Lesson 15: North American Craton I: Undeformed Regions and Groundwater

During our last three weeks we'll be exploring the geologic "architecture" of North America as preserved in our national park lands. This week we'll consider two fairly distinct topics. First, we'll look at North America's "basement", both the Archean and Proterozoic rocks that form the core of the continent and the continental glaciation that has exposed much of this landscape. Second, we'll look at the relatively thin blanket of younger sedimentary strata that mantle much of the craton and at the caverns that groundwater has hollowed out in these nearly flat-lying deposits. Finally, because groundwater is such an important resource, will work on an exercise that will help you discover how geologists model groundwater flow and track down contamination when it occurs.

As you read through the first part of chapter 10 and the supporting websites please take careful notes so that you can keep track of major points and recall them more easily when we refer to them later in the semester. Be sure that you are prepared to meet the learning objectives outlined below before you move on to the quiz at the bottom of the page.

Weekly Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this week's lesson, a student is expected to be able to:

Reading and Browsing Assignment

Exercise 15 (Due by 9:00 AM on Monday, 3-May-2010)

To learn a little more about groundwater, please load up your Hazard City CD and work through version 3 of the Ground Water Contamination assignment. This is a fairly involved project, so allow a couple of hours to complete it. I found it helpful to print out the various reports before I started calculating my water table elevations. Also, be sure to jot down any useful notes on procedure and have your final map in hand before you go to fill out the report at the end of the assignment. (I suggest printing the form provided, filling it in, and then adding any annotations that might be helpful.) Finally, go to the ETUDES "Assignments, Tasks, and Tests" tool to complete Exercise 15. There are only five questions in this exercise, so each is worth two points.

Quiz 15 (Due by 9:00 AM on Monday, 3-May-2010)

After you feel you have mastered the learning outcomes outlined above, please complete Quiz 15 in the Etudes "Assignments, Tasks and Tests" tool. There are ten questions, each worth one point. If you can answer all of them correctly it means that you know your way around North America's craton and platform pretty well and are ready to move on to learn about parklands in the deformed part of the platform next week.