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Field Geology

Ibrahim M.J. Mohialdeen,

Lecture 4
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Subject: Field measurements and Techniques ( Part II)
* lecturers name: Ibrahim M.J. Mohialdeen
* Contacts: Tel: 0770 142 6262, Email:
*Subject objective:
The techniques required in the field also include sample collecting from
different rocks and sediments. In this lecture you will learn about collecting
samples and how to determine fossils. The field photography is one of the most
important techniques too. What are the subjects to be photographed and what
are not necessary?
*Scientific content of the subject:
Reviewing strike and dip
Sample collecting in the field
*Subject references:
-Tucker,MC., 1988, Techniques in sedimentology, Blackwell scientific publ., 394p.
-Stow, D.A.V., 2005, Sedimentary Rocks in the Field: A color Guide.
-Barnes, J.W., 1995, Basic Geological Mapping, 3rd ed., John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, 133p.
-Compton, R.R., 1962, Manual of Filed Geology, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 378p.
-Lahee, F.H., 1961, Field Geology,6th ed., McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 926p.
-Mikhailov,A.Ye.,1987, Structural geology and geological mapping, Mir Publishers, Moscow,
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Lecture 4:
Field measurements and techniques
Part II
Reviewing the ideas of the attitude of
Quiz on the plotting the data of strike
and dip on the map
Any question you may have.
Measurement of stratigraphic section
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Discussion on the first field trip.
Any suggestion you may have.
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Measurement of stratigraphic sections
Measurement of strata on a slope by reference to stretched
Note the projection of contact between units 2 and 3 to the
(after Compton , 1962, Tucker, 1988).
1-Measure the slope of the surface along with the strike and
dip of the beds.
2-read the apparent thickness of beds, bedsets or facies
units from the stretched tape.
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3-correct for both slope angles
and oblique sections
4-keep readings separate
between changes of slope.
(a) correction of slope distance
that was measured oblique to
the dip of the beds.
(b)Formulae used for various
combinations of direction and
amount of ground slope and
dip of beds.
(after Compton, 1962)
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In the case of steeply
inclined strata relative
to the surface of
measurement, the tape
can be used as small
Jacob staff with
reasonable accuracy.
An alternative to the
use of a tape, where
terrain permits, is to
use a graduated pole
termed Jacob staff.
(After Tucker, 1988)
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Specimen collecting
Collecting samples from different rocks, fossils and soils is
another process in the field. Not necessary the number
of samples be big, sometimes the a few number will be
enough to representative the rock unit.
The size of specimen is depended on the purpose you wish
to put it to, not on what you think you can carry.
See your rock cutter before you go into the field to see
what it needs for thin-sectioning. Try to collect both
types of samples weathered and fresh surfaces.
Mark sedimentary rock specimens to show which is their
top. Metamorphic specimens may need to be oriented so
that directional thin sections can be cut.
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Marking specimens:
Rock specimens are best marked with a waterproof felt-
tipped pen or, for dark rocks , a yellow timber crayon or a
numbered piece of sticking plaster.
Wrap specimens in newspaper to protect them from
bruising and to spare your rucksack.
In camp, scrub your specimens, dry them and then add a
spot of white paint, later number the spot with the black
paint , not Indian ink, which easily rubs off.
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Collecting samples of fossils from
different rocks need different
methods. Some fossils are
easy to remove from their
parent rock, others are not.
Many other fossils are casts or
impressions in the rock; again
collect the piece of rock
containing them. Collect both
external and internal casts,
both are important.
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Booking specimens
Log specimen in your notebook immediately
you have collected them. Preferably write
their number in the left-hand margin, so
that their details can be easily relocated.
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Shipping specimens
Geological specimens are heavy and if shipped in
a box which is too large can only accepted as
freight. Smaller boxes, which one man can lift,
can go much more quickly by passenger
Mark your name and address on the top and sides,
Never write ore specimens or mineral specimens.
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Field photography:
A camera is an asset in the field.
The only important specification is that it
should not have a fixed focus lens.
Whenever you take a picture, make a
sketch of the scene in your notebook to
show what to look for in the photographic
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Good photo
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Bad photo
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