Topographic and Geologic Maps, 3D Visualization

On-campus field lab in Poly Canyon

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A view of the Morros from the serpentinite ridge above the Cal Poly dorms


In this field-lab we will meet at the entrance to Poly Canyon. The purpose of our hike is to practice locating ourselves on geologic maps, identifying three-dimensional features in the field, and connecting those to the geologic map. In this way we will start to internalize how geologic maps convey three-dimensional information. Thinking three-dimensionally is a common theme in the course.

What to bring

I will provide a handout for you with the geologic maps, etc., that we will be using in the field. However links to the individual files are given below so that you can have access to them on a computer as well.

We will be walking a fair distance on trails so please wear sturdy shoes (running-type shoes are fine, or light hiking-type shoes/boots). A small backpack might be useful to carry any items you bring:

Important Note: During fieldwork you should wear long pants.

Links to maps/handouts

Maps and map legends were compiled by Tony Garcia.

Post-lab Assignment

Due: At our next lab meeting.

Examine the following information about constructing topographic profiles: Constructing a topographic profile, Link 2, Link 3, description with vertical exaggeration.

Using the A-A' profile shown on this topographic map from the first part of our hike in Poly Canyon, please draw:

Make sure to label/identify all dimensions and units chosen.