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Name__________________________________________ Period____________

Greater Burlington Field Trip

Modified from University of Vermont Intro to Geology Labs


Explain Data Proposing synthesizing and evaluating alternative explanations for experimental results

EARTH SCIENCE CONTENT Forces and Changes on the Earths Surface - Students demonstrate their understanding of Processes and Change over Time within Earth Systems

What you will need to bring: water snacks lab write-up yellow book pencil shoes that are safe for scrambling up a rock face (NO FLIPFLOPS)

Pre Field Trip Background: We are going to be visiting interesting geological sites in the greater Burlington area. All of these locations help us recreate and understand the geological history of the region. Stop 1: Fisk Quarry Isle la Motte Stop2: Lessor Quarry South Hero Stop 3: The Beam South Hero Stop 4: Salmon Hole Burlington Stop 5: Lone Rock Point Burlington The following table is a simplified stratigraphic column of the various rock formations found in the Champlain Valley. A stratigraphic column shows the order in which rock layers were deposited with the youngest rock formations listed at the top and the oldest at the bottom. Due to deformation that took place in this region, many of these layers are now folded, faulted, and moved to new locations. It is like taking a completed puzzle and mixing up the pieces.
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Period Rock Formation

Ordovician Iberville Shale Stony Point Formation Cumberland Head Glens Falls Limestone Orwell Limestone Middlebury Limestone Bridport Dolomite Bascom Formation Cutting Dolomite Shelburne Marble Clarendon Springs Dolomite Danby Formation Winooski Dolomite Monkton Quartzite Dunham Dolomite Cheshire Quartzite

Exposure Locations
Lone Rock Point (Stop1) The Beam (Stop 4) Lessors Quarry (Stop 3)


Salmon Hole (Stop 2) Lone Rock Point (Stop 1)

Stop 1: Lone Rock Point

Purpose: To make observations of evidence and characteristics in rock along a fault zone. Introduction: This exposure of rocks on Lone Rock Point, Burlington, is internationally famous as an excellent example of a thrust fault (see figure on following page). This fault has moved Dunham Dolostone (550 million years ago Cambrian) on top of Iberville Shale (450 million years ago Ordovician). The fault extends from western Vermont northward into southern Quebec, about 75 miles. Thus, it is a major "break" in the earth's crust in this region. The fault zone includes the actual break in the rocks, the fault plane, plus the region around the fault where the rocks are deformed. You will get a chance to examine the features produced in rocks that have been deformed during periods of mountain building.

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THRUST vs. REVERSE FAULTS Note: A thrust fault is a reverse fault that moves along the fault plane at a low angle. Both a reverse fault and a thrust fault are breaks in the rock where older rock moves on top of younger rock. Label the appropriate type of stress and tectonic boundary necessary to produce each of the following faults.

Reverse Fault
Stress _________________ Boundary ______________

Thrust Fault
Older Rocks

Stress _________________ Boundary ______________

Younger Rocks

Normal Fault
Stress _________________ Boundary ______________

Procedure: We should always start with observations about what we are looking at, and good observations often start with sketches. So, in the space on the next page, sketch the cliff face in front of you. Label the Dunham Dolostone on top of the younger Iberville Shale, and the surface between them (the fault). A good sketch should have some kind of scale (perhaps one of your classmates standing there).
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Sketch Here:

Your sketch should show the Dunham Dolostone jutting out from the cliff more than the black Iberville Shale. Why do you think this is?

Observations about the fault zone: In small groups (wait until your teacher tells you it is your groups turn), scramble up the cliff to get right up to the contact between the shale and dolostone. You will be standing underneath the fault plane of the Dunham Dolostone. Clues on the surface of the rock will help you determine the direction of movement along the fault. 1. Notice that the Dunham Dolostone is not flat lying as you would expect with sedimentary rocks. Estimate which direction the rock is dipping compared to Lake Champlain. Is it dipping towards Lake Champlain, away from Lake Champlain, or at an angle to Lake Champlain?

