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Plate Tectonics as Expressed in Geological Landforms and Events
This activity seeks to have students analyze global data sets on earthquake and volcano distributions toward identifying major plate boundary types in different regions on the Earth. A secondary objective is to familiarize students with two publicly available resources for viewing and manipulating geologically-relevant geospatial data: Google Earth(TM) and GeoMapApp.
A tour of the Mariana Subduction System
This lesson presents a brief tour of the Mariana subduction system, an active continental margin in the west Pacific.
Online Investigation of an Island Arc Volcano: Anatahan, Mariana Arc
This activity is a Web investigation and research exercise starting with the 2003-present Anatahan volcanic eruptions in the Mariana arc, and concluding with a petrologic examination of published Mariana arc lavas data sets.
What Goes into Making Volcanic Arc Magmas, and How Do We Know It?
This activity is a directed reading exercise focused on papers that have been key to our understanding of the major source contributors to subduction zone volcanic rocks.
Historical Earthquakes and Uplift/Subsidence of Sumatra from Coral Growth Rings - Introductory Version
In this lab, students will use data from real corals collected in Sumatra to date historical earthquakes and to track the history of uplift and subsidence of the region over the past century.
Partitioning of thrust and strike/slip faulting in oblique subduction
Oblique subduction results in distinct sets of faults with either just thrust or mainly strike/slip motion and that back-arc thrust belts show little oblique strain compared to forearc areas.
How Slab Dip Affects the Location of Volcanoes
Students will plot the locations of earthquakes on the top of subducting slabs to determine slab dip and will then develop hypotheses regarding the relationship between slab dip, the depth of the slab, and volcanic activity on the surface.
A Volcanic Record Through Time
This is a lecture segment that can be used or adapted for use in an undergraduate geoscience class. The goal of the lecture is to familiarize students with the concept of volcanic change through time at time scale commensurate to plate tectonic evolution.
Physical and Chemical Variations Along the Central American Volcanic Arc
The Central American volcanic arc displays large arc-parallel variations in chemical composition that yield important clues concerning the complex origin of magmas in subduction zones. In this exercise, students use data compiled for the NSF MARGINS program to compare heights, volumes, and whole-rock compositions of 39 Quaternary volcanic centers along the Central American arc, together with crustal thicknesses, to assess the possible sources of the magmas and the petrologic processes that have modified them prior to eruption.
Serpentinite in Subduction Zones: How do we find it, and how common is it?
A mineralogical, petrological, and geophysical exploration of the role of serpentinite in subduction zones, as highlighted in the two NSF-MARGINS Subduction Factory focus sites.