Introduction to Google Earth (Geological Hazards Edition) Equipment you will need to do this lab: A computer, calculator, Google Earth, KMZ files…

Introduction to Google Earth (Geological Hazards Edition)Equipment you will need to do this lab: A computer, calculator, Google Earth, KMZ files (available on Sakai and on Lab computers)Objectives:1. Familiarity with Google Earth2. Opening and creating place marks 3. Creating a tour4. Measuring distances between sites 5. Measuring area of features6. Visualizing elevation cross-sections 6. Calculating slope of surfaceNew Concepts:Gradient: Gradient is a measure of how steep a slope is. Often measured in meters/kilometer.Coastal plain: An extensive low relief (flat) area extending from the piedmont to the shoreline and thencontinuing out across the continental shelf.Cuspate Foreland: Is a triangular accumulation of sand located along the coastline. This feature is formed by the combination of waves and currents and has a pronounced spit.LiDAR: is an acronym for LIght Detection And Ranging. LIDAR is used to make precise, high-resolution maps of the surface of the earth either from satellites, aircraft or groundbased sensors.Purpose:We are living in an increasingly data rich world and a key component of that is spatial information. Researchers have recently coined the term “Geospatial Revolution” to describe the transformational growth in geospatial data, analysis, and visualization systems ranging from GPS (global positioning system) navigation devices to advanced GIS (geographic analysis system) that surrounds us. Developing an awareness and skillset in utilizing some of these new resources opens an informative and exciting new way to explore our dynamic earth.To learn more about the geospatial revolution watch this short video on YouTube. this lab we will be extensively using Google Earth to visualize and analyze landscapes. The purpose of this lab is to familiarize you with the program. The lab is also designed to familiarize you with the geography and geology of the Atlantic Coast since we will be discussing coastal hazards in class. For your information and use, the link to Google Earth’s help/user guide is: Additional basic information on Google Earth can be found at: final write-up for this activity will include the answer sheet (last two page of the lab) with your answers to the problems contained in it. Make sure to adhere to the following guidelines:Answers to questions should be in complete sentences.Show all calculations and units involved in solving mathematical problems.Google Earth is one of several 3-D geospatial viewers that are freely available over the Internet. A geospatial viewer is a computer program that allows users to examine, compare, and analyze aerial photographs, satellite imagery, maps, and other data in a highly interactive way. 3-D geospatial viewers superimpose this data onto a three-dimensional model of our planet. Viewers like Google Earth give you access to vast amounts geographic, geologic, political, and social data by constantly retrieving this information from government, commercial, and other digital information servers.The images displayed on Google Earth are primarily of two types: satellite imagery and aerial photography. Because the images come from various sources, they have different resolutions. This is why some areas appear crisp, even at the street level, while other are blurry when viewed from a great distance. These images are overlaid onto a computer model of the earth’s surface called a digital elevation model or DEM. This is like laying a highly flexible cloth map over a clay model of a mountain range.In addition to its display capabilities, Google Earth has a collection of tools that can be used for determining position and elevation, as well measuring distance. Throughout this lab we will be using these tools to analyze the various landscapes that we look at.With the exception of the professional versions, Google Earth can be downloaded for free from Google’s web site and operates on Windows, MacOSX, and Linux based computers. Methods:1. Getting started:Open Google EarthOpen the KML file for lab by downloading the file and opening it with Google Earth.2. Navigating Google Earth:Before using Google Earth to analyze coastal landscapes, take a few moments and become familiar with how to navigate the program. You can move from place to place on the virtual globe or change your perspective of a scene in two different ways.Using the “places” menu – The places menu is on the left side of the Google Earth window. In it you will find a folder titled “GEOVIZ Lab – Introduction to Google Earth”. Below it you should see a number of items (e.g. Boundaries, etc.). If you don’t see these items click on the grey triangle next to the “GEOVIZ Lab…” folder. Once you see the items