Studying Local Stratigraphy

|Studying Local Stratigraphy

We have just finished the first week of the Field School’s geology module, taught by Dr. Chris Lepre of Rutgers University. Studying geology means lots of time spent  out in the field and the students began with a lab exercise examining local stratigraphy (rock layers).

TBI-Turkwel sits on the Nachukui Formation, famous for its rich archaeological and paleoanthropological sites. Students traveled just outside the compound to explore and draw stratigraphic profiles.

A view of the landscape just outside the TBI-Turkwel compound.

A view of the landscape just outside the TBI-Turkwel compound.

Sara, Peter, and Katie have a look around.

Sara, Peter, and Katie have a look around.

Students worked in groups to complete their stratigraphic profiles, making sure to include the Lokochot Tuff, a layer of volcanic ash used for dating. Students had to identify, describe, and measure the various rock layers present in the formation.

Dr. Lepre helps Katie, Alex, and Megan with the lab exercise.

Dr. Lepre helps Katie, Alex, and Megan with the lab exercise.

Eloise, Ned, and Tricia lay claim to their portion of the formation.

Eloise, Ned, and Tricia lay claim to their portion of the formation.

Students used a Jacob’s staff to measure rock layers and then used lecture material to identify each layer before drawing everything out on paper.

Letty uses a Jacob’s staff to great effect.

Maggie is thrilled to be drawing a stratigraphic profile.

Maggie is thrilled to be drawing a stratigraphic profile.

This lab exercise was a great hands-on introduction to the geology module and the students used their new knowledge and skills during the overnight trip to Lothagam – more on that coming soon!

By | 2017-01-04T18:04:52+00:00 September 27th, 2014|Field Schools|Comments Off on Studying Local Stratigraphy

About the Author:

Hello! I am Abby Koppa, the TBI Field School TA for Fall 2014, a third-year PhD student at Stony Brook University in the Department of Ecology and Evolution, and a TBI Graduate Fellow. My research interests include the nutritional and mechanical properties of East African savanna plants, paleoecology, and hominin paleodiet.