Geological field mapping is a highly interpretive, scientific process that can generate a variety of map products for a variety of applications, including assessing ground-water quality and contamination risks, predicting an earthquake, volcano, and landslide hazards, characterising energy and mineral resources and their extraction costs, waste disposal sites, land management and land-use planning, and general education. For geologic field mapping, preparation, attention to detail, and excellent observational skills are all required. In addition, the geologist must conduct research, collect a suitable field toolkit, and be prepared for various challenges that may arise in the field to complete a good field mapping project. Fieldwork is the bedrock of geology, and all geologists must be able to generate accurate maps, observations, and field notes.
The geological field mapping course is a practical unit at the college level that allows students to demonstrate mastery of the field techniques invaluable for diverse roles in geological applications. It is an essential component of an Earth scientist’s education. The field course is designed to provide a variety of practical exercises and field experience in geology and geophysics, including observing, measuring, recording, mapping, and problem-solving.
This course aims to provide students with field experience and fine-tune the applied skills needed to ensure their competence as graduate geologists.
Geological field mapping is primarily completed in the field, to extend a student’s capacity to apply techniques relevant to sedimentological, stratigraphic, structural and metamorphic mapping, building on the skills and knowledge acquired in fundamental geology units.
Depending on the institution, the fieldwork is often undertaken between 10 to 20 days also based on the size of the selected area, geological mapping exercises, with different methods and scales of mapping assessed.
The geological field mapping covers practical geological mapping techniques, general field skills, and the integration of stratigraphic, lithological, structural and palaeontological concepts. The expected field outputs often include geological maps, cross-sections, structural diagrams and detailed geological reports.