in the folder, double click on one of them. This will move you closer or further away from the scene and bring the feature of interest into the center of the field of view.Using the mouse and space navigator on your computer – Assuming that you are using a computer in the VAST lab, you can use the buttons and the scroll wheel to move your field of view. Here are the principle ways you can do this.o Holding down the left button while moving the mouse moves the scene north-south and east- west.o Turning the scroll wheel zooms in and out of the scene.o Turning the scroll wheel while holding down the command key (seebelow) rotates the scene on a vertical axis.o Turning the scroll wheel while holding down the shift key rotates the scene on a horizontal axis.In addition to the mouse you should find attached to each computer a Space Navigator that looks like image belowThe Space Navigator is a 6-degree of freedom device (- basically a joystick for maneuvering around in Google Earth. Here are the principle ways you can use the Space NavigatorPushing down on the navigator zooms in and out of the scene.Pushing the navigator handle (the base stays still) forward backward and side to side moves the scene north-south and east-westTilting forward or back rotates the scene on a vertical axis.Twisting the navigator rotates the scene on a horizontal axis.Note that directly below the “My Places” window there is a horizontal slider bar. Move this slider back and forth. What happens to the active layer on the screen? Keep in mind that this function can be very useful when comparing similar data layersUnder Preferences…. select the 3D view tab, select meters and kilometers under Units ofMeasurement,degrees, decimalminutes under Show Lat/Long, and change the elevation exaggeration to 3.Lab ActivitiesOnce you have had a chance to become familiar with navigating in Google Earth, locate the following andrecord your answers on the answer sheet.3. General observations and features visible in satellite imagerya. Navigate to the continent of Africa, what can you see from space about the climate in Africa?b. In the places menu, double click the ‘eye’ link. This natural feature is visible from space and iscreated by deformation of soft material below ground.c. Click on the Goma link. This is a large refugee camp in Uganda, if you zoom out and look around,can you identify any possible geological hazards for the people of Goma?d. Click on the Salt Lake link. Notice that the northern part of the lake is a different color than thesouthern part. This is due to a difference in salinity. Zoom in, can you tell what is causing this?e. Click on Bingham Canyon Mine Rockslide. This copper mine has been in operation since 1906 and produces a quarter of the copper used in the U.S. The landslide occurred on April 10, 2013, when the wall of the pit collapsed. Monitoring equipment alerted mine operators to the problem months in advance and the mine was evacuated less than 8 hours prior to the collapse. No one was hurt, onlysome equipment was lost. What is the elevation at the top of the landslide? At the bottom?4. Lake Mead, ‘natural’ contour lines.a. Search for “Callville Bay, NV”. From the View menu select Historical Imagery and adjust the time slider to 8-26-1992, 8-30-2005, and the most recent image. What is happening to the marina?(Turn off Historical imagery when you are finished for best performance.)b. Search for “Hemenway Harbor”. Why is the boat ramp so long?c. Click on Island by Hemenway Harbor. Can you see the old shorelines tracing around the reservoir?Look around the reservoir from a view point straight above, where the old and new shorelines are close the slope is steep, where the shorelines are far apart the slope is not as steep.5. Straight lines natural and unnatural.a. Click on Straight Lines. Was this straight line made by humans? Follow it to the northwest until you find other straight lines what are some differences between these straight lines?b. Go back to the Straight Lines place mark. Speculate on what is happening to the streams that are to the north and east of the line. Do you know what created this line?c. Click on Fault Trace in Haiti. Explore!6. Volcanic hazards and lava flowsa. Click on Lava Flows. Basaltic lava stays black at the surface until it weathers, soil forms, and plants colonize. Zoom out. Where is this lava coming from? What island is this? What do you think of the location of this neighborhood?b. Click on Telescopes. These telescopes are on the top of this volcano for clear views of the night sky. Later this semester you will learn why NASA isn’t worried about losing their telescopes due to volcanic activity from this volcano.c. Click on INEEL nuclear research site. This is one of several large nuclear research facilities in Snake River Basin that began