Late Quaternary normal faulting and hanging wall basin evolution of the southwestern rift margin from gravity and geology, B.C.S., MX and exploring the influence of text-figure format on introductory geology learning
An array of north-striking, left-stepping, active normal faults is situated along the southwestern margin of the Gulf of California. This normal fault system is the marginal fault system of the oblique-divergent plate boundary within the Gulf of California. To better understand the role of upper-crustal processes during development of an obliquely rifted plate margin, gravity surveys were conducted across the normal-fault-bounded basins within the gulf-margin array and, along with optically stimulated luminescence dating of offset surfaces, fault-slip rates were estimated and fault patterns across basins were assessed, providing insight into sedimentary basin evolution. Additionally, detailed geologic and geomorphic maps were constructed along two faults within the system, leading to a more complete understanding of the role of individual normal faults within a larger array. These faults slip at a low rate (0.1-1 mm/yr) and have relatively shallow hanging wall basins (~500-3000 m). Overall, the gulf-margin faults accommodate protracted, distributed deformation at a low rate and provide a minor contribution to overall rifting. Integrating figures with text can lead to greater science learning than when either medium is presented alone. Textbooks, composed of text and graphics, are a primary source of content in most geology classes. It is essential to understand how students approach learning from text and figures in textbook-style learning materials and how the arrangement of the text and figures influences their learning approach. Introductory geology students were eye tracked while learning from textbook-style materials composed of text and graphics. Eye fixation data showed that students spent less time examining the figure than the text, but the students who more frequently examined the figure tended to improve more from the pretest to the posttest. In general, students tended to examine the figure at natural breaks in the reading. Textbook-style materials should, therefore, be formatted to include a number of natural breaks so that learners can pause to inspect the figure without the risk of losing their place in the reading and to provide a chance to process the material in small chunks. Multimedia instructional materials should be designed to support the cognitive processes of the learner.