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This exercise is part of a field trip lab in which we see map different till deposits. At a small, meandering sand-bed river in Minnesota, students are directed to wander along the riverbank and pick up gravel-sized rocks. When they each have a handful, I lay a table-sized, laminated map of Minnesota bedrock geology on the ground. I ask the students to identify their rocks, then find the corresponding bedrock units on the map and throw their rocks down in those regions. Soon we have a pile of rocks in northwestern Minnesota into Canada (weathered shales, weathered limestones), northern and northeastern Minnesota (granites, gneisses, basalts and rhyolites if we are lucky) and central Minnesota (dolomite, sandstones, granites). This visually demonstrates that glaciers transported stones from many distant locations and brought them here to southern Minnesota. In addition, we talk about how the river is down-cutting through consecutive layers of till and mixing those particles together in the stream deposits. The exercise gives students practice in identifying rocks, reading maps, and synthesizing different fields of geology to answer a geomorphic question about glacial transport. Designed for a geomorphology course Has minimal/no quantitative component
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