EOSC 223 · Field Techniques

Introduction to the techniques of geological mapping and the interpretation of field data. Includes three one-day field trips on weekends plus a seven-day field school after Spring examinations. A fee is to be paid by January 31. [2-2-0] Corequisite: EOSC 221.

Course Availability & Schedule

Learning Goals

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

1. Create geologic maps and cross sections from their own field data.

2. Exhibit safe, courteous, ethical, and environmentally sustainable behaviour in the field.

3. Interpret the geology and geologic history of an area from reading a geologic map.

4. Transfer knowledge gained from geologic maps to other fields (e.g. natural hazards, land use planning, resource extraction).


Kirstie Simpson (Lead Instructor)


Bevier (2005), Introduction to field geology, 1st ed., McGraw-Hill Ryerson

Lecture Topics

This lecture schedule is ONLY approximate; it changes each year depending on dates of field exercises.

Week Topic Readings
1 Course overview/schedules Preface, Ch. 1, Appendices A, B
2 Topographic maps and airphotos: scales, map symbols, bearings; Geologic maps and legends inside front and back covers, Ch. 2,3, Appendix C
3 Cross sections Ch. 4,7, Appendices G,I
4 Mapping sedimentary rocks: structure contours, three point problems; Unconformities  Ch. 4,6,8
5 Mapping igneous rocks/preparation for Caulfeild Park exercise Ch. 5,9, Appendices D,E,F,J
6 Folds, stereonets; Faults Ch. 6, Appendix H
7 Faults cont'd; Quiz           "
8 (Midterm Break)  
9 Mapping metamorphic rocks; General mapping procedures Ch. 9
10 Surficial and subsurface mapping techniques Ch. 10,11
11 Writing field reports; Preparation for Jericho Beach exercise Ch. 12
12 Digital mapping overview/demos Ch. 12
13 Preparation for Saltspring Island field school  
14 Geology of Saltspring Island  


This schedule is ONLY approximate. It changes every year; please check Current course web site for current version

Week Lab/Field Exercise Readings
2  LAB 1 - Topographic maps  Ch. 1,3
4  LAB 2 - Bruntons; pace and compass techniques
Trip 1 - Caulfeild Park map exercise (Saturday or Sunday)
 Ch. 4
6  LAB 3 - Geol. map interp. I. Sedimentary rocks; intro. structures  Ch. 4, 5, 6, 7,8,9
  Midterm Break  
7 Alternate date for Trip 1 (Saturday or Sunday)  
8 LAB 4 -Geol. map interp. II. Folds and faults
9  Trip 2 - Jericho Beach mapping exercise (Saturday or Sunday)  
10 LAB 5 - Geol. map interp. III. Igneous and metamorphic rocks
Ch. 12
12 LAB FINAL (2 hrs.)  
April-May Saltspring Island Field School (7 days)