Cordilleran Section - 97th Annual Meeting, and Pacific Section, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (April 9-11, 2001)

Paper No. 0
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM-5:00 PM


BENDER, E. E., Dept. of Geology, Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Rd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626,

The Global Positioning System (GPS) allows extremely accurate geodetic measuremets of tectonic strain through a network of ground survey points that are reacquired on a weekly to monthly basis. Over the past 4 years, students at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, CA have been engaged in such research, measuring crustal motions along fault zones in Orange, southeastern Los Angles, western Riverside, northern San Diego, and southwestern San Bernardino counties of California. Data from this network serve to clarify how the strain accumulated by crustal movements is distributed across this region. Students are exposed to the complexities in implementing and maintaining such a network, including monumentation issues, generating differentially corrected station positions and velocities. The Impulse Laser Rangefinder (ILR) allows quick and convenient measurements of distance, height, and vertical angles. Combined with the Mapstar electronic compass, the ILR works seamlessly with GPS equipment comprising many potential mapping solutions, including landslide motions. Together these data are then presented utilizing Geographic Information System (GIS) software. The goals of this projects are to : 1) Introduce a level of scientific expertise as a stimulant towards further study in science; 2) Use group oriented procedures to increase student awareness of workplace interactions and organization; and, 3) Teach self-reliance and confidence by providing direct instrument manipulation, and through presentation of collected data. Finally, with the technology literally within their grasp, students have been repetitively trained in observational methods from laboratory/field work. The unique observational experience has provided an exceptional science setting where students have the opportunity to question, investigate, and obtain answers for themselves pertaining to earthquakes or other surface processes.