Mid-Ocean Ridge Observations
Students work in partners during class to make observations about the East Pacific Rise and Mid-Atlantic Ridge from Google Earth images. They also examine samples of typical oceanic crust and upper mantle and use relative density to predict the appropriate rock sequence.
Sophomore level tectonics course
It could also be used for an upper-level tectonics class or seminar if it was pitched at a slightly higher level.
I have tried it in an introductory class, but some of the students were a little bit lost.
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
Students need to understand how plate tectonics operates and understand what a divergent margin is. The exercise will work best if students know their rock types fairly well.
How the activity is situated in the course
This is a class activity that is done 1-day while discussing divergent margins.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Fast and slow spreading ridges
Ophiolite Sequences and Structure of Oceanic Crust and Upper Mantle
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Separation of observations and interpretations
Other skills goals for this activity
Working in groups
Description and Teaching Materials
The file attached is for instructors on how to run the activity. There are no handouts needed for students.
Instructor Information for Mid-Ocean Ridge Observations (Microsoft Word 25kB May6 12)
Teaching Notes and Tips
The activity can be modified depending on the level of the students.
I determine whether students have met the goals primarily based on their participation. When the students are discussing with their partners, I make sure that one partner is not doing all of the talking. If it appears to be 1-sided, I try to ask the less involved student some questions, to make sure they understand the activity.
References and Resources