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Geology

South Mountain Community College

The Epicenter of a Southwestern Earthquake part of Keyah Math:Activities

This activity guides students to use the measured difference in P and S wave velocities to locate the epicenter of a minor earthquake in the Southwestern United States. Click here to view the full activity on the Kéyah Math Project website.

Snow Melt and Stream Flow in the Animas River (Advanced) part of Keyah Math:Activities

This activity consists of a set of problems in which students explore the contributions of water from rainfall and snowmelt over the watershed of the Animas River in southwestern Colorado. Students first compute the area of the watershed (which can be done either graphically or by means of Google Earth), then use climatic data to calculate the relative volumes of water from rainfall and snowmelt. This information is then used to determine streamflow in the Animas River. Click here to view the full activity on the Kéyah Math Project website.

Measuring the Size of the Earth part of Keyah Math:Activities

In this activity, students explore the method used by Eratosthenes to estimate the circumference of the earth. After engaging with the geometry and data Eratosthenes used, students compute the radius and volume of the Earth. Click here to view the full activity on the Kéyah Math Project website.

Measuring the Size of the Earth from Arizona part of Keyah Math:Activities

In this activity, students use the geometric method of Eratosthenes and geographic data from Arizona to estimate the circumference of the earth. The circumference is then used to compute the radius and volume of the Earth. Click here to view the full activity on the Kéyah Math Project website.

Impact Processes at Meteor Crater part of Keyah Math:Activities

In this activity, students are introduced to impact processes in a study of Meteor Crater in northern Arizona. They are guided in the use of a set of relatively simple formulas from physics to estimate the energy of impact and the size of the impactor that formed the crater. Click here to view the full activity on the Kéyah Math Project website.

Ages of Rocks and the Earth part of Keyah Math:Activities

This activity introduces students to the mathematics of radiometric dating. Students first apply the rubidium-strontium isotopic system to date rock samples from the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado, and then to date a meteorite and estimate the absolute age of the Earth. Click here to view the full activity on the Kéyah Math Project website.

Mass and Density of the Earth part of Keyah Math:Activities

This activity is intended as a follow-up to the Measuring the Size of the Earth and Measuring the Size of the Earth from Arizona activities. Students use data on the radius and volume of Earth, Newton's Law of Gravitational Attraction, and density equations to compute the mass and density of Earth. Click here to view the full activity on the Kéyah Math Project website.

Layers of the Earth part of Keyah Math:Activities

Students use graphs of seismic wave travel times, and value for the diameter of Earth obtained in the Size of the Earth activity, to investigate the internal structure of the Earth and determine that it is layered. Click here to view the full activity on the Kéyah Math Project website.

Geochronology in the San Juan Mountains (Advanced) part of Keyah Math:Activities

This is a mathematically more advanced version of the Ages of Rocks and the Earth activity that introduces students to the mathematics of radiometric dating. Students derive the decay equation for the rubidium-strontium isotopic system, then apply it to date rock samples from the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado and a meteorite assumed to be approximately coeval with the Earth. Click here to view the full activity on the Kéyah Math Project website.

Impact Processes at Meteor Crater (Advanced) part of Keyah Math:Activities

This is a more mathematically advanced version of the Impact Processes activity that introduces students to impact geology in a study of Meteor Crater in northern Arizona. Students use a set of formulas from physics and power regression on real data to determine the energy released on impact and the size of the impactor that formed the crater. Click here to view the full activity on the Kéyah Math Project website.

Stream Flow in the Animas River part of Keyah Math:Activities

This activity consists of a set of problems in which students explore a simplified method for predicting streamflow in the Animas River in southwestern Colorado. Students first compute the area of the watershed (either graphically or by means of Google Earth), then use precipitation data to calculate the volume of water contributed to the watershed. This information is then used to determine the annual streamflow. Click here to view the full activity on the Kéyah Math Project website.