12.114/12.115 Field Geology

Fall (12.114)/ IAP and Spring (12.115).

How do good rocks go bad?

Fall term: Class preparation for 4 week intensive field mapping project in Nevada and California during January IAP. The Fall course consists primarily of an introduction the field area and its geological context. Introduction to digital mapping techniques also takes place with sessions devoted to GIS training. A few daytrips to local areas complement classroom instruction.

The bulk of the course takes place during IAP term in January. There, a month-long intensive field session is taught in the southwestern desert. The focus changes from year to year with the choice of field areas (in general, the class addresses the "white spots" on maps rather than re-visiting known and perhaps more straightforward areas). Students are introduced to geological and geomorphological mapping techniques in a wide variety of bedrock and surficial environments using both traditional (topographic and photographic base maps, eg.) and modern, digital data collection techniques.

The Spring term involves the production of maps, cross-sections and reports. This course counts as a MIT "phase II" writing requirement, so a heavy emphasis is placed on acquiring the skills to write clear, precise scientific prose. Weekly drafts are submitted multiple times and subject to intense scrutiny.

    Maps and figures - Devil Peak camp (2002) 
PDF map
GIF map

GIS Data

Maps and cross-sections produced during the 2002 field season in the Southern Spring Mountains, Nevada- California state line.

Selected photos from the 2002 field camp.
    Digital Geology Resources

MIT Center for Digital Geology (MCDIG) webpage. Digital geology tools and techniques, implemented and in development.

 INSTRUCTORS: B. Clark Burchfiel Kip V. Hodges


Polydeformed Cambrian turbites exposed at Beavertail point, R.I. (Photo: SOA)

Last updated May 15,2002.