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Teaching Geoscience with Visualizations: Using Images, Animations, and Models Effectively
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Browse Visualizations

You can use this page to browse through all of the individual visualizations that have been cataloged in our digital library. You can also browse them as collections related to particular topics.



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Regional Paleogeographic Views of Earth History

This site presents a series of paleogeographic and plate-tectonic reconstructions that illustrate the broad patterns of the Earth's structural history. Reconstructions of North America, Colorado Plateau, SW North America, and Mesozoic terrane accretion. Older Mediterranean, Central and Southern Asia views are also available. Reconstructions by geologist Ron Blakey (formerly Northern Arizona University) and Colorado Plateau Geosystems, Inc.

IRIS: Seismic Monitor

This web site provides an interactive map of global seismic activity that is updated every 30 minutes. The site uses data from the National Earthquake Information Center to produce a world map with clickable areas of seismic activity. Users can click on geographical areas of the map, and will be taken to a table which describes the time, location, magnitude and comments about particular seismic events. Information is kept for earthquakes that have occurred in the last 24 hours, 15 days, and five years. For earthquakes of a magnitude of 6.0 and over, links are provided to special information pages that try to explain the where, how and why that particular event occurred. The user can also view the ground motion associated with an event and visit seismology laboratories around the world.

Mantle Convection Movies On-Line at Caltech

This Caltech website contains movies and animations about mantle convection, along with brief summaries of the science behind it. Topics covered include supercontinents, superplumes, Australia, oceanic plates and faults, plate tectonic models, and stirring by mantle convection.

Earth's Interior

This website contains class notes from a Geology 101 (physical geology) course. It discusses the composition and structure of the Earth's interior. Each layer, the inner core, outer core, mantle, and crust, is covered. Details about each layer explain their composition, temperature, depth, and state. Also covered is how scientists discovered what the interior of the Earth is made of through the use of seismic waves, plate tectonics, and the Earth's magnetic field.

USGS Photo Library Archive

This collection consists of thousands of photos dating from 1868 to the present with emphasis on geology, earthquake damage, and national parks and monuments. Pioneer photographers such as W.H. Jackson, J.K. Hillers, T.H. O'Sullivan, A.J. Russell and others are featured in one section. Other topics include the Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption of 1980, and mines, mills and quarries. The system allows searching from a list of subjects, as well as a free form search. All photos are available in 100, 700 and 1400 dots per inch resolution.

The Basics of Ocean Chemistry: Carbon, Circulation, and Critters

Ocean chemistry, particularly the carbon cycle, is featured in text and illustrations, with quantitative graphics and a lab demonstration. Graphics include the global carbon cycle from 1980-1989, annual carbon dioxide flux, ocean chlorophyll concentration east of Buenos Aires, and a cartoon showing upwelling of nutrients.

Plate Tectonics and the Evolution of Central America and the Caribbean

A series of illustrations with explanatory text from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay showing the tectonic evolution of Central America and the Caribbean region from 170 Ma to present.

Cenozoic to Recent plate configurations in the Pacific Basin: Ridge subduction and slab window magmatism in western North America

These are figures show in an article from Geosphere by Madsen et al. Several of the figures show hypothetical reconstructions of the tectonic evolution in the area of the plate margin on the west side of North America.

Tectonic Evolution of Western North America

This narrative set of cartoons illustrate a hypothesized sequence of events in Western North America's recent geologic history beginning at 30 Ma. Each cartoon is accompanied by explanatory text to help users understand what activity is being depicted and how each one differs from the one(s) before.

Temporal evolution of the Farallon slab

Figure 1 from "Reconstructing Farallon Plate Subduction Beneath North America Back to the Late Cretaceous" by Liu et al, published in Science [2008, 322(5903), 934]. This figure shows the hypothesized temporal evolution of the Farallon slab from 100 Ma to present.



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