--> --> Abstract: Using Building Stones As A Teaching Tool, by A. Mirsky; #90926 (1999)

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MIRSKY, ARTHUR , Dept. of Geology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN

Abstract: Using Building Stones As A Teaching Tool

The Department of Geology at IUPUI has developed a self-directed walking field trip that uses building materials in downtown Indianapolis as a substitute for seeing geologic features in the natural field setting. A surprisingly large number of varied geologic features can be seen in these building materials. Among igneous rocks, one can see anorthosite, basalt, diorite, gabbro, granite, granodiorite, larvikite, monzonite, obsidian, pumice, and scoria. Among sedimentary rocks are breccia, chert, dolostone, limestone, sandstone, and travertine. Among metamorphic rocks are gneiss, marble, quartzite, and schist. Recognizable minerals include biotite, calcite, hematite, hornblende, jasper, limonite, olivine, orthoclase, plagioclase, quartz, and serpentine. Human-made building materials include aluminum, brass, brick, bronze, cement, concrete, glass, pebble aggregate, and tile. Igneous textures range from glassy, fine- to coarse-grained to porphyritic; igneous structures include segregation zones, dikes, flows, and inclusions. All sedimentary textures are present except natural conglomerate; sedimentary structures include parallel bedding, several types of cross-bedding, laminations, graded bedding, stylolites, flagstone, and trace fossils. Fossil fragments are abundant as fossil hash, and recognizable fossils include several types of bryozoans, crinoid stems, brachiopods, and snails. Metamorphic textures include both foliated and massive; metamorphic structures include schistose, flow, and gneissose. Both physical (mechanical) and chemical weathering are abundantly represented. This Indianapolis field trip guide includes all of the buildings in the selected blocks on the street, unlike guides for other metropolitan areas that emphasize particular prominent buildings. The main shortcoming of this building-material field trip is that some aspects of introductory geology are not represented (such as landscape development, glaciation, mountain building). Also, of course, no one should take a hammer on the walking tour and attempt to collect samples. 

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90926©1999 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Indianapolis, Indiana