2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 2–5, 2003)

Paper No. 13
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


ABDELSALAM, Mohamed G., Geoscience, Univ of Texas at Dallas, 2601 North Floyd Rd, PO Box 830688, Richardson, TX 75083-0688, XU, Xueming, Center for Lithosheric Studies, Univ. of Texas at Dallas, 2601 N. Floyd RD, Richardson, TX 75074 and AIKEN, Carlos L.V., Department of Geosciences, Univ of Texas at Dallas, P.O. Box 830688, Richardson, TX 75083-0688, abdels@utdallas.edu

The world is three-dimensional (3D) and the future of geosciences will be increasingly quantitative; therefore, these elements should be reflected in the educational environment. Visualization will always be a fundamental part of Earth Science education so we have developed a unique technology to digitally capture geological features in 3D, and create photo-realistic models at a centimeter-level spatial resolution and accuracy. These digital geological outcrop models can be displayed and described in traditional fashion, or viewed from any perspective, analyzed geometrically even at the scale of a hand specimen, and globally positioned for easy correlation/integration. 3D models of significant outcrops in the US and Europe have been built utilizing this technology. Universities and oil companies are using our models, and displaying them in various virtual visualization systems for analysis and for training programs. The application for teaching geology at K-12, undergraduate, and graduate-level is obvious and we envision the application in introductory courses at all levels. These models would allow “virtual field trips” to be made at all scales, “flying” around geological outcrops on the computer or in a virtual immersive system, before or after going into the field. Our outcrop models are being used in our courses, and other universities for teaching undergraduate-level introductory geology courses. We are collaborating with a local community college and with K-12 teachers to examine how these models could be utilized in their courses as well.