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MARGINS Mini-lesson Collection


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Subject: Geology

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Volcanoes of Central America
Volcano distribution and tectonics at a convergent margin: Central American volcanoes

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.

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.

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.