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  • Meyrick Tablizo

Geology 120 fieldwork in Ilocos Region

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

Two Geology 120 (Stratigraphy and Sedimentology) four-day fieldworks in Ilocos Region were conducted successfully last 2-5 December 2022 and 24-27 February 2023. In-person fieldworks are important for geology students since these provide practical experience that cannot be taught in class or substituted by virtual activities. Observing rocks and geologic structures in the natural environment, applying field techniques, note-taking in a timely yet efficient manner, and productively working in a team are some benefits of a geology class fieldwork. In particular, for the Geol 120 field activity, the students got to observe and log the stratigraphy of the outcrops directly and then apply the concepts discussed in class to interpret the possible depositional processes that occurred and determine its environment of deposition. The Ilocos Region is also fitting for the class, considering the excellent exposures of sedimentary sequences (representing various facies), as well as outcrops of volcanic and metamorphic units, in addition to its accessibility from Metro Manila. Several outcrops were visited throughout the four-day fieldwork, starting from NIGS to the first few outcrops in Ilocos Sur on Day 1, then heading to the outcrops in Ilocos Norte for Day 2, returning to Ilocos Sur on Day 3, then a few more outcrops in La Union during Day 4 before going back to NIGS. The class also visited several tourist spots in the region (some doubled as outcrops), such as the Calle Crisologo in Vigan, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Burgos, La Paz San Dunes in Laoag, and the Paoay Church and Paoay Lake in Paoay.

February 2023 (bridging) fieldwork students observing the jointed outcrop in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur. Photo by Meyrick Tablizo.

The December 2022 fieldwork was a required activity for the Geol 120 students enrolled last semester (1st Semester, AY 2022-2023). This marked the return of the annual class field activity in the region since the pandemic; the preceding in-person fieldwork for the course was conducted last April 2019. In this fieldwork, the students have no prior knowledge of the outcrops since the virtual field materials weren’t provided. This is contrary to the February 2023 fieldwork, a bridging activity for the students (not required) who took the course last academic year (1st Semester, AY 2021-2022). Since the virtual field materials were shown to them already to draft their virtual field reports, most students were already familiar with the outcrops. However, they were still in awe after finally seeing the outcrops, beyond the photos and videos provided for the virtual fieldwork. Some even actively examined and highlighted their previous observations and tested the interpretations they had written in their field reports. These two field activities for Geol 120 in Ilocos Region highlight the importance of actual in-person fieldwork for students. Lastly, these two different set-ups also gave ideas to the Geol 120 faculty to improve future class field activities.

Geol 120 fieldwork (December 2022) students at the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, Ilocos Norte. Photo by Joaquin Lacson.


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