University of Vermont

Virtual Field Study


Approaching an Outcrop:

Approach IconIn order to interpret the information preserved in sedimentary rocks it is necessary to describe them in detail, however only rarely are sedimentary rocks well exposed, or exposed in thick sections.  In most cases a detailed description must be pieced together from more than one exposure, and in order to do so there are a series of steps that geologists need to take.  First, each outcrop needs to be examined and then described in detail, following a process that often includes producing a field sketch, taking photographs, and obtaining rock and/or fossil samples .  After geologists travel to each outcrop and record their data they can then prepare a composite stratigraphic section, which is a graphic log, or representation, that includes all field observations synthesized from individual outcrops. This section of the module will walk you through how scientists go about creating a composite stratigraphic section for the cliffs of Calvert County.

Click on the photograph for a quick video which demonstrates a geologist approaching and collecting information from a sedimentary rock outcrop!

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Last modified October 06 2008 02:59 PM

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