac, Smith College)
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This debate is based on a controversial article by Shanmugam and Moiola on reinterpretation of depositional processes in a classic flysch sequence (1995, AAPG Bulletin, v. 79, p. 672-695), which prompted 5 groups of researchers to write discussions. In preparation for the debate students examine this primary literature and other background information about deep water sedimentary processes and products. The debate has a formal format with introductory remarks, two rounds of rebuttals, and final statements by members of the Turbidite and Debris Flow teams.

Constructing deltaic paleogeographic maps (Maya Elrick, University of New Mexico)
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One of the most basic and useful aspects of stratigraphy is reconstructing paleogeography using correlated stratigraphic columns. This lab introduces students to the reconstruction of deltaic paleoenvironments through 3 time slices using stratigraphic columns, facies analysis, bentonite marker beds, and paleoflow indicators (using rose diagrams). Construction of the paleogeographic maps teaches students to think in 3-dimensions and through time, and forces them to make educated interpretations based on limited data control.

Identifying Facies in a Transgressive Sequence from the Mid-Atlantic Coast (David Krantz, University of Toledo)
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The transgressive coastal sequence as a fundamental concept in stratigraphy will be explored by students in a hands-on activity based on a set of high-resolution seismic profiles collected from the shoreface off Assateague Island, Maryland and Virginia. Small groups of 2-3 students will identify primary surfaces, such as the ravinement surface and sequence boundaries, and major sedimentary facies, such as offshore shoals, flood-tidal deltas, and tidal inlets, in a set of shore-parallel and shore-perpendicular seismic lines. The exercise begins with factors controlling relative sea level, and leads into accommodation space and preservation potential.


Where Did That Quartzite Clast Come From?: A Problem-Based Provenance Study (Andrew Hanson, University of Nevada Las Vegas)
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Students conducting geochemical provenance studies are forced to deal with obvious things such as manipulating/interpreting geochemical data, as well as less obvious factors such as considering earlier tectonic configurations. This session will outline a semester-long provenance research project that employed microprobe trace element geochemistry and cathodoluminescence in an undergraduate Sed/Strat class. Incorporating this research into our undergraduate class resulted in two significant things that had been missing in previous classes: true excitement amongst the students related to research, and multiple opportunities for assessing and improving students writing skills.

Exploring the role of sediments in the carbon cycle and the use of organic carbon to reconstruct ancient sedimentary environments (Lonnie Leithold, North Carolina State University)
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The goals of this exercise are to introduce students to the importance of sedimentary processes in the global carbon cycle and to methods for assessing the sources of organic carbon in sediments and sedimentary rocks. Students will do simple calculations to compare the amount of terrestrial and marine carbon that reaches the ocean floor with the amount that is buried in sediments. Following a demonstration of density separation of organic fragments from mineral grains in a sediment sample, the association of most organic carbon with mineral surface area will be explored. Finally, characteristic stable carbon isotopic (13C) and C/N values of terrestrial and marine organic carbon will be discussed and students will complete several exercises that use these end-member values to interpret paleogeography and environmental change.

Using Real Data from Ice Cores and Salt Cores to Interpret Paleoclimate (Kathy Benison, Central Michigan University)
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The goals of this project are to engage sedimentary geology students in critical thinking about global warming. I present information about how ice cores and halite cores record past temperature data. Then, students use four paleoclimate curves from the past 150,000 yrs to make interpretations about temporal and spatial aspects of paleoclimate and to use that data to make predictions about future global climate trends.


Long-Term Sedimentology Projects Using Local Geological and Environmental Problems (Dave Franzi, SUNY Plattsburgh)
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Project-based exercises engage students in all aspects of the scientific inquiry and provides sufficient time to analyze and synthesize data. In this session we will examine examples of long-term student projects and discuss the advantages and pitfalls of this approach for sedimentology courses.

Minnelusa Project: A Capstone Exercise for Junior-Level Sedimentary Rocks and Processes Lab (Dennis Kerr, University of Tulsa)
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The Minnelusa Project integrates core description and interpretation, lithologic unit identification from well log response, subsurface well log correlation, and subsurface mapping. The final goal is to propose and defend a drilling prospect based on a given play concept.

Application of Computer Spatial Technologies in Sedimentary Geology (David Barnes, Western Michigan University)
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The objective is to create an oil field "project" with well data from several actual oil field wells including wire line log data using computer spatial technologies software. Data required for the exercise is spatial location and some data with depth (or thickness) and attributes (typically wire line log response, porosity, formation tops, etc) in a spread sheet format of rows (entries or locations) and columns (attribute).Using the display capabilities of the software, the students make "picks" of lithologic units, create cross sections and generate structure contour and isopach maps. They also input porosity and permeability data to compare to log data and pick perforation points for potential oil production. Lastly, they incorporate insight from previous work with core and logs with the map and cross section data to infer depositional environment of the formation of interest.Students with some GIS background have a lot easier time doing this exercise and it helps to have time to help the motivated students (or a TA with geospatial technology experience!).