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Plate Tectonics Activities


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Chemical Inputs and Outputs at Subduction Zones
Karin Block, CUNY City College
In this exercise students utilize data from geochemistry databases to analyze inputs and outputs associated with arc volcanism.

Isostasy and Global Elevation Patterns
Stephen Schellenberg, San Diego State University
This investigation explores the basic process of isostasy and its explanatory power for the observed bimodal distribution for global elevations. In Part A, the densities of representative rock samples of granite ...

What Can (and Cannot) Be Learned from Scientific Drilling Using Examples from Margins Initiatives
Rosemary Hickey-Vargas, Florida International University
This is a lecture segment that could be introduced to an introductory geoscience class to help explain and demonstrate what can and cannot be found out by scientific drilling.

Accretionary vs. erosive subduction margins
David Pearson, Idaho State University; (James) Casey Moore, University of California-Santa Cruz; Jeff Marshall, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona; Eliza Richardson, Pennsylvania State Univ-Penn St. Erie-Behrend Coll
This module examines the nature and variability of subduction margins through examination of data sets that document subduction zone inputs, deformation, and resulting morphology in different settings.

Density, Isostasy, and Topography
Anne Egger, Central Washington University
Two students measure the density of different rock types by first measuring water displacement of the irregular pieces. Details In this activity, students develop an explanation for the bimodal topography of the ...

HMK 1_Plate Boundaries: Present, future, & past
Brian Hampton, Michigan State University;
This project builds on in-class exercises and lectures by having students learn to identify modern, future, and past plate boundaries. Students will use trends in topography, distribution of earth quake and ...

Northridge: A Case Study of an Urban Earthquake
Michael Mayhew, National Science Foundation;
Michael Mayhew and Michelle Hall, Science Education Solutions Summary The 1994 Northridge Earthquake Case Study explores the mystery of how such a major fault could have been missed within a tectonic basin that is ...

Pre-instructional activities to prepare students for online learning
Eliza Richardson, Penn State University - University Park
Students get low-stakes practice doing many of the tasks they will have to complete later on the course such as navigating the course website, turning in an assignment to a dropbox, and posting to a discussion ...

Unit 3 Hazards at Divergent Plate Boundaries
Rachel Teasdale, California State University-Chico; Laurel Goodell, Princeton University; Peter Selkin, University of Washington-Tacoma Campus
Students work in small groups to examine data and videos of earthquakes, submarine volcanic eruptions, and black smokers at submarine divergent plate boundaries, and then predict similar processes at subaerial ...

Unit 4 Risk at Divergent Plate Boundaries
Laurel Goodell, Princeton University; Rachel Teasdale, California State University-Chico; Peter Selkin, University of Washington-Tacoma Campus
Volcanoes typically give warning that they are coming out of dormancy and entering an eruptive phase. Being able to recognize those warning signs and take appropriate actions (e.g. evacuations) are important ...

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