Download complete Syllabus in pdf format
Prof: Jamie Kirkpatrick (james.kirkpatrick[at]mcgill.ca, Office: FDA 340)
Office hours: Mondays 2.30-3.30pm, FDA340
Sarah Bodeving (sarah.bodeving[at]mail.mcgill.ca, Office: FDA346)
David Martineau (david.martineau[at]mail.mcgill.ca, Office: FDA346)
Noah Phillips (noah.phillips[at]mail.mcgill.ca, Office: FDA404)
TA office hours: Tuesdays 11.30am to 12.30pm.
Sept 19 - Oct 10: Sarah in FDA346
Oct 17 - Nov 7: Noah in FDA404
Nov 14 - Dec 5: David in FDA346
About this course
Welcome to Geology in the Field. This course is designed
to introduce students to the practice of making observations of rocks in the wild (or,
in and around Montreal), teach them how to identify a few common rock types and understand
how those rocks were formed, to think about the relationship between bedrock structure
and the topography of the landscape, and to wade into thinking about geologic time.
This course will meet twice per week - a 50-minute lecture on Monday, and a 3h50
period on Wednesday for putting geological methods into practice.
This course is designed to introduce students to the practice of field geology,
and will involve walking to light hiking during many assignments. Any student
who is concerned about access or mobility issues should contact the instructor
as soon as possible to determine how we can work together to enable
everyone to participate in the course. Students will want to wear sturdy shoes (which may
get muddy on some days), and be prepared to work outside even if it is cold or raining.
For some labs, students will need to take public transportation (or use a bicycle or other
mode of personal transportation) to meet at sites around Montreal.
After completing this course, you will be able to make first-order field
descriptions of a variety of local rocks and distinguish between primary
(depositional) characteristics of sedimentary and volcanic rocks and features
produced by deformation. You will learn to use a geological compass to
measure primary and secondary features of rock outcrops. You will learn to
read topographic and geologic maps. Along the way, you will be exposed to
key concepts in geology, the history of geology, and the rich and economically
important geology of Quebec.
This course will serve as a pre-requisite for the traveling field courses
offered in May (EPSC 231, 330, 331).
You will need
- BOUND field notebook with a hard cover - preferably Rite-in-the-Rain or Moleskin, 12x19 cm
- Hand lens (loope or magnifying glass) with x5 - x10 magnification
- Set of pencil crayons (coloured pencils) - 12 colours
- Sharp pencils
- Protractor and ruler (10 cm or longer)
- Hiking shoes or boots (might get a bit muddy)
- Warm clothes; rain jacket
Freeman, Tom, Geology Field Methods, 2010, Friendship Publications, Columbia, MO, 2010, 111 p.
Available from the instructor for $20.00 CAD (or $15 USD).
Other readings to be distributed in class as necessary.
McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore, all students must
understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other
academic offences under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary
www.mcgill.ca/students/srr/honest/ for more information).
In accord with McGill University's Charter of Students' Rights, students
in this course have the right to submit in English or in French any written
work that is to be graded.
Reading and lectures for this course will be given in English, which is the
most commonly used international language for science, including geology.
I encourage you to use any literature or online resources to learn the terminology of structural geology
in French, and I hope I will learn along with you. You are welcome to submit
written work in French. I reserve the right to enlist the help of francophone
colleagues as needed to assist in grading your work.
|First rock description
|Pace and Compass
|Champlain Sea Sediments - stratigraphic column
|Topographic map exercise
|Geologic Maps Lab
|Grenville Field Trip
|Sutton field trip
|Volcanic rocks - Isle St Helene
|Google Mars Lab - Landforms and interpretation
|Calculations on topographic maps
|Geology of Quebec presentation
|Geology of Quebec report
Course Schedule and Materials
This section will be updated weekly - check in frequently for reading assignments and other instructions.
||Turn in today
||Labor Day - no meeting
||Intro to course; First outcrop description
||4 short articles online: Your World, Rocked (Slate.com),
Is GPS ruining our ability to navigate for ourselves? Vox.com
and Mount Royal geology (In French, if you can't read it,
use google translate and look at the pictures) and Montreal's Lost Rivers (undermontreal.com).
||Meet at FDA 348 at 1:35, after a brief intro we will walk together up to Peel St. & Ave. des Pins.
