2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 14
Presentation Time: 5:05 PM


CHOH, Suk Joo, Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712 and MILLIKEN, Kitty L., Geological Sciences, The Univ of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C1100, Austin, TX 78712-0254, sjchoh@mail.utexas.edu

Petrographic studies and experiences for the undergraduate geoscience majors are slowly being extinguished from curricula because of the advent of new disciplines and courses, and also as a consequence of the labor-intensive, high-cost nature of petrographic instruction. However, the need to train students to understand and interpret the complex natural systems that require visual assessment has not diminished. The preservation of this vital skill in the modern curriculum requires that new, cost-effective and time-saving methods be devised. Following on the successful development of an interactive sandstone petrology tutorial, a proof-of-concept version of interactive carbonate petrology tutorial DVD-ROM is being built. With nearly two thousand catalogued thin sections and corresponding hand specimens of carbonate rocks collected around the world during last 50 years by Dr. Folk and his colleagues, the carbonate teaching collection at The University of Texas at Austin provides a unique resource for the construction of a digital carbonate tutorial. Because of the wide spectrum of textures and sizes of allochems in carbonate, a new approach for acquiring and authoring images is being tested. The proof-of-concept version utilizes up to 10 multi-layered PDF virtual carbonate thin sections each about 100 MB in size. This carbonate tutorial serves the longer-term mission of devising the means by which complex expert knowledge about natural materials can be effectively preserved and passed to the next generation. We hope that the already available sandstone tutorial (Milliken et al. 2002) and this carbonate tutorial will constitute a viable blueprint that sparks emulations in igneous, metamorphic, and structural petrology, as well as paleontology and other fields of geoscience.