Topography Activities



  1. A college professor of history has become fascinated that ancient geologic events created our landscape and that landscapes have influenced human history, linking in interesting ways the history of our planet with the history of people. You are hired part-time by to create for him a map of the Northeast, with topographic features colored according to the geologic event(s) that had the most influence on the topography. In many cases two events were influential, since the type of rock and structure in the rock combine (after erosion) to create landforms. 

    Use the following events to create your map: 

    1. the Grenville passive margin
    2. the Taconic converge,
    3. interval (Silurian-Early Devonian) between Taconic and Acadian
    4. the Acadian convergence,
    5. interval (Mississippian-Early Permian) between Acadian and Alleghenian
    6. the Alleghenian convergence,
    7. interval (Early-mid Triassic) between Alleghanian and rifting
    8. the rifting apart of Pangea, 
    9. interval (mid-Jurassic-late Jurassic) between rifting and creation of Coastal Plain
    10. the Coastal Plain passive margin and shaping by erosion of many of current land-forms
    11. Pleistocene glaciation and Holocene post-glacial. 

    Create a map for the professor, using your creativity and judgment to make the map easy to read; you will have to generalize some detail. 

  2. Your local Visitors Association hears about your project and recognizes that it may be interesting for them to describe the history of the your area in terms of landforms and geologic events, in their dealings with tourists to your community. You suggest that you may not be able to interpret every landform, but the Visitors Association representatives say that having a few interesting examples is more important than completeness. 

    Describe your local topography in terms of geologic history, underlying rock type, and erosion. 

  3. Seeing that the Visitors Association is creating business from your knowledge, you sense an entrepreneurial opportunity: you could sell, to communities throughout the Northeast, interesting geological information about landforms to businesses advertising about their geographic areas and tour guides wanting information about the local scenery. To take a stab at starting your own business, you choose several widely separated locations to link topography to geological history. 

    • Create a description like (2) for several locations.
    • Create also a pricing sheet that indicates cost for your work.