"Graveyard Lab"

Genet Ide Duke, Northeastern Illinois University

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Because there is not a lot of surface structure to map in glacial terranes of the midwest, especially in big cities, various simulations can help. This is a "big-city" simulation of making a geologic map and interpreting the structure of a small area (a cemetery) by measuring the strike and dip of gravestones. This field activity is followed by lab work, including plotting the attitudes on stereonets and interpreting the patterns.

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This is an undergraduate required course in structural geology. It is not a typical structural geology course, because Math pre-requisites are remedial only, and Mineralogy is also not a pre-requisite. The title of the course is Geologic Structures and Map Interpretation.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

They must know how to use the Brunton compass to measure strike and dip, and they must know how to plot on the equal-area stereonet.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is an end of a sequence of exercises which include use of the Brunton compass, as well as practice with the stereonet (two stereonet labs).


Content/concepts goals for this activity

deformation mechanisms

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Analyzing data, formulating hypotheses

Other skills goals for this activity

Working in groups of two in the field and in the lab.
Practicing Brunton and stereonet skills.

Description and Teaching Materials

Lab 11: Graveyard Lab (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 128kB May12 12)

Teaching Notes and Tips


Field notebook, geologic map production, and stereonet analysis with written interpretation.

References and Resources