2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 35-5
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


BUCHANAN, Tyler J., CAWTHERN, Thomas R. and HARRIS, Dan W., Department of Geography and Geosciences, Salisbury University, 1101 Camden Ave, Salisbury, MD 21801, tbuchanan1@gulls.salisbury.edu

Maryland is host to a diverse suite of rock types spanning all ages of geologic time. While these rocks have been widely studied, detailed field data and formation characteristics are generally difficult to access, particularly for students, teachers, and industry professionals, creating a disconnect between the science and potential users of this information. Several resources exist that help guide prospective geologists to locate rocks of interest (e.g., Burns, 1991; Means, 2010), but these resources are not comprehensively organized and contain a limited spatial and temporal geologic coverage. Modern field mapping and database development approaches, including the use of digital photography and GigaPan technologies have, however, paved the way for improved access to these data and are important avenues for enhancing classroom learning outcomes by bringing the field into the lab. The goal of this research project was to compile information (e.g., outcrop accessibility, fossils content) on outcrops located adjacent to major highways and byways in Maryland from disparate sources to create an interactive map of publically accessible outcrops throughout Maryland. A subset of these outcrops were also photodocumented using GigaPan technology and uploaded for web-based public access. These data were compiled and organized to create an ArcGIS Online web application that can be utilized by students, teachers, researchers, and industry professionals to better study the geology of Maryland. This work is part of an ongoing effort to provide geologists, environmental scientists, land use planners, and educators with field data that can be readily studied remotely, at home, in the lab, or at the office. This project provides a standard framework that may be easily expanded to provide similar information for surrounding states, particularly as increased benefit and outcomes are realized through crowdsourcing (Whitmeyer and De Paor, 2014).