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MARGINS Mini-lesson Collection


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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.

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 Geologic Safari of the East African Rift and the Newark Basin: Why these areas are more alike than you know
This activity explores the similarity and differences between the Newark Rift Basin and East African Rift.

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.

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.

The Woodlark Basin as a Natural Laboratory for the Study of the Geological Sciences
This activity guides the students through a set of geological problems related to the Woodlark Basin, Papua New Guinea.

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.

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