2. Look for fault mullions. If we measure the orientation of the mullions, we can suggest the direction of movement of the upper layers of rock over the lower. In order to measure the orientation of the mullions, line up the edge of the compass parallel to the crest or crown of the mullions, but be sure to hold the compass so the bubble is in the center and the needle is free to rotate. Note: A fault mullion is a linear fluted structure that develops within a rock. They are named after an architectural structure separating windows in Gothic cathedrals. The mullions form at right angles to the direction of movement.

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The orientation of the mullions is _____________________ which means the direction of movement of the fault was_____________________________ (add 90). 3. Before leaving the cliff look around the fault surface for examples of angular fragments of rock, termed fault gouge. Do you see any? Why might you expect to see broken up pieces of rock jumbled together in a fault zone?

4. Once back on the beach, estimate how wide you think the fault zone is. Explain what features you are using to determine this estimate.

5. Compile a list of fault zone features that you have seen here and summarize how they are different from contacts between rock layers. This list will help you identify faults at future stops.

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Stop 2: Salmon Hole

Purpose: 1. You will develop your observational skills by collecting measurements and making observations of the sedimentary rocks. 2. You will apply the Principle of Uniformitarianism to suggest which ancient environment formed this sedimentary rock. 3. You will learn how to use a compass to determine the positioning of the rock layers. Introduction: Sedimentary rocks are rocks that form due to the accumulation of sediment grains. This accumulation can occur in a variety of different environments, such as beaches, rivers, and oceans. When we examine sedimentary rocks, we are always trying to determine the environment in which they formed. For example, do they represent an ancient river, a beach, or ocean basin? To determine what environments might be recorded in sedimentary rocks, we need to understand what processes are recorded by the sediment. In other words, is there evidence of wave activity? Fast flowing currents? Exposure to air? At this stop, we will study some sedimentary rocks and try to answer these types of questions. We will also continue to learn how to use a compass to measure the orientation of rock layers. Procedure: Part I: Determining the Attitude (orientation) of the Rock Layers Note: The Law of Original Horizontality states that sediment is laid down or deposited in flat layers. If you pour sediment into your bathtub, it settles out over the bottom in a generally even, flat layer, not a tilted pile. So, when we notice tilted layers it means that something has caused the layers to become tilted after they were deposited. The same forces that build mountains can cause this kind of tilting.

The rocks at Salmon Hole are no longer flat lying. We want to determine their attitude (how they are tilting today compared to when they were deposited flat). In order to determine the attitude, you will use a geologist's compass, which can measure horizontal (strike) and vertical (dip) orientations. Note: Strike and Dip are angles that describe the orientation of a rock surface relative to the horizontal plane. Strike is the direction of the line created when the rock layer being measured intersects the horizontal plane, and dip is the direction of slope (water runs down in the direction of dip). Think about the strike and dip of your homes roof.

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At Salmon Hole, the horizontal plane is the water surface of the Winooski River. How to find the strike of a rock layer 1. Rest the side of your compass on the rock layer you are measuring. 2. Swivel the compass while maintaining contact with the layer until the bubble rests in the center of the circle. 3. Take your compass reading How to find the dip of a rock layer 1. Rotate the compass until it is perpendicular with the strike line. 2. Keeping the edge in contact with the rock layer stand the compass up until the secondary arrow rotates freely within the dial. 3. Take your reading with this second arrow Strike: The strike is __________________ degrees. Dip: The dip is __________________ degrees. Part II: Clues as to the Environment That Formed These Rocks Having measured the strike and dip of these rocks, we know that some force rotated these rocks from the horizontal. In addition to the attitude these rocks provide a number of clues on how they were formed. You will try to read the clues in the rock in order to determine the environment in which this rock, termed the Monkton Formation (or the Monkton Quartzite), formed. Clue #1 Ripple Marks Examine the bedding planes for ripple marks. Observe and consider the shape of the ripple marks you find. In order to determine the shape, you need to get down on the rock and run your finger over the ripples.

