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Teaching Geophysics in the 21st Century
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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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Data Filtering and Noise Reduction part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
Scott Marshall, Appalachian State University
This lab utilizes the computer program, Excel. In this exercise students will generate synthetic data sets based on a simplified model of daily high temperatures in Boone, NC and apply several filtering techniques ...

Seismic Refraction Lab part of Cutting Edge: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: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: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: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 ...

New Views of an Old Continent: A Tectonics Lab Exercise Using Geophysical Maps of Australia part of Cutting Edge: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 ...

Taking the Pulse of Yellowstone's "Breathing" Volcano part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
Beth Pratt-Sitaula, Central Washington University
In this activity, students learn about volcanism in Yellowstone National Park, focusing on its history of eruption, recent seismicity, hydrothermal events, and ground deformation. They learn how scientists monitor ...

The science behind Plate Tectonics part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
John Weber, Grand Valley State University
Plate tectonics is a quantitative, robust and testable, geologic model describing the surface motions of Earth's outer skin. It is based on real data and assumptions, and built using the scientific method. New ...

El-Dab'a ground water aquifer assessment, Egypt part of Cutting Edge: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: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: Location of Deep Earthquakes part of Cutting Edge:Teaching Methods:ConcepTests:Examples
Where will deep earthquakes occur most frequently in the plate tectonic setting shown below?

ConcepTest: Characteristics of the Ocean Floor part of Cutting Edge:Teaching Methods:ConcepTests:Examples
What is the relationship between age and the character of the ocean floor? Which statement is TRUE? a. Deeper regions of the ocean floor tend to be younger b. The Pacific is larger than the Atlantic because it ...

ConcepTest: EQ Recurrence Interval part of Cutting Edge:Teaching Methods:ConcepTests:Examples
Plate A moves 3 cm/yr past plate B. A typical earthquake along the plate boundary has 6 meters of slip. What is the recurrence interval of the earthquake? a. 0.2 years b. 2 years c. 200 years d. 2000 years

ConcepTest: Mercalli Intensity part of Cutting Edge: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. IVVI c. VIIX d. XIXII

ConcepTest: Foreshock part of Cutting Edge:Teaching Methods:ConcepTests:Examples
A seismograph records four earthquakes of magnitude 3.7, 3.2, 6.5 and 4.3 and then seismicity decreases. Which earthquake(s) represent (a) foreshock(s)? a. 3.7 and 3.2 b. 3.2 only c. 3.7 only d. 3.7 and 6.5

ConcepTest: Find the Epicenter part of Cutting Edge: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: Shock Sequences part of Cutting Edge:Teaching Methods:ConcepTests:Examples
A seismograph records four earthquakes of magnitude 3.7, 3.2, 6.5 and 4.3 and then seismicity decreases. Which is a likely foreshock /aftershock sequence? a. 3.7, 3.2/6.5 b. 3.2, 6.5/4.3 c. 3.2, 3.7/4.3 d. 6.5/4.3

ConcepTest: Oceans by South America #2 part of Cutting Edge: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 pair of sites is best described as located on or near a continental ...

ConcepTest: Oceans by South America #1 part of Cutting Edge:Teaching Methods:ConcepTests:Examples
Examine the image of part of the South American continent and neighboring oceans. (Image courtesy the National Geophysical Data Center.) Where is a passive continental margin located? a. A b. B

ConcepTest: P and S Waves part of Cutting Edge:Teaching Methods:ConcepTests:Examples
Examine the seismogram below that shows a 26-minute long record of the seismic waves from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake as it was received by a seismograph station in Germany, over 14,000 km away. Approximately ...