Geoscape One: Planning The Ohio State University's Geologic Park

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The Ohio State University

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The proposed project will provide an on-campus setting of outcrops and materials for efficient, multilevel teaching and learning of geoscience fieldwork fundamentals. Field investigations are essential for the geosciences; however, few campuses have access to the variety of outcrops needed for mapping exercises. The outdoor laboratory will consist of 0.5 to 2.5 meter specimens in a 110 by 400 meter area that will provide non-exclusive use adjacent to our classrooms. The geology will fit the topographic variability (scarp, grotto, valley, and pond). The installation will be aesthetically pleasing, fit with and enhance the existing topography and landscape, and provide for scientific study of geologic materials, processes, structures, and history. The type and difficulty of an exercise will vary with the level of student and will include 1) pace and compass and GPS-based topographic mapping, 2) identification of rock types and fossils, 3) aerial photo and computer-based mapping, 4) geologic mapping, with a range of complex structures and intrusions, 5) interpretation of facies, paleo-environments, and geologic history. Wells and subsurface masses (iron and plastics) and sedimentary layers are being considered for geophysical and hydrologic investigations. The project will incorporate rocks from the pre- Cambrian, Paleozoic, and Quaternary terrains. Steps in planning and building such a site include: approval of the concept, selection of geologic concepts and techniques, design of field problems, design of outcrop installations, development of construction documents, preparation of drawings, and solicitation of support and specimens. GEOSCAPE ONE is an extension of the typical geologic rock garden on many campuses and GSA's proposed Colorado Rock Park Project (GSA, 1996). With attention to aesthetics, it will be an educational "rock-art park", too.