Symmetrical wave formed (beaches)

Asymmetrical current formed (rivers or streams)

1. Are the ripple profiles symmetrical or asymmetrical?

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2. Is one ripple type or are both ripple types present?

3. Now you are going to take some measurements and see if these results agree with your preliminary observations. Using your ruler and the ripple index chart below complete the following table. Measure at least 3 ripples.

Ripple Index Chart

Ripple Index = wavelength/height

Ripple Indices Greater than 15 4-15 Less than 4

Formation Current Mixed Wave

Wavelength (cm)

Wave height (cm)

Ripple Index (wavelength/height)

Formation (current, wave, mix)

4. We can describe the trend (the orientation) of the ripple marks with the compass. Line up the compass parallel to the ripple mark crest and note the direction. Do this for at least 5 ripples at different places on the outcrop. The flow of the water is at right angles to the trend of the ripple crestlines, so determine the flow direction by adding 90 to your trend measurement. Ripple Crestline Trends Direction of flow (trend+90 )

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5. Examine your results. Do all ripple crestlines have the same orientation? YES / NO Does the flow directions in the environment where these ripples formed seem to vary? YES / NO

6. Thinking about natural environments throughout the world today and all of the information you have gathered, in what kind of environment might the Salmon Hole rocks have formed?

Clue #2 Bed thickness The thickness of a sedimentary layer, or bed, also conveys information about the environment which formed the rock. The breaks, or "bedding planes" between layers represent a time when accumulation of grains of sand and clay stopped. Therefore, bed thickness is an indicator of the nature of sediment accumulation. If beds are thick (several centimeters to 10's of centimeters) then either conditions were stable for a long period of time OR much sediment was deposited all at once. Looking for the types of sedimentary structures within the beds will help distinguish between these two possibilities. If beds are thin (several cm or less) then little sediment accumulated before conditions changed. 1. Measure the thicknesses of several (at least 10) beds. Record your results in cm.

2. Are bed thicknesses the same? 3. Do you see a pattern to bed thickness (ex, All are thick; thick alternating with thin; all thick and then all thin)? Describe the pattern.

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Clue #3 Evidence of Past Life forms: fossil tracks and trails Look on the bedding planes for evidence of burrowing or crawling organisms. There are several different types of burrows. Try to find an example of all three. A burrow shaped like the track left by a bicycle tire, 2 inches wide and curved A burrow shaped like a pencil, and almost as long A burrow shaped like a star, almost like a chicken foot The presence of these burrows is important because they tell us that the environment that formed these rocks was capable of supporting life. Because these rocks are more than 500 million years old (Cambrian Period), we know that the only environments on earth that could support life were in the oceans (organisms evolved structures to survive on land after 400 million years ago). These include organisms like trilobites (ancestors of horseshoe crabs). Clue #4 Evidence of exposure to air Your teacher will show you a structure called a mudcrack. As its name implies, these are cracks that form in mud-rich sediment that shrinks and curls up when exposed to drying out in air. Therefore, finding mudcracks tells us that this layer was exposed to sunlight and dried out. Clue #5 Erosional channels The primary feature produced by a river is its channel. Look for the base of the channel, which will cut down into underlying layers. The following pictures show some examples of channels. Notice the curved shape.

Do the layers at Salmon Hole exhibit channels?

Clue #6 Rock color

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One of the most obvious characteristics of this rock unit is its red color. Because it is such an obvious feature, the color of rocks is one thing that geologists try to use to say something about the environment in which the rocks formed. Red and yellow-brown colors are associated with the presence of iron in a rock, and its weathering, or "rusting" in the presence of oxygen. Fortunately for us animals, oxygen is almost everywhere, but unfortunately for geologists, that means that it's not too much help in determining a specific environment where red colored rocks form. So, although the color of these rocks has led to their being called "Red Rocks" and "Redstone" (ex., Red Rocks Park, Redstone campus) the color can't help us determine what environment formed them. Clue #7 Cracks or Fractures Perhaps when you were measuring the ripple crestline orientations, or looking for fossil tracks you noticed the fractures, or cracks in the rock. What is their significance? Can they help us determine the environment that formed the red rocks? Let's try to answer this by applying some of the basic laws of geology. 1. If the cracks cut through the rock layers, are the cracks older or younger than the rocks they cut through? 2. So, does this mean that the cracks were involved in the formation of the rock layers or occurred after the layers formed? 3. Based on your other two answers can the cracks help determine the formation environment?

