Evolution of Normal Fault Systems During Progressive Deformation
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection
Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review 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 http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: Apr 10, 2006
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
There are few resources available that help students visualize the dynamic nature of faulting, especially the complex interplay of faults during growth and evolution of a fault system. Such an understanding is critical, however, if students are to think meaningfully about fault geometries and what they imply.
Conducting scale-model experiments in a class setting is useful, but very time-consuming, difficult for all students to see well, and very temporary, except for the end product. Accordingly, taking a cue from a movie produced by Ken McClay, I constructed a deformation apparatus, conducted and filmed several experiments conducted by McClay, and then produced QuickTime movies of the experiments. This approach makes it possible for students to observe an experiment in a minute or two that took 30-45 minutes to produce and to view the experiment repeatedly, so as to become very familiar with all that is taking place.
Individual frames from the movie provide a template on which students can identify the sequence of fault development, rotation of features, and cessation of motion on some faults as they become inactive. Requiring students to document their observations, establish a chronological sequence of events, and explain in writing what happens during the experiment results in an increased awareness of the faulting process.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Download teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment (Microsoft Word 28kB Jun10 04)
- QuickTime movie of fault formation ( 28.6MB Jun10 04)
- Fault photos - set 1 ( 250kB Jun10 04)
- Fault photos - set 2 ( 260kB Jun10 04)
- Fault photos - set 3 ( 276kB Jun10 04)
- Fault photos - set 4 ( 288kB Jun10 04)