Circum-Arctic geology for everyone: Using virtual fieldtrips to bring the high Arctic closer to the world

Theme 4. Education
Session Name 4.11 Education and capacity building about Polar regions through science: Tools, resources, and lessons engaging in education, outreach, and communication
Datetime Sep 07, 2018 01:15 PM - 01:35 PM (UTC +3)
Presentation Type Oral
Author(s) Kim Senger (University Centre in Svalbard, Norway), Maria Jensen (University Centre in Svalbard, Norway), Nicole Naumann (Uni Research, Norway), Melanie Forien (University of Tromsø, Norway), Bernie Coakley (University of Alaska - Fairbanks, USA)
Abstract text

The high Arctic is a remote place. Geoscientific research and teaching require expensive expeditions to make use of the short field seasons. While the harsh winter and absence of light complicate fieldwork, well-exposed high Arctic outcrops readily provide insights into the geological evolution of the Arctic basins. Modern photogrammetric techniques, on land or from a drone, support the construction of high-resolution virtual outcrop models. These quantitative models can be used to generate data to complement traditional fieldwork independent of the seasons. Analysis of these data can advance research objectives, ranging from small-scale (e.g., size and spacing of dinosaur footprints) to large-scale (e.g., synthetic seismic modelling of outcrops). Virtual outcrop models can introduce students to a field area and be used to plan an effective field campaign. Digital tools, such as ruggedized tablets, are used in the field to record and organize new data. In the post-field work phase virtual outcrops can place additional field observations into a digital context for joint analysis. In the framework of virtual field trips, virtual outcrop models can be used as “stops”. In this contribution, we summarize our experiences during this UArctic-supported research project on how off-the-shelf tools can be used to construct geological fieldtrips and demonstrate these by “visiting” key geological localities on Svalbard.

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