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Equipment for Geological Excursion



Before going out into the field it is necessary to:

1.      Read carefully the Instructions for Students proceeding for a Geological Excursion

2.    Read the resource material provided about the field area through this website

3.    Assemble all the field equipment that may be required;

4.    Assess any Safety Issues.

Both the safety and permission aspects may require documentation to be completed. Exactly what equipment you will need depends on the type of fieldwork you will be undertaking. However, for every Geological Excursion, the essential equipment shall consist of the following items:

Topographic Map: A topographic map is a detailed and accurate two-dimensional representation of natural and human-made features on the Earth's surface. These maps are used for a number of applications including surveying and geological mapping. A topographic map provides the frame of reference upon which the geologic map is constructed. It takes some training to read maps skillfully. Familiarize yourself with the symbols used, and various features depicted in the topographic map provided to you in order to make the best use of this in the field. A suitable topographic map that can be used for geological mapping is the 1:50,000 scale map published by the Survey of India. You may also supplement your base information requirement by using the ‘Maps - Navigate & Explore’ app from the Google Playstore installed in your smartphone to get a more realistic feel of the terrain in and around Jaipur.

Compass-Clinometer: A compass clinometer is a must have tool for anyone working in the field of earth science or geological surveying, mapping or for navigational use. The compass performs basic tasks such as orientation, and taking forward and backward bearings for the purpose of marking locations in topographic or geological maps of the area under survey. Inbuilt clinometers allow geologists to measure the dip of rock beds or the height of geological and geographical features as well as angles. Recent technological innovations such as the space based global positioning systems and smartphone apps using these , have built upon the traditional methods of positioning and navigation to make these tasks considerably easier, faster and more precise. Smartphones are increasing in popularity and have become almost ubiquitous, so much so that as of 2017, each one of my postgraduate students owned a smartphone. There is a potential opportunity for students to make effective use of student-owned devices to enhance fieldwork learning. Likewise, for this Geological Excursion to Jaipur, we shall use a freeware android app ‘GPS Test’, installed in our smartphones for positioning and navigation in the field. The licensed version, that costs only Rs. 40, has additional functionality. To learn more about GPS Test and how to use it in the field, read the article Using GPS Test for Positioning and Navigation. Another good app that may be used is A-GPS Tracker.

Similarly, instead of using a clinometer-compass to measure the strike and dip of planar fetures, or trend and plunge of linear features, Rocklogger, an Android app available from Google Playstore may be used. Rocklogger is a geological tool for measuring the orientation of rock outcrops. It uses your smartphone’s compass and orientation sensors to measure dip & dip direction, or dip & strike, in a single click. Taking the strike and dip of outcrops with a compass-clinometer usually takes a few minutes per outcrop. With Rocklogger, many measurements of an outcrop can be taken in seconds (in any orientation). It also works upside-down, eg for logging overhang in a mine. You can add notes describing the outcrop, record comments and use its camera to take geotagged photos while logging. Structural parameters, notes, photographs and GPS data are saved to the log file, and are automatically attached when you send a log via email from the browser screen.

Geological Hammer: A geologist's hammer, rock hammer, rock pick, or geological pick is a hammer used for splitting and breaking rocks. In field geology, they are used to obtain a fresh surface of a rock to determine its composition, bedding orientation, nature, mineralogy, history, and field estimate of rock strength. In fossil and mineral collecting, they are employed to break rocks with the aim of revealing fossils inside. Geologist’s hammers are also sometimes used for scale in a photograph.

Hand Lens: Geologists often need to closely examine rocks, minerals, sediments, soils, sands, and other materials for proper identification. A hand lens is the most efficient way to perform this kind of work. It is important for them to examine the rock closely to identify minerals, see the size and shape of grains, look for small fossils or crystals, confirm the results of a hardness test, and much more. Magnifying Glass + Flashlight allows you to use your Phone as a full-screen magnifier with the flashlight! With this app, you can use your phone's camera to magnify crystals of minerals, structures in rocks, or anything else. It's a great alternative when you need to read small print or when you just can't be bothered to put on your glasses. Magnifying Glass Flashlight can be used in low light conditions as also to save images.

