Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-4:15 PM
USING GIS AND GOOGLE EARTH TO MAKE REGIONAL MEASUREMENTS AND INFER GEOLOGIC STRUCTURES IN ORDER TO DEVELOP WORKING HYPOTHESES BEFORE GOING INTO THE FIELD
Aerial imagery and topographic maps are tried and true methods used by geologists for the purposes surveying an area before going out into the field. With the availability of GIS data in programs such as Google Earth, professionals and students alike can use modern tools to follow in the classic method. On a regional scale, rock orientation and geologic structures can be explored and multiple working hypotheses can be developed for investigation in the field. In this study we look at the northern Cainesville Mesa near Cainesville, UT. Sparse vegetation, contrasting exposures, and USGS topographic data allow for the development of working hypotheses concerning structures in the area. We could readily discern a monocline made up of sandstones and shales, underlain by colorful shale-mudstones. Strike and dip of the monocline is approximated using the three-point method that utilizes UTM and elevation data to calculate rock orientation. A cross section can be developed for the area, which deepens ones understanding of what one would encounter. There are of course limits to this approach, dependent on the quality of imagery and topographic data resolution, but at the very least the potent combination of aerial imagery and topography provides a broad stroke vision of the field site, and thus can save time and money for a geologist hitting the field for the first time.