Matching Items (34)

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Detrital-Zircon and Paleontological Constraints on Correlations of Pennsylvanian-Permian Rocks Near Sedona, Arizona

Description

This research focuses on a geologic controversy regarding the stratigraphic position of the Hermit Formation outside of the Grand Canyon, specifically in Sedona, Arizona. The goal of this research is to provide additional constraints on this dispute by pinpointing the

This research focuses on a geologic controversy regarding the stratigraphic position of the Hermit Formation outside of the Grand Canyon, specifically in Sedona, Arizona. The goal of this research is to provide additional constraints on this dispute by pinpointing the transition to the Hermit Formation in Sedona, if possible. To accomplish this, we use field observations and detrital zircon dating techniques to compare data we collected in Sedona with data previously published for the Grand Canyon. Fossil evidence in Sedona and near Payson, Arizona is also used to aid correlation. Starting from the Grand Canyon, the Hermit Formation pinches out to the southeast and, hypothetically obstructed by the Sedona Arch, does not reach Sedona. Detrital zircon data show similar age distributions between the Grand Canyon and Sedona rock units, but the results are not strong enough to confidently correlate units between these two localities. The data collected for this study suggest that if the Hermit Formation is present in Sedona, it is limited to higher up in the section as opposed to occupying the middle portion of the section as is currently interpreted. To determine with greater accuracy whether the Hermit Formation does exist higher in the section of Sedona, more detrital zircons should be collected and analyzed from the part of the section that yielded a relative increase in young zircons aged 200-600 Ma.

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2017-05

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Earth, Society, and Justice: An Annotated Syllabus for a Political Geology Course Informed by Decolonial, Radical, and Environmental Justice Theories

Description

Geology and its tangential studies, collectively known and referred to in this thesis as geosciences, have been paramount to the transformation and advancement of society, fundamentally changing the way we view, interact and live with the surrounding natural and built

Geology and its tangential studies, collectively known and referred to in this thesis as geosciences, have been paramount to the transformation and advancement of society, fundamentally changing the way we view, interact and live with the surrounding natural and built environment. It is important to recognize the value and importance of this interdisciplinary scientific field while reconciling its ties to imperial and colonizing extractive systems which have led to harmful and invasive endeavors. This intersection among geosciences, (environmental) justice studies, and decolonization is intended to promote inclusive pedagogical models through just and equitable methodologies and frameworks as to prevent further injustices and promote recognition and healing of old wounds. By utilizing decolonial frameworks and highlighting the voices of peoples from colonized and exploited landscapes, this annotated syllabus tackles the issues previously described while proposing solutions involving place-based education and the recentering of land within geoscience pedagogical models. (abstract)

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2021-05

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Eye-tracking investigations exploring how students learn geology from photographs and The structural setting of hydrothermal gold deposits in the San Antonio area, B.C.S., MX

Description

Geoscience educators commonly teach geology by projecting a photograph in front of the class. Geologic photographs often contain animals, people, and inanimate objects that help convey the scale of features in the photograph. Although scale items seem innocuous to instructors

