Like many professional geologists, field trips are the reason that I became a geology major in college. I’ve been lucky enough to measure section in exotic locations like the Karoo Basin of South Africa but have also attended many local field trips to outcrops like the Turkey Creek Road Cut.
Field trips cemented many varied concepts for me. I had spent my semester of structural geology wading through college text book explanations of strike and dip. Within one minute of viewing the Flatirons in Boulder, measuring strike and dip with a Brunton Compass made complete sense to me.
I distinguished the difference between changes in depositional environment and the signal of paleoclimate change in the Willwood Formation of the Bighorn Basin. (As an aside- who knew that shale could come in so many colors- Grey, Red, Orange, Purple, Yellow).
Photo Credit: Sophie Berglund
During a field trip to Moab, I saw fractures and faults existing at many scales along the Moab Fault zone. This field trip stop provided me with a mental model for what faulted rock looks like and is helpful when interpreting faults on seismic and well logs.
Whether you are getting out on one of seven RMAG associated field trips this summer (http://www.rmag.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3290) attending a company sponsored field trip, or just getting out on your own, enjoy one of the perks of being a professional geologist- field trips!
Sophie Berglund is a Petroleum Geologist in the Denver area.