2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 25
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


ZHONG, Jian, ANTONELLINI, Marco and AYDIN, Atilla, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford Univ, Stanford, CA 94305, zhongj@pangea.stanford.edu

We present and discuss the educational aspect of the Structural Geology Knowledge Base (SGKB), a browser-based system that organizes knowledge and information in structural geology with an emphasis on mechanics and properties of fractures and faults. Furthermore, SGKB provide interactive web tools for classroom activities, such as exercises and tests.

SGKB organizes knowledge in the form of domain ontology, which not only enumerates concepts, but also defines their attributes, constrains, interrelationships, and the constraints on these relationships. Our ontology represents the intrinsic conceptual structures of the domain knowledge, with the majority of concepts organized under deformation processes, structures, and the petrophysical properties of deformed rocks.

Access to our knowledge base is facilitated by user-friendly web interfaces. The ontology can be browsed and searched; and representative journal articles, photos, and guide books are provided in digital format or by appropriate links. In addition, using the ontology, our web tools provide means for education and training, as well as for investigation into a wide range of practical and professional problems. Currently, SGKB has tools that describe various deformation mechanisms and associated fracture types. It also has tools that estimate the geometry, distribution, and petrophysical properties of fractures and faults. These web tools can be run individually or as a series. Explanations of the logic followed by the web tools are also provided.

The advantage of the SGKB with respect to traditional techniques is that there is no limit for the amount of information presented, locating information is easier and faster, and the knowledge database can be readily updated. The SGKB also facilitates communication and interaction among students and teachers.