Short Demonstrations, Set #3

S3A: Insights into the 3-D Geometry of Thrust Belts Using X-ray Tomography of Sandbox Experiments (Jaime Toro, West Virginia State University). Visualizing the internal structure of thrust belts is difficult even for the professional geologist. Reading maps and creating valid cross-sections requires years of experience. X-ray tomography of analogue experiments gives access to the complete structure, facilitates visualization, and helps develop intuition for interpreting real structures. This exercise uses vertical and horizontal slices through a sandbox model acquired with a medical x-ray scanner to allow the students to work with the 3-D geometry of faults in a synthetic thrust belt. Initially the students are given images of a selected horizontal slice (map) and two vertical slices (cross-sections). They are asked to color the maker layers and to trace the faults in both slices. Their products are a geological map (with the appropriate symbols) and two cross-sections. Then they are asked to interpret a third vertical slice using their map and sections as a guide. Finally, they are shown the entire model through sequential slices.

S3B: Building Effective Case Studies from the Geologic Literature (Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College). Case studies have been used for many years in medical and business schools to provide students with real-world scenarios to which they can apply their growing expertise in diagnosis and problem-solving. Published articles in the geologic literature are terrific sources of complex, multi-faceted, real-world data that can be used to build case studies for geoscience students to solve. This session will focus on taking articles from the geological literature and building real-world case studies for students.

S3C: Analysis of Sidewalk Fractures (Charlie Onasch, Bowling Green State University). Are you located in an region with little or no natural exposure? Then look no further than the sidewalks. This session describes an exercise in the study of fractures using campus sidewalks as an analog for natural outcrops. Taught as the first lab in the semester, students learn to make systematic observations, measure the orientation and location of fractures, manipulate and analyze data, and consider some kinematic and dynamic questions regarding the origin and significance of fractures. Their experiences are also used later in the course to reinforce key concepts of brittle deformation.