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04/23/2012

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I enjoy reading these EE special notes. I myself was taught by a strict task-master structural geologist who preferred to mark students down rightly so. His hunting grounds were the Scottish Isle of Arran and Kinlochleven - Dr. Paul Garrard (see video below). Unfortunately I have been unable to track him down, but he knew how to teach students to construct a cross section by hand.

This is a holy grail- to integrate lost-art field observations into a section map As you say, geologists have lost the connect between drilling and structural deformations, or even mapping (from surface). They tend to rely on a seldom used quicklogger transparent film to convert core angled measurements to real bedding planes, S0, S1, Sx deformation phases, plunge, etc.

Video from IC, London, http://bit.ly/IRJnxo

Is it our duty of care to revive lost art discrete structural measurements - the way it was done in the olden, golden days. Is this the connect between reliance of digital limitations and 20th century mapping...dollar spend per gram recovered! Are we in an indulgent 21st century exploration spend I wonder. I see it in Africa; No one knows these methods...apart from the few, I try to educate structure...but the response is stratigraphic, when a stereonet may be more useful.
...where does the 'cookie crumble'?

Short note: for those fortunate enough to live in South Africa, the Geological Society are offering a one day refresher course on Structural Geology..(50 spaces, 25th May)

http://bit.ly/KUiYC3

This thread brings up a number of issues. 1) teaching structural geology at universities. What we find today is that many students try to avoid structural geology. Not really surprising when most departments have many more geochemists. 2)It's not just structural geology where we have a problem it is also potential field geophysical, remote sensing, and GIS linking these tools together. Think about it; how many "geology" departments in Canada have strong geophysics groups? More common is one or two people each working alone. 3)yes the problem starts at high school. We don't tell enough people about the opportunities they might have. 4) mentoring is critical. I was lucky to meet up with Robert Shackleton while I was a student at Leeds. Thats when I learned how little I really knew about field mapping

Bill Morris, McMaster University

After learning excellent field mapping skills at UCSB in the 1970's I rarely have used these in my career until just a few years ago, when I was hired to work on an old oil field with shallow un-developed reservoirs that happened to crop out. Additionally, in this tectonically active area, the faults also were evident on the surface. Thus, my old field skills were highly valuable and enabled me to bring significant value to the overall project and to save the company potentially millions of dollars by avoiding surface risks that I identified. Dying art it may be, but still has its place in the industry.

Field mapping is under threat across the teaching sector due to cost, health and safety and research being much less field based than a few decades ago. This is indeed resulting in a gradual loss of some of the core skills that we need in industry, not just in mining.
In Midland Valley we have been concerned about this for some time and as a result have a number of initiatives to help. We offer annual prizes for student structural projects for both undergraduates and post graduates, we have a field mapping initiative running with a group of universities and we provide our software including FieldMove free for teaching and research to all academic teaching institutes, and we also provide 12 months free licences for young geoscientists following their graduation. We feel strongly that supporting structural skills and teaching is a vital contribution that we and others can make. Details are on our web site http://www.mve.com/academic and we would welcome you to take advantage of what we are able to offer.
Alan Gibbs

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