Comparing subsidence rates in different tectonic settings
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection
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- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
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This page first made public: Jun 6, 2014
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Description and Teaching Materials
Preparation: Make copies of basin-subsidence figures from Xie and Heller, 2009 - only one figure per page, and remove the basin title and figure caption. You will only need enough copies so each student gets one figure, with the number of students with each figure divided roughly equally among the class (e.g., in a class with 15 students, there will be 3 students assigned to each of the 5 figures). Make copies of the location map from Xie and Heller (enough for at least one map per group of 5).
Distribute the figures instructing the students to take a few minutes on their own to make note of the range of rates, scales, durations, and character of subsidence histories represented in their figure. After a few minutes, ask the students to pair up with others who had their figure and compare notes.
When the groups have had a chance to discuss their figure, rearrange the students into new groups of where there is one representative for each figure in each group. Distribute maps to the new groups and ask the groups to compare figures by building a table of the range of and characteristic subsidence magnitude, subsidence duration, subsidence rates and character of subsidence through time (e.g., liner, increasing, decreasing, episodic.). With this information and the map, students should work to reason which tectonic setting each figure represents.
Finish with a whole-class discussion and assign Xie and Heller for reading homework.
Xie and Heller, 2009 (Acrobat (PDF) 280kB Jun6 14)
Figures for subsidence exercise (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 708kB Jun6 14)