Paper No. 140-20
Presentation Time: 1:45 PM
ANALYZING PALEOCURRENTS IN MARINE-MARGINAL MARINE CRETACEOUS STRATA WHILE DEVELOPING A SCHEMA FOR FIELD WORK: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Considering the recent focus on the importance of undergraduate field research, the purpose of this research project is multi-faceted in scope; research was conducted in an effort to provide a scientific analysis of a natural phenomenon as well as for the purpose of becoming familiar with working in the field itself. There is a disconnect between the concepts learned in the classroom and the ways these concepts present themselves in the field. For example, geological features such as bedforms are often presented in the classroom as existing within discrete, exclusive categories, but during field work, students encounter a continuum of form along which these geological features actually occur. The scientific objective of this study is to investigate the orientation and magnitude of marine/marginal marine paleocurrents in the Cretaceous Dakota Formation at Dinosaur Ridge, Morrison, Colorado. Data collected in the field are organized using stereonets, rose diagrams, and other geospatial analytical tools in order to recognize and analyze geologic patterns and anomalies. A primary behavioral goal of this undergraduate research project is to gain experience using scientific tools and techniques for data collection, management, and analysis. An associated, broader goal of this study is to gain a better understanding of the very nature of geologic field work and the realities of practice that lie between observation and interpretation.