Introducing Geologic Map Interpretation and Cross Section Construction Using Google Earth
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 https://serc.carleton.edu/teachearth/activity_review.html.
This page first made public: Oct 20, 2008
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Description of the activity/assignment
The approach describe in materials listed here uses the powerful 3D viewing capability and the remarkable satellite images of Google Earth to help students really visualize structures. The approach does the following:
* Emphasizes mapping before map interpretation in order to help students visualize, rather than memorize.
* Starts by having students do geologic mapping in Google Earth before they know anything about strike, dip, or types of contacts.
* Has students work first with inclined units and contacts in areas with topographic relief, using Google Earth 3D view to develop an understanding of dip.
* Has students sketch simple cross sections of their own geologic maps and use Google Earth 3D view to help them visualize the relationships.
* Derives strike after students understand dip.
* Has students work with vertical contacts next, then horizontal contacts, and, finally, folded and faulted contacts.
* Gives students lots of practice in mapping in Google Earth and creating their own cross sections in areas of increasing complexity.
* Follows with interpretation of existing geologic maps coupled with use of maps in the field.
Determining whether students have met the goals
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