Faults in the Field 2006

Expedition to Massachusetts

The Athol Fault in western Massachusetts

A collaborative workshop and field trip of students and teachers of SOAR-high and geologists at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst researching Fault System Evolution

May 3- May 7, 2006

Goals of the trip:

For students and teachers to apply techniques and understanding gained from sandbox observations to real-live full-scale geologic faults in the field. We anticipate that this will be the first geologic field experience for many students and teachers. We will emphasize 1) how geologists document fault features and 2) how analog experiments and field observations work together to enhance our geologic understanding.


University of Massachusetts
United States Geological Survey
Colorado State Univeristy
  • Scotty Salamoff

Teachers and Students

Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD)
  • Mary Ellsworth
  • Kamilla Jacubowyc
    • Marie D'Anglo
    • Brittney Tolliver
    • Eileen Borges
    • Fang Zhou Yang
North Carolina School for the Deaf (NCSD)
  • Dr. Jana Lollis
    • Brittany Jones
    • Jennifer Marfino
Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf (MSAD)
  • Michael George
    • Tyler Leonard
    • Corey Milligan
Indiana School for the Deaf (ISD)
  • Teresa Huckleberry
    • Casey Analco
    • Veronica Mills
University high School (UHS)
  • Chris Gonzales
    • Lizbeth Abrajan
    • Itzel Lopez
    • Ashley Shimizu


Schedule of events

Wednesday, May 3
  • evening arrival
  • games at campus center

Campus Center

includes breakfast

Thursday, May 4
  • All day field trip to local sites
  • lunch prepared in the field
  • BBQ and pasta dinner at Dr. Michele Cooke's house

Campus Center

includes breakfast

Friday, May 5
  • Fault System Evolution Workshop
    • lab tours
    • run experiments
    • explore 3D fault models
    • assess energy budgets of fault systems
  • Cafeteria lunch
  • Prepare presentations
  • 4:30-6:00 Poster Presentations
  • Dinner at University Club
Campus Center

includes breakfast

Saturday, May 6
  • depart for overnight field trip to VT with UMass structural geology class
    • garnet bearing schist
    • Deformation within folded thrust sheets of the Appalachian mountains
Comfort Inn, South Burlington, VT
Sunday, May 8
  • Folded and faulted rocks at the leading edge of the Appalachian mountains
  • afternoon departure for MSAD and UHS
  • Evening departure for MSSD, ISD and NSD

Learning objectives:

In addition to visiting a wonderful variety of rocks within western Massachusetts, students will synthesize their observations on Thursday's field trip to local sites with their tectonic understanding developed from sandbox experiments performed at their schools before the trip.

On Friday from 4:30-6:00 in Morrill Science Center rom 254, students will present on one of three topics

presentation topic materials students
Contractional mountain building
  • Contraction sandbox experiments
  • Evidence of mountain building 300 million years ago in western MA
    • Folded igneous rocks
    • Deformed metamorphic rocks
Extension and rifting
  • Extensional sandbox experiments
  • Evidence of extension 50 million years ago in western MA
    • Volcanic rocks
    • Normal faults
    • Dinosaur footprints
Interplay of erosion and mountain building
  • experiments of erosion during mountain building
  • Evidence of erosional processes
    • Glacial deposits
    • Glacial striations
    • Fluvial rocks
    • Engimatic broken up rocks
Sandbox faulting in high school classrooms Pedagogy of observing and interpreting sandbox deformation Kamilla, Mary, Chris, Mike, Jana and Teresa

On the weekend field trip SOAR-high and UMass students will team together to interpret deformed rocks of the Appalachian mountains.

UMass Structural Geology students:

Peter Ames, Brandon Fleming, Evan Gearity, Brenda Gomez, Patrick Getty, Erik Heflin, Hossana Lillydahl-Schroeder, Karen Miller

Mary Ellsworth made a complementary field trip site that is very useful for students