SUMMARY: In the two columns below, list all the observations you've made that can be used to determine the environment of formation for these rocks, and how each of these observations can be interpreted. Observation Interpretation

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Stop 3: Lessors Quarry

Purpose: 1. Make observations and interpretations that will enable you to determine the depositional environment of the sedimentary rock called limestone. (grain size, distribution of fossils, and the types of fossils present) 2. Construct a chronology of events starting with the deposition of the original sediment and ending with the opening of this quarry in the 1950s. 3. Practice applying the Laws of Superposition and Cross-cutting relationships. Introduction: A field trip to Lessor's Quarry is interesting for several reasons: (1) it provides us with the opportunity to examine another type of sedimentary rock we have not yet seen (limestone); (2) you will learn some new techniques for determining the depositional environment of sedimentary rocks, (3) you can hunt for fossils! (4) we can examine the quarry walls and try to reconstruct the sequence of events which occurred here. This abandoned quarry is one of the UVM Natural Areas, our outdoor teaching laboratories (Centennial Woods and Redstone Quarry are two others). Here we can see the Middle Ordovician (approximately 450 million years ago) Glens Falls Formation, a rock unit which is slightly older than the previously seen Iberville Shale at Lone Rock Point in Burlington. Procedure Part I: First we will examine some of the blocks lying around the quarry floor and see if we can confirm that this rock is sedimentary and not igneous or metamorphic. You may be able to recognize a layering to this rock. These layers are termed "beds" and they represent the sediment that accumulated over an interval of time. You saw many beds of sandstone at Salmon Hole; however, the sedimentary rock here is not sandstone. Place a drop of dilute hydrochloric acid on this rock. What happens? The "acid test" is the best way to identify the sedimentary rock called limestone. Limestone is composed of a combination of the mineral calcite precipitated out of warm sea water as well as billions of tiny shells of marine plants and animals that lived in warm

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ocean water. When the animals died their shells accumulated on the sea floor. Limestone reacts with dilute acid as: 2CaCO3 + 2H2O + 2HCl
calcium carbonate (the rock) water hydrochloric (the acid)

2Ca2+ + 3CO2 + 3H2O + 2Cl1calcium carbon dioxide (the fizzing gas) water chlorine

Recognizing that this sedimentary rock is limestone is very important when trying to reconstruct the ancient environment of this portion of Vermont 450 million years ago. Why? Limestone is forming today in tropical marine waters, like those found in the Caribbean or South Pacific. Using the Principle of Uniformitarianism, this means that a warm (tropical) ocean existed here in Vermont hundreds of millions of years ago. You may also note as we look at the layers, that there are places where some of the shells of marine animals are large enough to be seen. A fossil is the remains of an ancient plant or animal found in a rock. There are actually many fossils here which, once your eyes get accustomed to seeing them, are easy to pick out. Bryozoa This is most abundant type of fossil at Lessors Quarry. These animals are colonial, which means that many individuals live together in one skeleton (a good analogy would be an apartment house with many individuals in it). You will find mostly broken pieces. They are ancestor of the "pill bug" and horseshoe crab.



A very rare modern animal called "sea lily," related to the starfish


Brachiopods look like tiny clams, although they are not. They are a bivalve (two-shelled animal), but with different "guts" than a clam. You may possibly find a couple


Finding fossils in this limestone provides us with more information about the environment here 450 million years ago. We know from the limestone itself that there was an ocean here. The types and abundance of fossils also indicates that this environment would look very similar to tropical oceans such as we find in the Caribbean or South Pacific. In fact, reconstructions of the earth's surface at this time in history indicate that Vermont was located just below the equator in the southern hemisphere!

