Cutting Edge > Structural Geology > Other Mapping Projects

Other mapping projects in Google Earth

Barbara Tewksbury (Hamilton College)

Inclined layers in folded rocks near Karkh, Pakistan (27 50 35.00N, 67 10 03.70E). Click image to enlarge.
Google Earth has many fabulous and well-exposed areas that are suitable for mapping in folded terrain. Some, such as the area shown at right in Pakistan, also have strong color contrasts among units, making the areas amenable for mapping contacts. Using the Google Earth 3D view makes it possible for my students to visualize the relationships in areas where students from previous years would have simply thrown up their hands in frustration.
Near Karkh, Pakistan, tilted layers oblique 1 Click to enlarge.
Near Karkh, Pakistan, tilted layers oblique 2 Near Karkh, Pakistan, tilted layers oblique 3 Near Karkh, Pakistan, tilted layers oblique 4

You'll find a great collection of potential sites for mapping projects in areas of folded and faults rocks here. Below, you can download two specific assignments that I have used in my structural geology class.
  • A take-home exam (Microsoft Word 1.2MB Oct18 08): the 10 mapping areas referred to in the download are denoted with single asterisks in the image collection referred to above.
  • A complex virtual mapping project (Microsoft Word 1.9MB Oct18 08): this project combines Google Earth views with SRTM DEMs and ASTER imagery in ArcMAP and provides an outstanding opportunity for a more extensive and complex virtual mapping project that also incorporates rock samples and thin sections (some with kinematic indicators). The area lies in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Morocco and is shown below. The assignment itself is a bit bare bones, because I put it together at the last minute for a student who couldn't go on a required field trip. It could be spiffed up with an interesting scenario or by requiring the student to make the map in ArcGIS rather than by hand. But it might stimulate some good ideas for your own labs!
Click image to enlarge.
Domes and basins in the Anti-Atlas Mountains near Tadakoust, Morocco (29 27 26.62N, 08 38 40.69W)
Anti-Atlas Mountains, Morocco folds 2 oblique 2 Click to enlarge. SWIR image credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS,
and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team
Anti-Atlas Mountains, Morocco folds 2 oblique 3 Anti-Atlas Mountains, Morocco folds 2 oblique 1 Anti-Atlas Mountains, Morocco folds SWIR



Go to the collection of mapping areas


Go to Visualizing inclined contacts - Visualizing strike & dip - Visualizing vertical contacts - Visualizing horizontal contacts - Visualizing folds - Other mapping projects