Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 9:30 AM


SUNDERLIN, David1, MALINCONICO, Lawrence L.1, LIEW, Chun-Wai2, MCKNIGHT, Lucy I.2 and PASSMORE, Jonathan T.2, (1)Geology & Environmental Geosciences, Lafayette College, Van Wickle Hall, Easton, PA 18042, (2)Computer Science, Lafayette College, Easton, PA 18042,

The construction of a measured stratigraphic column is among the first steps in a geologic field study for both professional and novice geologists. Indeed the data in the column are necessary for interpretation of up-section changes of depositional environments or mapping regional/local deformation within a field area. Traditionally stratigraphic columns have either been drawn on graph paper in the field or translated into a diagram from field notes. However, publications and student reports often require that the hand-drawn column or written descriptions of lithologies be converted to digital form. StratLogger is a digital application (“app”) for iOS (iPad) that creates a digital strat column while data are being collected in the field. The app not only aids in streamlining the process of stratigraphic data collection and its digital depiction, pedagogically it allows students to move quickly from simple data collection to hypothesis testing and data interpretation while out in the field.

In StratLogger, the user records bed thickness, lithofacies, biofacies, and contact data in preset and modifiable fields. Each bed/unit record may also be photographed and location referenced by the iPad’s onboard camera and GPS. As each record is collected, a column diagram of the stratigraphic sequence builds in the app, complete with lithology color, lithology texture, and fossil symbols. The recorded data from any measured stratigraphic sequence can be exported as both the live-drawn column image and as a .csv formatted file for use in spreadsheet or other applications.

We believe that the pedagogical value of the app comes in (1) guiding students through appropriate data collection from individual stratigraphic layers and contacts, (2) depicting the data in column form as the students describe the sequence of layers, and (3) asking students to consider their data regarding facies and environmental interpretation with intermittent reflection prompts. With StratLogger, the stratigraphic dataset and digital stratigraphic columns are available while in the field. We hypothesize that as beginning geology students use this technology, they will be better able to understand trends and/or cycles in depositional sequences and hypothesize the paleoenvironments they represent.