operations after the World War II.d. Click on Inactive Volcano. Do you see anything that reminds you of the basalt flows in Hawaii? If color indicates the age of the flow, are there older flows around this valley? Basalt fractures as it cools and creates complex groundwater aquifers. Managing these aquifers once they become contaminated is very difficult.e. What are the green things in this valley? Where does the water come from?f. Click on 1000 Springs. The aquifer is emptying into the Snake River. Turn on the photos layer andview great photos of the springs.7. Determining location and elevation:a. VAST Lab in Penny Hall (To see all the construction that has occurred in this part of campus use the historical imagery slider from the view menu)b. Newark Reservoirc. The Wind Turbine in Lewes andd. The highest point of Great Dune.To help you locate the highest point of the dune we have included a color-coded map layer based on a precisely surveyed map of the area using a laser scanner (Lidar). You can make this map transparent by adjusting the slider under the places while the Lidar layer is selected. This will allow you to see and focus on the bare unvegetated section of the dune system. Determine the position (latitude / longitude) and elevation of each point. To do this, move the cursor over the placemark or feature and read the latitude, longitude, and elevation at the bottom of the scene. Record this information in your write up. Note – Location should be in Degrees and Decimal Minutes (39° 5.224’ N 15° 2.122’ W).Elevation and eye elevation should be in meters and make sure to not confuse surface elevation (elev) with the distance of an observer above the scene (eye alt- shown on the bottom right side). To change the units, select Preferences… under the Google Earth menu at the top of the screen8. Measuring distance and bearing:To measure distance between two features you need the ruler tool. To get this tool go to the “Tools” menu and select “Ruler”. When you do you will get a dialog box. You’ll also notice that the cursor changes to white box with cross hairs. Move this box to a feature that you are interested in and single click on that feature. Now when you move the mouse a yellow line appears that changes as you move the cursor (figure 2). Move the cursor to another feature that you are interested in and then single click on that feature. The distance between the two features is shown where it says length in the dialog box. You can change the units for the length using the pull down menu next to the number.Below the length, is heading in degrees. This is the direction of that the second feature that you clicked on is relative to the first one that you clicked on. The numbers for heading are based on compass direction translated into 360°.North = 000° South = 180° East = 090° West = 270°To practice using this tool, determinea. The distance (in both miles and kilometers) between the summit of the Great Dune and the campusWind Turbine. Also determineb. which way you would be looking if you could stand at the summit and see the turbine.For a neat effect turn on the 3D Buildings layer on the left side of the Google Earth screen and see what pops up on the Lewes Campus. Can you see the Turbine from the Dune (hint: tilt the navigator to look from the side)?9. Visualizing Cross sectionsMaps are very useful for studying the world around us, but geologists are often interested in what is beneath the surface and the surface topography. We will be looking beneath the surface in many of the upcoming labs. For today we will use cross sections to visualize surface topography with Google Earth.a. Click on Newark Reservoir. Notice that the water is dark colored, and there are two little ponds to the southwest across Paper Mill Road. These ponds are fed by a canal from White Clay Creek, and water is pumped up into the reservoir from them. Tilt the navigator so the reservoir appears as a ‘bump’ on the landscape. What seems odd about the shore of the reservoir?The elevation data that Google is using is from before the reservoir was built, the aerial imagery date is more current.b. Click on the Newark Reservoir path—the one with 3 red dots. Right click the path and select ShowElevation Profile. What is the elevation range on the y-axis? What is the distance on the x-axis? Depending on your display there is probably a vertical exaggeration of 4 to 5, this means that the cross section looks 4 to 5 times as steep as it really is! You can adjust this by changing the shape of the cross section box.Notice the relatively flat area on the left side of the cross section. This is the floodplain on the White Clay Creek that we will visit later in the semester.c. Estimate the surface area (in m2) of the reservoir by measuring the length and average width with theruler tool. (A = l x w)d. Find