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MARGINS Mini-lesson Collection


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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.

Serpentine Seamounts in the Mariana Forearc: Shallow Material Releases from Downgoing Plates
A set of maps, images and .kmz files for use in lectures and discussions on forearc serpentine volcanism in the Mariana subduction system.

Testing plate tectonics in the Gulf of California
This is a simple exercise to use real-world data from recent large earthquakes so that students can "test" for themselves if plate tectonics "works" in the Gulf of California.

Profiling Earth's Surface using GeoMapApp
In this exercise, students relate large-scale features on Earth's surface to lithospheric plates, the underlying asthenosphere, earthquakes, and volcanoes. After creating a cross section showing elevation using GeoMapApp, students add additional features by hand.

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.

Connecting Cross-Sectional Data from the Red Sea to Plate Tectonics
Students will use map views and cross-sectional profiles across the Red Sea to determine plate tectonic processes in the region. Google Earth is a technological tool used to facilitate the investigation.

What Can (and Cannot) Be Learned from Scientific Drilling Using Examples from Margins Initiatives
This is a lecture segment that could be introduced to an introductory geoscience class to help explain and demonstrate what can and cannot be found out by scientific drilling.

Burial, compaction, and porosities in a subduction zone
In this activity, students look at how sediments compact as they are buried in a subduction zone and explore how rapid burial can lead to increased water pressure.

Chemical Inputs and Outputs at Subduction Zones
In this exercise students utilize data from geochemistry databases to analyze inputs and outputs associated with arc volcanism.

Are You in a Hotspot?
This activity is a PowerPoint module designed to help students differentiate hotspot island chains from volcanic island arc systems. Using map images, students are asked to describe and differentiate the topography and geologic features of the two tectonic settings.