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Plate Tectonics Activities


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Observations and Measurements in Geology
Stacey Cochiara, New Jersey City University
This exercise gives students an introduction to topics they will encounter throughout the semester, and future course work. It covers plate tectonics, weathering, and basic rock descriptions.

Looking into Earth with GIS (College Level)
Brian Welch
College-level adaptation of the Earth Exploration Toolbook chapter. Students work with a free GIS program, ArcVoyager SE, to explore earthquake data and plate tectonics. -

Metamorphism and Continental Collision
Kenneth Howard, Wake Technical Community College
This is an exercise designed to help students link metamorphism and other geologic processes in context of the plate tectonic theory.

Emergent Models in Google Earth
Declan De Paor, Old Dominion University
This is one sample of a set of emergent models we are developing for use with Google Earth. Students use the Google Earth time-slider to lift 3D models of the subsurface into view. They can substitute their own ...

Plate Motions
Jeffrey Nunn, Louisiana State University
Students are asked to removed the last 40 Ma of ocean crust from an isochron map and then put the plates back together. This exercise helps students see that plates and plate boundaries canNOT be stationary through ...

CCD & Calcareous Ooze Assignment
Cindy Lampe, Ventura College
The assignment pre-tests student understanding of the CCD, lysocline, calcareous ooze, and the deposition of marine sediments near mid-ocean ridges and ocean basins.

Unit 5: Linking Processes Driven By Internal and External Energy Sources
Sue DeBari, Western Washington University
Students use what they have learned in the previous units to link the above-ground part of the rock cycle (driven by the hydrologic cycle, energy from the Sun, and gravity) to the below-ground part of the rock ...

Earthquake Hazards: The next big one?
John Taber, IRIS Consortium
Students work in small groups or individually to investigate the earthquake hazards in California, Missouri, and their own location. Students begin the activity with an exploration of the concept of probability, ...

Density of Earth Materials
Julie Martin, Hartnell College
This activity modifies a typical density laboratory exercise to fit within a lecture session. Students are asked to compare the densities of six different rocks/minerals collected from six different environments. ...

Tracking Tectonic Plates Using Two Independent Methods
Laurel Goodell, Princeton University
Students use two independent methods to determine relative plate motions across a plate boundary. They find that plate tectonic theory generally holds up but also discover sophisticated detail (e.g. velocities ...


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