Assignment sheet and Key Concepts handout
||Orientation and scale
||Freeman pages 1-10, 16-21, 64-67.
Watch Chuck Bailey's video on how to measure Strike and Dip.
Practice visualizing the spatial arrangement and orientation of geologic units.
||Turn in outcrop description in notebooks
||Meet at FDA 348 at 1:35, after a brief intro we will walk together to the space west of Burnside and Otto Maas.
Pace and compass exercise.
Key Concepts handout
||Describing and measuring sediments
||Freeman 70-73, 94
Wiki article on the Champlain Sea.
How sedimentary rocks are deposited (don't worry about faults for now).
Watch these two videos on glacial sediments:
Glacio-marine sediments and Glacial history in North America. Note that the soil scientists who made these videos use the term `parent material' because they are interested in the soils that develop out of these sediments.
If you're feeling lucky, check out fossils from Champlain
Sea sediments so you can identify any you might find
Musee de Paleontologie et de l'evolution
|Key Concepts handout
Sedimentary Structures shown in class,
|Pace and compass
||Describing and measuring sediments (gravel quarry field trip; vans leave FDA
courtyard at 1:35 sharp). This field trip is off-island so allow for possible
late return due to traffic on the way back.
||Topographic Maps and geologic maps
||Freeman 74-75, 96-100;
How to read a Topographic Map from How Stuff Works. Watch
Chuck Bailey's video on how to use a Brunton compass. Here's a good video from Michael Sammartano on topographic maps.
A nice introduction to the variety of different rock types.
||Topographic Map exercise on Mt Royal - meeting place either FDA348 or the Mount Royal Cemetery (Chemin Remembrance & Voie Camilien-Houde)
Key concepts handout
|Turn in Strat Column
||Interpreting sedimentary rocks
|| The details of cross-bedding and cross-stratification.
A nice example of cross bedding in California
Some information on the Champlain Sea .
||Introduction to geology in 3D
||Turn in Topographic map exercise
||Sketching, observing - with David Covo and Robert Mellin from Architecture
Bring: plain paper, soft lead pencil (HB, HB2), pencil sharpener.
||Geology in 3D lab
||Plutonic and metamorphic rocks, shear zones
Make a cup of tea and watch National Geographic's explanation of plate tectonics
|Grenville Field Trip Assignment
||No class (replaced by trip on Saturday)
||Turn in sketches from week 6 to Jamie's mail box
||Grenville field trip
||Introduction to deformation structures
||Fold and metamorphic rock vocabulary|
A playlist of videos showing folding in action
Rotate a fold in 3D to see how it looks different when viewed in different directions.
|Magog-Sutton Field Trip Assignment
||No class (replaced by trip on Saturday)
||Magog-Sutton field trip
||Geophysics: seismic reflection
|| The basics of seismic reflection.
Lecture slides on fold shape and orientation
Lecture slides on refraction seismology
Refraction survey results - forward
Refraction survey results - reverse
||Turn in report from Grenville field trip
||Hammer seismics on lower field
Wired explains all about diamonds
||Turn in Magog-Sutton report
||Metro field trip!
Location of the outcrop in Google Maps
Isle St Helene Assignment sheet
|Turn in Seismics
||Landforms - relating to bedrock geology and surface processes
||Link to Google Earth files for the geology of Ontario
Link to Google Earth files for the geology of Utah
How to figure out the age of features on a planet you have never visited?
||Bring in notebooks for grading - leave in Jamie's mailbox
||Google Earth lab - using 3D data, interpreting patterns
Download Google Earth Pro
|Turn in: Isle St Helene
||Constructing cross sections
||Lecture notes from this week are here.
||Cross section assignment Download map as jpg (7MB). Assignment sheet
||Turn in Google Earth Lab
||Cross section assignment
||Geology of Québec
||Huge and beautiful geologic map of Québec.
Read about the evidence for the oldest traces of life on Earth.
||Geology of Québec presentations