GigaPan-based Exploration of Glaciers, Glaciogenic Landforms, Sediments, and Sedimentary rocks

Callan Bentley, Northern Virginia Community College
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This is a web-based exploration of GigaPan imagery that examines photographic imagery of glacial geomorphology, glaciogenic sediments, glaciogenic sedimentary rocks, topographic maps of both continental and alpine glaciated regions, and LiDAR imagery of continental glacial landforms. The GigaPan format allows users (students) to explore a scene or map in a seamless fashion, zooming in for details, zooming out for context.

Learning Goals

Content/concepts goals
Identification and interpretation of glacial landscapes and glaciogenic sediments.

Higher order thinking skills goals
Formulation of hypotheses.

Other skills goals
Reading topographic maps. Creating screenshots.

Context for Use

Type and level of course
I use this activity in an undergraduate introductory physical geology course for non-majors.

Skills and concepts students should have mastered
Students should already have read up on glacial geomorphology and sedimentology, i.e. the Glaciers chapter in a textbook, or else listened to a lecture on glaciation and glacial geomorphology.

How the activity is situated in the course
I use this activity as a "take home lab exercise" (done independently by students outside of class time with their computer).

Description and Teaching Materials

Here's a URL for the first page of the assignment (photographic imagery), which links to the second page (topographic maps and LiDAR):
An auto-scored Blackboard "test" version of the assignment is included here, too, as a .zip file.
Glaciers lab (via GigaPan) (Zip Archive 17kB May2 17)

Teaching Notes and Tips

The GigaPans in this version of the webpage are Flash-based, so students may have to "shop around" among their browswers/devices to get the imagery to load, or enable Flash. An HTML5 based version is also available.


Check the scores.
Grade the final question (which has students submit screenshots of eskers, kettles, etc. from the LiDAR GigaPan of Scandanavia): if they are misidentifying them, that's useful feedback that they haven't learned to recognize those features.

References and Resources