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Classroom, Lab and Field Exercises in Geophysics

This collection of teaching materials allows for the sharing of ideas and activities within the community of geophysics teachers.

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Seismic Refraction Lab part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
Scott Marshall, Appalachian State University
The following lab will introduce students to the basic concepts of seismic refraction as well as some actual data collected during seismic refraction surveys. You will use your knowledge of seismic refraction to ...

Active Tectonics Field Trip part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
George Davis, University of Arizona
By far most field trips in structural geology and regional tectonics do NOT take place in large urban centers with a trip focus on mitigation of hazards. What is described here is an example of the instructional ...

Measuring the vertical gradient of gravity part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
Rob Sternberg, Franklin and Marshall College
The free-air effect tells us that as elevation above sea level increases, gravitational acceleration g decreases at the rate of about 0.3086 mgal/meter. This effect is routinely corrected for when making gravity ...

Skill puzzles part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
Sarah Titus, Carleton College
These are short exercises that allow students practice with concepts in Structural Geology, Tectonics, or Geophysics. (Many of them were designed with Eric Horsman.) The basic idea is to give students opportunities ...

Reading and responding to geological journal articles part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
Rory McFadden, Carleton College
This a semester long activity for students in a plate tectonics course will be read one (or two) geological journal articles every other week on the major topics covered in the course. Students will submit reading ...

Using Data to Teach Earth ProcessesAn Illustrated Community Discussion at the 2003 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Data, Simulations and Models:Workshop 03:Activities
Robert Bauer, University of Missouri-Columbia
Bob Bauer, University of Missouri - Students and faculty participate in an integrated effort to characterize hydrologic relationships using hydrologic, geologic & geophysical data -

New Views of an Old Continent: A Tectonics Lab Exercise Using Geophysical Maps of Australia part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
David Greene, Denison University
In this lab activity students are given five different map views of the continent of Australia: Geology, Gravity Anomaly, Magnetic Anomaly, Digital Elevation, and Satellite Image, and asked to investigate and ...

Plotting Earthquakes with Near Real-Time Data part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
Bill Slattery, Wright State University-Main Campus
Students access the United States Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/ and plot the longitude latitude and depth of earthquakes on a physiographic ...

Teaching Geoscience with Video Snips part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Videos:Activities
Scott Brande, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)
Video snips are short video segments of live footage of geologic processes (settling sand, cleaving minerals, or landslides) used to engage students, foster discussion, and stimulate higher order thinking skills. ...

Signal processing and earthquake triggering part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Data, Simulations and Models:Teaching with MATLAB 2015:Teaching Activities
Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, Western Washington University
In this exercise, written for an undergraduate seismology class, students use MATLAB to analyze waveforms from the 2004 Sumatra M9.0 earthquake, as they were recorded on three seismic stations in Alaska. Two of ...

Visualizing the time-dependence of the Earth's magnetic field part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Data, Simulations and Models:Teaching with MATLAB 2015:Teaching Activities
Frederik Simons, Princeton University; Christopher Harig, Princeton University
Visualizing the International Geomagnetic Reference Field. This activity falls under "visualization" of a geophysical field as expressed in spherical harmonics, which has been appreciated by college ...

El-Dab'a ground water aquifer assessment, Egypt part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
elhamy Tarabees, Damanhour University
El-Dabaa area is an area located in the norther part of the western desert, Egypt and planed to be nuclear power point. Some vertical electrical sounding have been done there to evaluate the ground water aquifer ...

Hydrocarbon Exploration part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
elhamy Tarabees, Damanhour University
To detect the hydrocarbon reservoir, structure traps should be detected. Seismic reflection profiles can be used to illustrate the structure image for the subsurface layers and hence, find out structure traps for ...

ConcepTest: Oceans by South America #6 part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:ConcepTests:Examples
Examine the image of part of the South American continent and neighboring oceans. (Image courtesy the National Geophysical Data Center.) Which sites are most likely to be located on oceanic crust? a. A, B, C, & ...

ConcepTest: Mercalli Intensity part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:ConcepTests:Examples
In 1872, 25 people were killed in Lone Pine when their adobe homes collapsed during an earthquake. What was the Mercalli Intensity of the earthquake? a. I - III b. IV—VI c. VII—X d. XI—XII

ConcepTest: Find the Epicenter part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:ConcepTests:Examples
An earthquake occurred on the Erie Fault 5 km below Ashtabula. Damage from the earthquake was greatest in nearby Chardon. The furthest report of shaking was recorded in Akron. Where was the earthquake's ...

ConcepTest: Intensity and Magnitude part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:ConcepTests:Examples
Three sites (L1, L2, L3) record earthquake intensity and earthquake magnitude for the same earthquake. L1 is located closest to the focus and L3 is farthest away. The intensity values are greatest at _____ and the ...

ConcepTest: S Wave Speed part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:ConcepTests:Examples
The city of Guildhall experienced two earthquakes within a 1-month interval. The first earthquake was magnitude 2; the second earthquake was magnitude 7. The S-waves from the magnitude 2 earthquake travel ...

ConcepTest: S Wave Amplitude part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:ConcepTests:Examples
The city of Guildhall experienced two earthquakes within a 1-month interval. The first earthquake was magnitude 2; the second earthquake was magnitude 7. Examination of a seismogram recorded 100 km away showed that ...

ConcepTest: Magnitude part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:ConcepTests:Examples
What determines the magnitude of an earthquake? a) The type of plate boundary where the earthquake occurs. b) The amount of energy released by the movement on a fault. c) The amount of damage that occurs as a ...