As part of the Earth Sciences curriculum at Utrecht university, first year master degree students get the option to join a Field Research Instruction Geology course in SE Spain. This course focusses on the internal zone of the Betic Cordillera, which is characterized by a spatial alternation of metamorphic ranges and fault-bounded intramontane basins, strongly affected by normal faulting. Every year, several student teams carry out a project in one of the intramontane basins, the Sorbas basin. The broad aim of these projects is to analyze the kinematic and depositional evolution of this basin.
This year, the Covid-19 crisis forced us to transform this fieldwork into a virtual field project. For that, we provided the students with a dataset composed of kinematic measurements, sedimentological columns, numerous measurements of bedding and sediment transport directions, and a detailed imagery of outcrops composed of long panoramic photos, few other photos, Street View images available in Google Earth, and high-resolution 3D drone imagery.
Students study all the available data and based on that build their own map, make composite drawings, and present an interpretation of the kinematic and depositional evolution. In total they can spend about 100-150 hours on this project, in a team of two.
In this conference contribution we’ll show the data set, guide you along critical exposures including ones with 3D imagery, and inform you about our experience with this MSc degree virtual fieldwork.