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We can still figure out even more about the ancient environment. Now that your eye may be attuned to finding fossils, make some observations about how they occur in the limestone beds. Possibility # 1: When an animal living on the sea floor dies, it becomes buried by the sediment in which it sits. So, layers of sedimentary rock should have fossils distributed relatively evenly throughout them, like this:

Possibility # 2: When currents generated by wind or waves moves the shells of dead animals around, the shells get carried away and eventually deposited. Often times these shells will be concentrated in layers within the sediment, just like large sand grains get deposited in layers when currents slow down.

Question: Examine the blocks of limestone on the quarry floor. In general, are the fossils evenly distributed (possibility #1) or are they in layers (possibility #2), or do you see both types!

Question: Suggest what might be happening in the ocean environment to explain what you see.

Sediment size can be an indicator for the amount of energy in a particular environment. Possibility #1: Large grains (course sand and/or pebbles) mean that the environment was high energy (fast moving water). Possibility #2: Small grains (fine grained silt and/or sand) mean that the environment was low energy (standing water) Questions: What is the grain size of the limestone around the fossils? Can you see large grains or are grains so small as to be difficult to see, even with a hand lens? What does this imply about the energy of the environment of deposition?

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Question: Your answer to the above question may or may not agree with your interpretation of the environment based on the distribution of fossils. Do both observations support a low energy environment? A high energy environment? Fluctuating energies? Explain your answer.

Summary Question: You now know a good deal more about the ancient ocean environment in this portion of Vermont! Make a list of all the paleo-environmental interpretations you have for these rocks. Ill start out with one: 1. Marine (ocean) water 2. 3. 4. 5. Procedure Part II Examine the north quarry wall. In the space below, sketch what you see. Your sketch should show the limestone layers, which you must be able to recognize in order to be able to see what is present on the wall. Be sure your sketch has some kind of scale. Your sketch will be the basis for your being able to develop a chronology of events.

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Before trying to establish a chronology of events, lets review the basic rules of geology that we use. They are named after Nicholas Steno, who made these observations after walking around the Italian countryside in the 1600s. STENOS LAWS: 1. Law of Superposition in a sequence of layered sedimentary rocks, the layer on top has to be younger than the layer below youngest

2. Law of Original Horizontality sedimentary rock layers are deposited in flat layers

3. Law of Lateral Continuity rock layers extend laterally until they reach the edge of the basin, or change in composition (see figure above) 4. Law of Cross-Cutting if a structure cuts across (fractures or faults) or folds a layer, the layer has to be older than the structure:

In the following chronology of events, I have started you off with the first and last things that happened here. Fill in the remaining events. Your chronology should also include identifying the geologic event most likely to have caused the structures in the North Wall. Relative Timing of Events which Produced the North Wall of Lessor's Quarry: first ~450my ago deposition of the Glens Falls Limestone in the Middle Ordovician

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1950's-1970's 1970's-present last

quarrying exposes rock UVM Geology visits quarry

Your teacher will show you a structure that often forms along a fault surface: a slickenline.

Question: How do slickenlines form? Are they going to be present in every fault zone? Why or why not?

Question: Measure the orientation of a slickenline (this is done the same way as the ripple mark crests). Interpret what this means in terms of the direction of fault movement. Do the slickenlines suggest the fault moved from east to west or west to east or north to south?

Stop 4: The Beam

Introduction: This is an excellent outcrop that exposes multiple thrust faults. This rock is very similar to the limestone you were just looking at in Lessors quarry however it is part of the Cumberland Head formation which is slightly younger than those rocks seen in the quarry. Procedure: How many thrust faults you can see.

Once your teacher has pointed out the major thrust faults, sketch the entire outcrop. Make sure to include something for scale.

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Think about our visits to Lone Rock Point and Lessors Quarry. Each of these outcrops revealed a fault zone. Use the following Venn diagram to compare and contrast the characteristics of the three fault zones.

Lessors Quarry

Lone Rock Point

The Beam

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