the volume assuming the average depth is 8m. (V = l x w x h) Don’t forget the units!e. The city of Newark uses about 23,000m3 of water per day, how long would the reservoir last in adrought if it was the only water source for Newark? Does this seem like a long enough time?10. Calculating gradient:Gradient is a measure of how steep a slope is. To determine gradient, use this = Δz = Elevationpoint A – Elevationpoint B d distanceA to BWhere gr is gradient, d is the distance between two points, and Δz is the elevation differences between them. The units for gr are the units for Δz divided by the units for d. For instance if Δz is in meters (m) and d is in kilometers (km), the units for gradient will be in m/km.Remember you already found the elevations in part 7 above. To practice calculating gradient, determine:a. What is the elevation difference (Δz) between the Reservoir and the Vast lab.b. Calculate the gradient in m/km between the Reservoir and the VAST lab.c. Calculate the gradient in m/km between the VAST lab in Newark and the Wind Turbine in Lewes.d. Draw a path from the reservoir, to Milford, DE, to the Wind Turbine, to the Great Dune, along thespine of the Great Dune and into the ocean a little bit. Save the path, and display the elevationprofile.e. Compare the gradient measurements and look at the profile you just created, what do these tell youabout how flat southern Delaware is compared to northern Delaware?f. What are all the deep notches from?g. What would happen if there was 5m of sea level rise? What about 10m?h. Is much of southern Delaware higher in elevation than the Great Dune?11. Applying what you have learned to the geography and geology of Cape Henlopen.Delaware Bay is a large estuary with a dynamic cape system. Cape Henlopen is the prominent geologic complex termed a cuspate foreland to the east of the Lewes campus. This complex has built up over12.hundreds and thousands of years in response to waves and currents pushing sand north along the coast. The Cape is a large unconsolidated build up of sand.a. Go to the Cape Henlopen Lidar area and adjust the Lidar transparency, as described in part 7, to about 30%. From the View menu select Historical Imagery. Adjust the time slider from the oldest (1992) to the most recent (2011) imagery. Where are there areas of new sand deposition? Where has sand been removed?b. Based on the historic 1831 shoreline (green line) measure how far the shoreline has built out from the tip of the 1831 cape to the tip of the modern cape.c. Based on the distance and time interval estimate the rate of growth of the shoreline in m/yr.d. Based on the shape (morphology) of the Cape Henlopen Spit what direction do you suppose wavesare primarily coming from to form that shape?Google Earth toura. Explore a natural area anywhere in the world that you find interesting. You could do Fiji, or the Gobi desert, basically anywhere that there are interesting things to display. You could use the historical imagery to do before and after images of a disaster. Please avoid urban areas unless there is a geologic hazards angle to the story. Try to use interesting navigation to show interesting things about the landscape or region, not just pure aerial shots. Notice that you can turn on layers that include photos that people have taken on the ground, these can make tours more interesting. You may want to create place marks with comments so the viewer knows what you are trying to show.b. Create a visual tour in your area of interest and save the resulting tour kml file. Instructions for creating a KML tour, and emailing the file are listed below.Create a KML Tour1. Click the Add Tour button in the toolbar, or go to the Add menu, and select Tour.The tour recording tools appear in the lower-left corner of the 3D viewer:2. Click the Record button to start recording actions andmovements in Google Earth. The button changes to red and the time counter begins counting up, showing the duration of your current KML Tour.3. Create your tour by flying, zooming, panning, and rotating the globe. Use the 3D Space Navigator, to navigate smoothly across the scene.4. When you are finished creating your tour, stop recording byclicking the Record button again. Your recording stops, and the Tour Player appears in the bottom-left corner of the 3D viewer. The KML Tour that you just created automatically begins playing. 5. To save your KML Tour, click the Save to File button in the Tour Player, and give your KML Tour a name.6. To save it to a permanent .kmz file, right-click the tour in your Places panel, choose Save Places As…, and save your .kmz file to a location on your computer.7. Email the file (as an attachment) to your instructor (and your friends) so that they can view your tour in Google Earth!

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