Geoscience educators commonly teach geology by projecting a photograph in front of the class. Geologic photographs often contain animals, people, and inanimate objects that help convey the scale of features in the photograph. Although scale items seem innocuous to instructors and other experts, the presence of such items is distracting and has a profound effect on student learning behavior. To evaluate how students visually interact with distracting scale items in photographs and to determine if cueing or signaling is an effective means to direct students to pertinent information, students were eye tracked while looking at geologically-rich photographs. Eye-tracking data revealed that learners primarily looked at the center of an image, focused on faces of both humans and animals if they were present, and repeatedly returned to looking at the scale item (distractor) for the duration an image was displayed. The presence of a distractor caused learners to look at less of an image than when a distractor was not present. Learners who received signaling tended to look at the distractor less, look at the geology more, and surveyed more of the photograph than learners who did not receive signaling. The San Antonio area in the southern part of the Baja California Peninsula is host to hydrothermal gold deposits. A field study, including drill-core analysis and detailed geologic mapping, was conducted to determine the types of mineralization present, the types of structures present, and the relationship between the two. This investigation revealed that two phases of mineralization have occurred in the area; the first is hydrothermal deposition of gold associated with sulfide deposits and the second is oxidation of sulfides to hematite, goethite, and jarosite. Mineralization varies as a function of depth, whereas sulfides occurring at depth, while minerals indicative of oxidation are limited to shallow depths. A structural analysis revealed that the oldest structures in the study area include low-grade to medium-grade metamorphic foliation and ductile mylonitic shear zones overprinted by brittle-ductile mylonitic fabrics, which were later overprinted by brittle deformation. Both primary and secondary mineralization in the area is restricted to the later brittle features. Alteration-bearing structures have an average NNW strike consistent with northeast-southwest-directed extension, whereas unaltered structures have an average NNE strike consistent with more recent northwest-southeast-directed extension.

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2011

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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

Description

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

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.

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2011

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Effects of fault segmentation, mechanical interaction, and structural complexity on earthquake-generated deformation

Description

Earth's topographic surface forms an interface across which the geodynamic and geomorphic engines interact. This interaction is best observed along crustal margins where topography is created by active faulting and sculpted by geomorphic processes. Crustal deformation manifests as earthquakes at

Earth's topographic surface forms an interface across which the geodynamic and geomorphic engines interact. This interaction is best observed along crustal margins where topography is created by active faulting and sculpted by geomorphic processes. Crustal deformation manifests as earthquakes at centennial to millennial timescales. Given that nearly half of Earth's human population lives along active fault zones, a quantitative understanding of the mechanics of earthquakes and faulting is necessary to build accurate earthquake forecasts. My research relies on the quantitative documentation of the geomorphic expression of large earthquakes and the physical processes that control their spatiotemporal distributions. The first part of my research uses high-resolution topographic lidar data to quantitatively document the geomorphic expression of historic and prehistoric large earthquakes. Lidar data allow for enhanced visualization and reconstruction of structures and stratigraphy exposed by paleoseismic trenches. Lidar surveys of fault scarps formed by the 1992 Landers earthquake document the centimeter-scale erosional landforms developed by repeated winter storm-driven erosion. The second part of my research employs a quasi-static numerical earthquake simulator to explore the effects of fault roughness, friction, and structural complexities on earthquake-generated deformation. My experiments show that fault roughness plays a critical role in determining fault-to-fault rupture jumping probabilities. These results corroborate the accepted 3-5 km rupture jumping distance for smooth faults. However, my simulations show that the rupture jumping threshold distance is highly variable for rough faults due to heterogeneous elastic strain energies. Furthermore, fault roughness controls spatiotemporal variations in slip rates such that rough faults exhibit lower slip rates relative to their smooth counterparts. The central implication of these results lies in guiding the interpretation of paleoseismically derived slip rates that are used to form earthquake forecasts. The final part of my research evaluates a set of Earth science-themed lesson plans that I designed for elementary-level learning-disabled students. My findings show that a combination of concept delivery techniques is most effective for learning-disabled students and should incorporate interactive slide presentations, tactile manipulatives, teacher-assisted concept sketches, and student-led teaching to help learning-disabled students grasp Earth science concepts.

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2014

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Developing a Dual-Medium Virtual Environment for Geoscience Education Research and Teaching

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This project produced a dual-medium (traditional screen & virtual reality) virtual environment of Barnhardt Canyon, in Payson, Arizona. The project showcases two different approaches to developing a virtual environment with both being centered by 360 degree content. The virtual environment

This project produced a dual-medium (traditional screen & virtual reality) virtual environment of Barnhardt Canyon, in Payson, Arizona. The project showcases two different approaches to developing a virtual environment with both being centered by 360 degree content. The virtual environment allows a user to explore the area in a much more immersive way than offered by traditional media. Future uses of the project could include research on the educational efficacy of virtual reality content, or the project could be used as a teaching tool in geoscience classes.

