This assessment question could be used on an exam, as homework, or as an in-class activity. Students are given a hypothetical stratigraphic column for a Deep Sea Drilling Project site. The "stratigraphy" consists of crustal formation at a mid-ocean ridge (pillow basalts) overlain by metallic sulfides, followed by subsidence through the calcite compensation depth (foram ooze overlain by marine clays), and into the region of a trench (clastics interspersed with ash layers). Their task is to develop a hypothesis that could account for the observed sequence of rock and sediment types and then design an experiment to test the hypothesis. A teacher's guide and scoring rubric are provided.
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