Binoculars: Binoculars can be very useful during fieldwork. They can be used to assess access, for instance in mountain regions. However, their most common use is to obtain a better view of the details within parts of an exposure that are impossible to reach safely, or are simply better viewed from a distance (e.g. geometry of features such as faults and river channel infills). They are particularly useful when you want to study rocks that are too dangerously situated to be approached safely, as for instance on steep slopes, quarry faces or cliffs. Telescope 45x is a good Android app that turns your smartphone into a telescope. It is an image zooming tool with the real-time image processing with a simple zoom in and zoom out scroller, front and rear camera, manual and continuous autofocus, various colour filters and video recording.

Measuring Tape: Short, 2 to 5 m length, retracting metal tape measures are perfectly adequate for small scale work and for graphic logging. The retracting metal tapes also have the advantage that they are stiff and therefore can be used much more easily to obtain an accurate measurement of the thickness of the bed by holding it perpendicular to the bedding. Folding plastic metric rulers are very useful as a scale for photographs and for graphic logging.

Camera: Photographs are a key part of most geological fieldwork. They can be used for image analysis to document changes in an exposure over time and are also essential to illustrate key geological features in a geological field report. It is very important in the field not only to take a photograph but also to make field notes and sketches, because a photograph is not a replacement for a field sketch. A field sketch records how you have divided up the succession, provides a key to further notes and shows some geological interpretation. All photographs taken in the field should be recorded in your field notebook and electronic information on the geological features and location added either through the camera or image processing software. Apart from your smartphone’s built-in camera, the three apps that you install viz., Rocklogger, Magnifying Glass + Flashlight and

Telescope 45x will meet all your field photography requirements.

Field Notebook and stationery: The field notebook is one of the most important pieces of equipment. It contains the main record of data you gather in the field. You can use a hard-backed notebook, a binder, or a writing pad to take field notes. Whatever notebook you use must be sturdy, durable, and one that can withstand numerous environmental elements, especially water! Use a good quality notebook that will withstand hard usage – rain, sleet, snow, etc. It can be bound or loose leaf, with or without hard cover, but a hard cover is best. A field notebook must contain notes on where the data were collected, the relationships between the different rock bodies, their compositional and textural characteristics, and internal features. All weather pen, pencils, sharpener, eraser, crayons, permanent marker, scale, adhesive tape.

Power Bank: With all these apps that you will use in the field through the course of a day’s fieldwork, you smartphone is likely to run out of battery power. It will be a good investment to buy a power bank to go through an uninterrupted field day. Power banks allow you to store electrical energy and use it later to charge up your smartphone. Power Banks have become increasingly popular as the battery life of our phones is outstripped by the amount of time we spend using them each day. Remember to charge your power bank during the night to have a backup power supply during the next day’s fieldwork.

ID Proofs: Carry your AMU identity card and Aadhar card with you.

Apps to install:

1.      Maps - Navigate & Explore

2.    GPS Test

3.    A-GPS Tracker

4.    Rocklogger

5.     Magnifying Glass + Flashlight

6.    Telescope 45x

Purpose of Geological Excursions

Field Procedures

Important Instructions

Code for Geological Fieldwork

Background Information - Aravalli Craton and the Delhi Fold Belt
Geological Map of the area around Jaipur, Rajasthan
Geology and structure of the area around Jaipur, Rajasthan
Google Earth overlay of the Geological Map of Jaipur, Rajasthan
Format for Field Report


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Notes & Handouts

The Himalayas

Kumaon Himalayas

Askot Basemetals



This website is hosted by

S. Farooq

Department of Geology

Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh - 202 002 (India)

Phone: 9719421011