VIRTUAL FIELD WORK AT THE WHALEBACK ANTICLINE: MEASURING FOLD GEOMETRY IN A WEBGL-BASED GAME
We are building the game in Unity3D, an agnostic gaming engine, with a Structure-from-Motion-derived polygonal model of the strip mine as the primary terrain. We published the game to WebGL, a platform supported by standard web browsers, to provide the greatest accessibility to our students remotely. After short presentations on fold geometry and a brief refresher on stereonets, the students received a link to the game and a related assignment. With the game’s tailored measurement and plotting tools, the students generated three deliverables: a map of the folds with bedding attitudes and fold axes on an orthophoto of the strip mine; a profile of the bedding surface interpolated across covered sections; and stereonets of poles to bedding and best-fit fold axes along three scanlines. The assignment also included tasks involving objective descriptions, the observations of meso-scale structures, and assessment of the quality of the strike-and-dip measurements. Ultimately we aim to produce a game with robust data-collection tools and limited narrative that will open a multitude of pedagogical opportunities for geology instructors.