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2020-12

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THE BLUE MOUND CHERT INVESTIGATING A TOPOGRAPHIC ANOMALY IN SOUTHERN WISCONSIN

Description

Blue Mound State Park, located in the state of Wisconsin (USA), is host to a topographic anomaly known as Blue Mound. This mound is the western of the two mounds that make up the park, and it marks the highest

Blue Mound State Park, located in the state of Wisconsin (USA), is host to a topographic anomaly known as Blue Mound. This mound is the western of the two mounds that make up the park, and it marks the highest elevation in southern Wisconsin. Unlike its eastern sibling, Blue Mound possesses an unusual chert cap that may have protected it from erosion, thus preserving its stratigraphic integrity. Although Blue Mound's unique chert armor was noted in 1927 by the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, no published work has satisfactorily explained its origin. As little was known about the formation of cherts until the mid-to-late 1900s, the Blue Mound cap was classified merely as a Silurian dolostone into which chert had somehow become integrated (Steidtmann). However, the published observations of the Blue Mound chert do not necessarily match with the classification granted by the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, nor were any convincing interpretations offered regarding the presence of the chert. Since 1927, significant progress in the field of sedimentology has been achieved. There now exists knowledge that may fill the gaps between observation and interpretation in the Blue Mound survey. The observations in the 1927 bulletin correspond with modern notions of a paleokarst chert breccia, which forms a chert rubble or residuum. A chert breccia is formed when existing clasts, or pieces, of chert become cemented together by further chert deposition (Kolodny, Chaussidon and Katz). This can form large boulders of chert rubble that resist erosion. Accumulation of chert rubble has been documented to form along old weathering surfaces as an insoluble residue in environments similar to Blue Mound (Kolodny, Chaussidon and Katz). The purpose of this investigation was to verify the observations within the 1927 survey of the Blue Mound chert, and determine through field observations and sample study if the Blue Mound chert fits the model of a paleokarst chert breccia.

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2013-05

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Shear-zone hosted gold and silver deposits in the Sierra Cacachilas, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Description

The historic Cacachilas mining district is located in Baja California Sur, approximately 20 kilometers east of La Paz, and has a series of gold- and silver-hosted veins, faults, and shear zones within Cretaceous granodioritic plutons. The remote geographic location and

The historic Cacachilas mining district is located in Baja California Sur, approximately 20 kilometers east of La Paz, and has a series of gold- and silver-hosted veins, faults, and shear zones within Cretaceous granodioritic plutons. The remote geographic location and past political events within Mexico left the district essentially unexplored after the late 1800s, when the Mexican Revolution began. More recent discovery of gold deposits along the Baja peninsula instigated a renewed interest in mineralization in the Sierra Cacachilas. The area lacks detailed previous geologic data, so this study focused on characterizing the controls of mineralization and the locations of mineralized trends of deposits within the northeastern Sierra Cacachilas, with a goal toward helping assess economic viability of the deposits. I mapped surficial geologic data, such as outcrop locations, alteration assemblages, limonite intensities, and structural measurements. I then synthesized these into geologic maps and cross sections. I combined field data with geochemical assays and structural plots to better characterize individual historic district trends and newly located trends to understand the distribution of mineralization at surface and at depth. Lastly, I synthesized geology of the Sierra Cacachilas with other gold and silver deposits located in the southern Baja peninsula to better characterize the mineralization and deposit style of the Cacachilas district.

Mineralization in the northeastern Sierra Cacachilas is mainly restricted to steeply dipping quartz veins, faults, and brittle-ductile shear zones that trend generally northeast. Some veins are en-echelon within the mineralized zones, implying some lateral movement along the zones. Veins are dominated by milky to clear quartz with trace sulfides, abundant limonite (after sulfides), and local open-space textures. Mineralization is interpreted to be intermediate between classic epithermal and mesothermal veins. Within mineralized trends and commonly associated with mineralization are greisen-like zones that are defined by intense sericitic to muscovitic overprint, trend northeast, and are with or without sulfides. The intensity of sulfide abundance and limonitic alteration after sulfides within and near mineralized zones is overall a good guide to mineralization. Based on past reports and on my recent studies, the Cacachilas district has very promising potential for relatively small, high-grade deposits.

