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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.

Historical Earthquakes and Uplift/Subsidence of Sumatra from Coral Growth Rings -- Advanced Version
In this lab, students will use data from real corals collected in Sumatra to track the sea-level and earthquake record of the region over the past century.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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