2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)
Paper No. 210-46
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
INTEGRATING TECTONIC PROCESSES WITH STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY, SEDIMENTOLOGY, AND ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY USING A DEFORMATION SANDBOX MODEL
CHRISTENSEN, Peter Daniel, Physical Science, Southern Utah University, 264 South 800 West, Cedar City, UT 84720 and MACLEAN, John S., Geology, Southern Utah University, SC 309, 351 West University Boulevard, Cedar City, UT 84720, email@example.com
Southern Utah is situated in the transition zone between the Basin and Range Province and the Colorado Plateau. The unique area has undergone both contractional deformation during the Sevier Orogeny and extensional deformation from the Hurricane Fault Zone. The rich geologic record exposed here highlights how plate tectonics influence structural geology, sedimentology, and environmental geology. To help Southern Utah University geology majors understand how tectonic processes control many subfields of geology, a deformation sandbox, described by Del Casto and Cook, was used. Students modeled both the Sevier Orogeny and Hurricane Fault Zone, allowing students to observe the creation and current condition of Southern Utah’s geological setting both on the surface and in the subsurface of the model. The lessons complemented Southern Utah University students’ ample field experiences as they connected classroom concepts to the outside world.
The sandbox model was utilized during three exercises throughout the semester, each focusing on a different branch of geology. Students sketched and recorded their observations in their field notebooks during each experiment, and they applied their observations to in-class projects and discussions. Student learning outcomes included inquiry and analysis, integrated learning, and problem solving. Pre- and post-assessments measured the effectiveness of the sandbox models and associated exercises.