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One of the most challenging spatial concepts for geology students to master is visualizing how planar geologic surfaces (e.g., layers of bedding, fault surfaces, & tabular intrusions) in various orientations interact with the curviplanar topographic surfaces of valleys & ridges. In geologic parlance, these relationships are collectively referred to as the Rule of Vs because of the characteristic, v-shaped patterns produced by these interactions.

Unfortunately, there are surprisingly few physical tools available to help students with these spatial concepts. Indeed, the last quality geologic block models built expressly for this purpose were made by Thomas Sopwith in the mid 1800’s. To address this need, I started building a modern version of the famous Sopwith models in 2018 to help my Structural Geology students learn the rule of Vs. When not being used in a classroom, these blocks look beautiful on desks or bookshelves and make wonderful gifts for lovers of science, geology, and the Earth.

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All Strain Shadow Designs listings are the work of Kurtis Burmeister.