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The approach to teaching geologic map interpretation described in the materials departs significantly from the typical approach, which commonly involves defining strike and dip and types of contacts, drawing cross sections in areas with no topography and working with paper block models and PlayDoh for visualiztion, teaching outcrop patterns and rule of Vs in areas with topography, and then having students practice map interpretation and cross section construction. The approach describe in materials listed here uses the powerful 3D viewing capability and the remarkable satellite images of Google Earth to help students really visualize structures. The approach does the following: * Emphasizes mapping before map interpretation in order to help students visualize, rather than memorize. * Starts by having students do geologic mapping in Google Earth before they know anything about strike, dip, or types of contacts. * Has students work first with inclined units and contacts in areas with topographic relief, using Google Earth 3D view to develop an understanding of dip. * Has students sketch simple cross sections of their own geologic maps and use Google Earth 3D view to help them visualize the relationships. * Derives strike after students understand dip. * Has students work with vertical contacts next, then horizontal contacts, and, finally, folded and faulted contacts. * Gives students lots of practice in mapping in Google Earth and creating their own cross sections in areas of increasing complexity. * Follows with interpretation of existing geologic maps coupled with use of maps in the field.
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