Driving west from the city of Calgary on the Trans-Canada Highway, Mount Yamnuska (Figure 2) is the first peak as one enters the Front Ranges. From the highway, Yamnuska displays an approximately 500 m vertical cliff face and is about 2.5 km across. The cliffs are made up of Paleozoic limestones, which sit on Mesozoic fluvial sandstones. We picked this location because it is familiar to the majority of the students, but also because of this chronological anomaly of older rocks sitting atop younger rocks. The contact between the two rock units (the McConnell Thrust) is visible along some of the base of the cliff face. Site access is relatively easy, as it is a 45-minute drive (approximately) west from Calgary, followed by a two- to four-hour round-trip hike to the base of the escarpment, where the fault contact is visible. We saw the accessibility of the site as a positive feature, as students could visit it on their own after completing the VFE to reinforce their learning and build on their understanding of the site.
Outcrops can be represented through a variety media in a variety of ways. Below are just a few, including photomosaics, drone video, and 3D models explorable in Virtual Reality.
Photomosiaic of Mount Yamnuska showing Paleozoic cliff-forming carbonate rocks overlying Mesozoic fluvial sandstones, forming the slope beneath the cliff. The McConnell Thrust Fault trace is visible at the base of the cliff toward the right, middle of the photograph, to just before the tree coverage starts.
Take a look for yourself at the 3D outcrops and show them to your class