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Sidewalks provide a good analog for the study of fractures when outcrops are not available. This exercise is taught as the first lab of the semester in an undergraduate structural geology course. Students learn to make systematic observations, measure the orientation and location of fractures, manipulate and analyze data, and consider some kinematic and dynamic questions regarding the origin and significance of fractures. Their experiences are also used later in the course to reinforce key concepts of brittle deformation. Done as a group project, it emphasizes the importance of group work and encourages students to propose and defend their ideas.
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