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2015

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Students' understanding of weathering and erosion

Description

Conceptual change has been a large part of science education research for several decades due to the fact that it allows teachers to think about what students' preconceptions are and how to change these to the correct scientific conceptions. To

Conceptual change has been a large part of science education research for several decades due to the fact that it allows teachers to think about what students' preconceptions are and how to change these to the correct scientific conceptions. To have students change their preconceptions teachers need to allow students to confront what they think they know in the presence of the phenomena. Students then collect and analyze evidence pertaining to the phenomena. The goal in the end is for students to reorganize their concepts and change or correct their preconceptions, so that they hold more accurate scientific conceptions. The purpose of this study was to investigate how students' conceptions of the Earth's surface, specifically weathering and erosion, change using the conceptual change framework to guide the instructional decisions. The subjects of the study were a class of 25 seventh grade students. This class received a three-week unit on weathering and erosion that was structured using the conceptual change framework set by Posner, Strike, Hewson, and Gertzog (1982). This framework starts by looking at students' misconceptions, then uses scientific data that students collect to confront their misconceptions. The changes in students' conceptions were measured by a pre concept sketch and post concept sketch. The results of this study showed that the conceptual change framework can modify students' preconceptions of weathering and erosion to correct scientific conceptions. There was statistical significant difference between students' pre concept sketches and post concept sketches scores. After examining the concept sketches, differences were found in how students' concepts had changed from pre to post concept sketch. Further research needs to be done with conceptual change and the geosciences to see if conceptual change is an effective method to use to teach students about the geosciences.

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Date Created
2011

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A study on how the public uses the landscape to understand principles of geologic time while experiencing the Trail of Time interpretative exhibit In Grand Canyon National Park

Description

The spectacular geological panoramas of Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) motivate the curiosity of visitors about geology. However, there is little research on how well these visitors understand the basic geologic principles on display in the Canyon walls. The new

The spectacular geological panoramas of Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) motivate the curiosity of visitors about geology. However, there is little research on how well these visitors understand the basic geologic principles on display in the Canyon walls. The new Trail of Time (ToT) interpretative exhibit along the South Rim uses Grand Canyon vistas to teach these principles. Now being visited by thousands daily, the ToT is a uniquely valuable setting for research on informal learning of geologic time and other basic geologic concepts. At the ToT, visitors are not only asked to comprehend a linear timeline, but to associate it with the strata exposed in the walls of the Canyon. The research addressed two primary questions: (1) how do visitors of the National Park use elements of the geologic landscape of the Grand Canyon to explain fundamental principles of relative geologic time? and (2) how do visitors reconcile the relationship between the horizontal ToT timeline and the vertical encoding of time in the strata exposed in the Canyon walls? Semi-structured interviews tracked participants' understanding of the ToT exhibit and of basic principles of geologic time. Administering the verbal analysis method of Chi (1997) to the interview transcripts, the researcher identified emergent themes related to how the respondents utilized the landscape to answer interview questions. Results indicate that a majority of respondents are able to understand principles of relative geologic time by utilizing both the observed and inferred landscape of Grand Canyon. Results also show that by applying the same integrated approach to the landscape, a majority of respondents are able to reconcile stratigraphic time with the horizontal ToT timeline. To gain deeper insight into the cognitive skills activated to correctly understand geologic principles the researcher used Dodick and Orion's application of Montangero's (1996) diachronic thinking model to code responses into three schemes: (1) transformation, (2) temporal organization, and (3) interstage linkage. Results show that correct responses required activation of the temporal organization scheme or the more advanced interstage linkage scheme. Appropriate application of these results can help inform the development of future outdoor interpretive geoscience exhibits.

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2011