• Harvey Thorleifson, Chair
    Minnesota Geological Survey
  • Carrie Jennings, Vice Chair
    Minnesota Geological Survey
  • David Bush, Technical Program Chair
    University of West Georgia
  • Jim Miller, Field Trip Chair
    University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Curtis M. Hudak, Sponsorship Chair
    Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC


Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 10:00 AM


YARBROUGH, Lance D.1, VAN OPLOO, Angelle2, PADGETT, Alexander2 and KRIEGER, Amanda2, (1)Geology and Geological Engineering and Petroleum Engineering Program, University of North Dakota, 81 Cornell Street Stop 8358, Grand Forks, ND 58202, (2)Geology and Geological Engineering, University of North Dakota, 81 Cornell Street Stop 8358, Grand Forks, ND 58202,

Field mapping—it is a necessary skill all geologists and geological engineers should have. Some geologic maps and interpretations were completed before plate tectonics was widely accepted. Also the scale at which the data was collected and interpreted was on county and regional scales. Today geologic interpretation requires data at the local, macro and micro scales. Discontinuities that exist for only 1–10 meters are critical to slope analysis. Accurate orientation of foliation planes in metamorphic rock is needed to properly model groundwater flow. There is little data to support these scales and each new site requires a proper geologic field investigation. As new tools and methods are employed to reach these scales, each must be evaluated, characterized and compared for effectiveness.

With the explosion of mobile applications for iPhone, iPod, Android, etc. there is a need to investigate their use in field geology. Primarily the devices were viewed in the context of pedagogical tools but their applications in research and consulting were evaluated and compared to current field methods.

The goal of the research was not to compare one application to another or one product to another but to characterize their use in the field and suggest methodologies for their use. We compared them to current teaching and/or research tools. We characterized the benefits and pitfalls. Lastly, we evaluated the use of mobile applications in the field for collection of geologic data and compared the economics of faster data collection and the apparent sacrifice of accuracy and reliability. Evaluations were primarily conducted by undergraduate student researchers.

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