Northeastern Section - 56th Annual Meeting - 2021

Paper No. 4-4
Presentation Time: 9:05 AM


SPECTOR, Ashlyn1, NEITZKE ADAMO, Lauren2, MILLER, Kenneth3, ROWAN, Christian M.1 and BROWNING, James V.4, (1)Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, 610 Taylor Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, (2)Rutgers University Geology Museum Office of STEM Education, 85 Somerset St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1281, (3)Rutgers University610 Taylor Road, Earth & Planetary Sci, 610 Taylor Rd, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8066, (4)Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854

In the time of COVID-19 where group interaction and formal educational gatherings have halted, virtual lesson supplements are needed now more than ever. Virtual field trips also offer greater accessibility to earth science students without being physically in the field. We chose an outcrop in the Newark Basin along the Delaware River 3.0-3.5 km north of Milford, NJ, known as Pebble Bluff. Through high-resolution drone and 360 camera imagery, as well as Structure from Motion (SfM) and LIME 3D Visualization software, we created 3D models of the outcrop, related hand samples, and drill core in conjunction with current stratigraphic and lithologic information. Extensive background information for the site and its use in current sedimentary geology coursework makes it an ideal candidate to be recreated virtually and integrated into curriculum.

The Pebble Bluff section exposes the Upper Triassic (ca. 215 Ma) Perkasie Member of the Passaic Formation that consists of predominant matrix supported and subordinate grain-supported conglomerates interbedded with sandstones, representing debris flows and wash out deposits on an alluvial fan formed by the border faults (Olsen and Kent 1992). The upper 15 m of the section contains two 7.5 m thick cycles punctuated by cross-bedded sandstone and shales, indicating a lacustrine shoreline and deep lake deposits controlled by short ~20 kyr precessional cycle (Van Houten 1969, Olsen et al. 1996). This cyclicity can clearly be seen in the outcrop and tied to existing cores and outcrops away from the border fault in lacustrine strata. The outcrop’s cyclicity and diverse lithology make the site well suited for exploring sedimentological and stratigraphic concepts.

The learning objectives are for students to 1) identify different lithologies and sedimentary features; 2) recognize stratigraphic patterns in the outcrop that relate to cyclicity, and 3) relate cyclicity to climate change. SfM was used to make 3D models of the outcrop, hand samples, and corresponding sedimentary drill cores from the site. 360 videos and photographs were used to show finer-scale sedimentary details and structures. Although this collection of resources cannot replace the field, it allows students to make similar measurements and observations as they would when walking alongside an actual outcrop.