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GEOMAGIC: An Integrated Series of Programs for Teaching Geophysical Concepts in Geology

Lawrence L. Malinconico, Jr., Timothy Larson, Donald Buelter, Thomas Honeycutt, Catherine Pauvlik, Elizabeth Uhl

Despite the fact that the study of geology and geophysics, especially applications in the petroleum industry, is becoming more and more computer oriented, students in these disciplines generally have very little exposure to computer techniques during their academic training. The major reason for this lack of training is probably the scarcity of appropriate and readily available software. Most software currently available seems to have been designed for research, and may not be suitable for teaching or may be prohibitively expensive.

We have tried to solve this problem by developing a series of geophysics programs that teach basic concepts as well as more sophisticated applications like geophysical modeling. This package includes programs on gravity (simple shapes and two-dimensional modeling), magnetics (simple and complex shapes and two-dimensional modeling), seismics (refraction concepts and modeling, including multiple dipping layers), earth tides (graphical representation), and geophysical data reduction (gravity reductions, magnetic smoothing, etc).

All of the programs use a similar menu-driven user interface. Thus once the students learn how use one program, they know how to use all of the programs. More time can then be spent learning from the software rather than learning about the computer. Several of the programs contain game-type drills, and all of the programs are graphically oriented. This maintains interest while continuing to demonstrate concepts. The student learns by simulating various situations and observing the resulting changes in the system.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91043©1986 AAPG Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, June 15-18, 1986.