Projects >> U-062

U-062 - 3D Mapping Techniques for Metamorphic Terranes

PI: Dr. Terry Pavlis
Project Lead: Terry Pavlis
Funding Source: NSF-EAR 1250388
Location: Death Valley, CA
Dates: 2014-03-10 to 2014-03-20

Project Summary

This study proposes to explore techniques and workflows that are best suited to analyzing complex metamorphic structures using modern field computer capabilities and software. The study site is the west-central Panamint Mountains where a metamorphic complex is exposed over elevations ranging from near sea level to ~10,000 feet and surface conditions ranging from hyper-arid desert to moderately weathered rocks in open, sub-alpine forest. The study will evaluate different field workflows, beginning with a variant on our present mapping techniques using field GIS software supplemented with improved positional accuracy using laser ranging devices, limiting 3D visualization to an evening exercise tied to data backup and cleanup. This will be followed by experimentation with real-time, 3D field visualizations based on initial development of a high resolution DEM using a terrestrial laser scanner and completed with a real-time, in the field, 3D visualizations. Synergistic activities will be include U-Pb geochronology to constrain the absolute age of ductile deformation events as well as testing rock unit correlations through detrital zircon signature, and finite strain studies to aid kinematic interpretations. This project has broader impacts to all earth sciences with the potential to aid in the revitalization of field geology as the foundation of our science, bringing a discipline that is largely based on 19th century technology into the 21st century. The field part of this project is entirely within Death Valley National Park, and data acquired during this project and our 3D visualizations derived from these data will be passed on to the park service for distribution to visitors at the Furnace Creek visitors center as well as distribution to the broader geoscience community for instructional purposes.

Project Sites

  1. PS01 Pleasant Canyon
  2. PS02 Surprise Canyon
  3. PS03 Wildrose Canyon

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