Purpose of Geological Excursions
Perhaps more than any other science, Geology is based on deductive reasoning. Many of the geologic features we observe probably evolved over thousands or millions of years, through many different processes. And from this we have to deduce what may have happened. Understanding how those features developed and evolved requires looking at the normally very slow (sometimes also catastrophic) processes that are going on today. However, just a few basics will allow the careful observer to start to understand how the world around us took on the shape it now has, and how ongoing geologic forces can impact our lives.
This fieldtrip has two purposes. First, we will take a look at some of the interesting geology that characterizes the Jaipur area. This will be a “hands-on” look at what I think offers a better understanding of the role of geology in shaping the landscape, and the impact of geology on society, than can be obtained through this virtual excursion.
Second, and probably more important, we will have a chance to practice the technique of observational science, following the fundamental principles of the scientific method – Observe, Hypothesize, Test.
If you think that geology is just about looking at rocks and minerals, this fieldtrip may not really conform to your expectations. We think Geology is about understanding the Earth and how it works. Although rocks and minerals provide a lot of information about the Geology, they are only part of the story. At the outset, rather than be looking at rocks and minerals, we shall focus on the larger picture. This field excursion has three components:
1. A virtual component that will allow you to observe geology and structure of the area as reflected in the physiographic features and landscape,
2. An observational component that will provide you with the opportunity to go to specific locations in the field and verify your inferences and hypotheses which you may have evolved during the virtual excursion. This will also give you the opportunity to make measurements and collect samples, and
3. Laboratory investigations for identification of rocks and minerals, and synthesizing all data and information leading to a better understanding of the Geology of the area.
Each of our three stops has three sections in this fieldtrip guide—a short introductory section, an exercise for you to do in the field, and a longer section of material related to the geology seen at that stop. We will be discussing most of what is covered while we are in the field, so the longer section will be mostly useful for you after the trip is over.
The point of each exercise is to put you into the field boots of a geologist. Remember that all science starts with an observation, and this is never more true than in geology. Be prepared to take a look at the world in a new way. Your observations may hold the key to understanding the geology at each stop.
If you think that geology is just about looking at rocks and minerals, this fieldtrip may be a bit of a shock. We will not talk much about different kinds of rocks, but rather about how the different features we see in the field may have formed. Geology is about understanding the Earth and how it works. Rocks and minerals can provide a lot of information about the geology (as we will see at the third stop), but they are only a part of the story.
I anticipate that the background information and maps contained in this guide will be useful to you in the field as well as in your classroom. I also hope you enjoy the trip, and that you come away with an expanded idea of what geology is all about.
Background Information - Aravalli Craton and the Delhi
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Department of Geology
Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh - 202 002 (India)