Finding the Moho under Milwaukee part of Cutting Edge:Deep Earth:Activities
A seismogram was recorded at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee by Keith Sverdrup during the explosive demolition of a section of the nearby Hoan Bridge on December 28, 2000. The explosive demolition and subsequent impact of the bridge section generated elastic body waves interpreted to have bounced off the Moho, producing a double peak on the seismogram. These data are used to estimate the distance to the base of the crust beneath Milwaukee.
Where is that chunk of crust going? part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
I introduce students to GPS, frames of reference, and the permanent GPS stations in the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) in class, and obtain near-real-time data for two stations from UNAVCO. We use simple vector math (developed in class) to compute where one of the stations is going relative to a specified frame of reference. Then we compose a set of procedures, do the analysis again for the other station, compare and discuss the results. They do the computation for a third station of their choosing as homework, with a follow-up classroom discussion.
Assessing the error of linear and planar field data using Fisher statistics part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This resource provides geoscientists with the tools necessary to determine the average and 95% confidence interval in the orientation of a set of near-parallel planes (e.g., bedding surface, joints, faults) or near-colinear vectors (e.g., slip vectors, glacial striae, paleomagnetic vectors) using Fisher statistics. Included is descriptive material about the method, an Excel spreadsheet, worked examples, and a sample problem set.
Incomprehensibly Small and Incomprehensibly Large part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students are asked to consider the length scales of the universe, from smallest to largest. Using a logarithmic scale in cm units, various distances are resolved ranging from the smallest meaningful length in Nature (Planck length) to the largest (cosmic horizon). Students compute the lengths of several given distances, plot them on the log scale, and join in a discussion.
Physical model of the failure of an unreinforced structure during an earthquake part of Integrate:Workshops:Engineering, Sustainability, and the Geosciences:Activities
In this lab activity, students learn about how a typical unreinforced adobe or cinder-block house is built. Then, they construct an analog physical model of an adobe structure on a simple shake table, using a dry cohesive powder (e.g., flour or drywall plaster) compacted into the four walls of a model house. A relatively heavy flat roof (analogous to a mud-covered vega-beam roof) is added to complete the structure. When the model house is complete, the students sketch (or take digital photographs of) the intact structure. The spring-supported shake table is then accelerated either horizontally or vertically, to simulate an earthquake. The students sketch (or take digital photographs of) the earthquake-induced cracks or faults in the walls of the model house, and speculate about how the observed failure would affect people living inside. Students complete the exercise by reviewing photographs of actual earthquake damage, learning about efforts to construct earthquake-resistant structures that use typical indigenous building materials, and writing a lab report about the experience.
Physical Geology part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Courses
This is a rather standard course in physical geology, except that some common topics are omitted (deserts, coastlines, marine geology), shortened (glaciers), or included/expanded (geologic time, the history of life on Earth and human evolution). It occurs in a new lecture hall with fixed seating on a steeply-raking stepped floor, suitable for a lecture course from the 1800s. I have full control over the lecture. Graduate TAs are the teachers of record in the labs and report to a staff person. The lectures and labs are no longer coupled.
A few thoughts on the integration of engineering and geoscience part of Integrate:Workshops:Engineering, Sustainability, and the Geosciences:Essays
Vincent S. Cronin, Geology, Baylor University I am a geologist rather than an engineer, so my comments should be read with this perspective in mind. The first place to look for opportunities to integrate ...
Teaching Structural Geology Participants: Presenter
Introductory Courses 2008 Participants: Presenter
Understanding the Deep Earth Participants: Presenter