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Quantitative Skills

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Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Scale of the Himalayas part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question Let's imagine a scale model of the Earth, and let's imagine that the Earth is the size of a basketball. Suppose that you wanted to build the Himalayas to scale on the surface of the basketball. ...

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: The Scale of the Atmosphere part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question Let's imagine a scale model of the Earth and use a basketball to represent the Earth. Now, let's get ourselves some packages of fruit roll-ups and start covering the basketball with layers of ...

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Size of KT Meteorite part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question About 66 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous Period, a meteorite estimated to have been about 10 km in diameter slammed into the Earth. Let's put the size of this cosmic cannonball into ...

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: The Right Eye of the Man in the Moon part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question The "right eye" of the Man in the Moon is really Mare Imbrium, the central portion of a gigantic multi-ring basin formed by a colossal meteorite impact several billion years ago. Which of the ...

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Orbital Distance Scale part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question Let's imagine a scale model of the Earth with an orbiting Space Shuttle. Suppose that the Earth is the size of a basketball. How far above the basketball does the Shuttle orbit?

BotEC: The Scale of Earth's Atmosphere part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Peter Kresan
Question: Air is our most precious resource. Without food, we can live for weeks and without water, we can live for days. But without air to breathe, we survive about 4 minutes! If you visit the top of Mt. Lemmon ...

BotEC: The Magnitude of Geologic Time part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Peter Kresan
Question The oldest rock yet to be found on the earth is from Canada and is radiometrically dated at 3.8 billion years old. Various lines of evidence suggest that the earth is about 4.5 to 5 billion years old. A ...

BotEC: Walking to the Center of the Earth part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Peter Kresan
Question: The earth's interior is composed of three main concentric zones: the crust, the mantle, and the core. The outermost layer, the crust, averages 40 km thick on the continents and is thinner (averaging ...

BotEC: The Grand Canyon's Rate of Erosion part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Peter Kresan
Question: Some geologic processes, like volcanism and earthquakes, occur intermittently but can cause significant and sometimes catastrophic change very quickly. Others, like weathering, act continuously but ...

BotEC: The San Andreas Fault's Rate of Movement part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Peter Kresan
Question: The San Andrea is an active fault zone, marked by frequent earthquake activity. The crust southwest of this strike-slip fault (including Los Angeles) is sliding to the northwest relative to the other ...



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