Structural Geology of East Gippsland, southeastern Australia

Sandra McLaren, The University of Melbourne
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Initial Publication Date: July 24, 2023


This activity is a virtual field experience set in Palaeozoic rocks of the Lachlan Fold Belt in Southeastern Australia. Exercises include identifying and interpreting rocks showing evidence for two phases of deformation, form surface 'mapping' using parasitic fold patterns, the interpretation of sheared rock fabrics, and observations of rock relationships that help establish the regional geological history

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This field activity is used for final (third) year structural geology subjects

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Stress and strain relationships
Superposition and overprinting
Fold and fault geometries and their relationship to regional stress fields
Contact and Regional Metamorphism
Parasitic folds and vergence
Shear Zones

How the activity is situated in the course

This field activity is a stand-alone exercise that can be used as a capstone (culminating) activity for advanced structural geology students


Content/concepts goals for this activity

At the completion of this activity you should:
- Be able to develop basic risk assessment strategies as they apply to rural or remote field work
- Be able to describe and interpret deformation features in rocks (such as folds, joints, faults, veins and tectonic
fabrics) at the macro- and meso-scale
- Be able to interpret complex geological maps by applying key geological principles
- Demonstrate competence at geological cross-section construction and interpretation
- Visualise and interpret geological structures in three dimensions
- Understand processes controlling shear zone formation and evolution and interpret a range of geological
structures that form within them
- Appreciate the complexity of deformation at different time and length scales
- Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the geology and tectonic evolution of eastern Australia

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

At the completion of this activity you should be able to:
- Communicate and collaborate effectively using text and visual aids (sketches, cross-sections)
- Think critically and conceptualize complex and abstract ideas
- Effectively manage time and workload
- Adopt a problem-solving approach to new and unfamiliar tasks

Other skills goals for this activity

The activity could be used with small groups to develop teamwork skills
The activity will help students develop their writing skills (for the regional geological synthesis task)

Description and Teaching Materials

The files attached here are both a .docx and a .PDF of the entire virtual field activity. All images needed for the student activities are included in the document. The first page includes links (as both URLs and as QR codes) to the ThingLink maps on which the activities are based (and where additional images are available)
Student activity booklet for Structural Geology of East Gippsland (SE Australia) Virtual Excursion (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 8.4MB Jul20 23) 
Student activity booklet for Structural Geology of East Gippsland (SE Australia) Virtual Excursion (Acrobat (PDF) 8.9MB Jul20 23)