GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 265-8
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


TRIANTAFYLLOU, Antoine, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, LE MOUELIC, Stephane, Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique, Université de Nantes, Nantes, 44322, France and L'HARIDON, Jonas, European Science Foundation, ESF, 1 Quai Lezay-Marnesia, Strasbourg, 67000, France

Building high-resolution Digital Outcrop Models (DOM) has become an essential tool for modern geoscientists. Such 3D models show widespread applications across the geosciences, such as the characterization of inaccessible geological structures (even on other planets), the investigation of geomorphological processes, and the evaluation of natural resources and geohazard assessments. This contribution illustrates how DOMs can also constitute a great framework for teaching and outreach purposes. Indeed, while the acquisition of such 3D models is relatively easy, taking full advantage of 3D rendering during data presentation and proposing a teaching application in user-friendly conditions may be trickier. Nevertheless, several tools/approaches already exist, including simple Virtual Reality (VR) systems such as Google Cardboard – and/or more sophisticated but more expensive alternatives – that can be used to create an immersive virtual field experience. Through it, users can explore realistic 3D reconstitutions of geology outcrop and/or post-processed 3D models for geosciences training, teaching and geocommunication purposes. In addition, Augmented Reality (AR) systems can superimpose spatialized geological information and scientific interpretations over real outcrops using smartphone camera, sensors and a dedicated app.

Several demo examples of such immersive experiments will provide an opportunity to discuss methodology, applicability, workflow and guidelines to help geosciences teachers to create and build their own 3D digital outcrop models from the data acquisition in the field up to its integration in a virtual world using Unity software framework and VR systems.