Earth Exploration Toolbook Chapters


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Analyzing Plate Motion Using EarthScope GPS Data
DATA: EarthScope GPS Data. TOOLS: Spreadsheet, Google Maps. SUMMARY: Learn how GPS monuments make precise measurements of Earth's surface. Graph motion data and map velocity vectors to explore tectonic motion and surface deformation in the Pacific Northwest.

Analyzing the Antarctic Ozone Hole
DATA: Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) Images. TOOLS: ImageJ, Spreadsheet. SUMMARY: Animate and explore 10 years of Southern Hemisphere ozone images. Then measure and graph the area of the ozone hole over time.

Exploring Regional Differences in Climate Change
DATA: Climate Model Predictions TOOLS: EOS-Webster, Spreadsheet application SUMMARY: Produce and analyze graphs to compare climate predictions among U.S. states through the year 2100.

Global Change in Local Places
DATA: SHALDRIL Core Data; NOAA Pollen data TOOL: GeoMapApp SUMMARY: Import Antarctic sediment core data files into GeoMapApp to create maps and graphs. Use data to infer past climate conditions based on current vegetation distributions.

How Permanent is Permafrost?
DATA: NSIDC Permafrost Extent, NASA GISS Surface Temperature, Siberian Arctic Soil and Borehole Temperature TOOLS: Google Earth and Microsoft Excel SUMMARY: Explore the location of permafrost research sites in the Siberian Arctic with Google Earth. Then use Microsoft Excel to graph and analyze trends in borehole temperature data. Compare the borehole temperature record with global temperature trends and hypothesize the possible future of Arctic permafrost.

Investigating Climate Change Using Observed Temperature Data
DATA: Historic temperature data from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). TOOL: Spreadsheet. SUMMARY: Download, import, and graph temperature data. Compare different locations and investigate changes in annual average temperature over time.

Investigating Earthquakes with ArcExplorer GIS
DATA: Recent and Historical Earthquake Data. TOOL: ArcExplorer Java Edition for Education GIS. SUMMARY: Explore earthquake data and import them into a Geographic Information System (GIS). Analyze the data to predict where the next big earthquake will occur.

Investigating Renewable Energy Data from Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Panels
DATA: Soltrex Online Data. TOOL: Microsoft Excel. SUMMARY: Examine solar energy generation; explore websites that monitor and report solar energy production from panels at many different locations; and consider how much of a school's or home's energy needs could be supplied by solar power.

Investigating the Precipitation-Streamflow Relationship
DATA: Streamflow data, Precipitation data. TOOL: Spreadsheet application. SUMMARY: Produce a graph to compare data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

Looking into Earth with GIS
DATA: Seismic Wave Model Output. TOOLS: My World GIS, Microsoft Excel. SUMMARY: Examine seismic wave data in a Geographic Information System (GIS). Analyze wave velocities to infer the depth of the crust-mantle boundary.

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