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Plate Tectonics Activities


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Plate tectonics summary paper
YoungHee Kim, Seoul National University
The assignment is to summarize papers that students have been individually reading about their study areas which were assigned in the beginning of the course semester. From this assignment students can be ...

Driving forces of plate tectonics and the importance of inertia
Donald Forsyth, Brown University
Simple in class calculations showing that inertia or momentum is completely unimportant in considering the driving forces of plate tectonics

Plate Tectonics writing assignment suitable for Calibrated Peer Review
Bill Prothero, University of California-Santa Barbara
This is an example of a writing assignment focussed on the use of data to support the theory of plate tectonics. -

Testing plate tectonics in the Gulf of California
Paul Umhoefer, Northern Arizona University
This is a simple exercise to use real-world data from recent large earthquakes so that students can "test" for themselves if plate tectonics "works" in the Gulf of California.

Extra Terrestrial Plate Tectonics
Marshall Bartlett
Students decide whether plate tectonics is operating on another planet in our solar system. Requires students to integrate and process a large array of visual data regarding plate tectonic processes. Students feel ...

Connecting Cross-Sectional Data from the Red Sea to Plate Tectonics
Laura Guertin, Penn State Brandywine (for the Council on Undergraduate Research)
Students will use map views and cross-sectional profiles across the Red Sea to determine plate tectonic processes in the region. Google Earth is a technological tool used to facilitate the investigation.

Using Google Earth to Explore Plate Tectonics
Laurel Goodell, Princeton University
Students use Google Earth to learn about plate tectonics by exploring the topography of the earth's continents and ocean floor, the distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes, and seafloor age. They become familiar with these global data sets and understand how Earth's tectonic plates and plate boundaries are defined.

Exploring Evidence of Plate Tectonics Using GeoMapApp
Sean Cornell, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
This activity requires students to explore a range of datasets that help substantiate Plate Tectonic Theory. Students investigate plate tectonic environments (convergent, divergent, transform boundaries), topography/bathymetry of continents and ocean basins, the distribution and pattern of earthquakes, the distribution of volcanoes, as well as ages of the sea-floor, and more.

Evaluating the lines of evidence for plate tectonics
Becca Walker, Mt San Antonio College
In this in-class exercise, students compare several lines of evidence that support the ideas of continental drift and plate tectonics. Before the class meeting, each student is given a preparation assignment in which he/she studies one "continental drift" and one "ocean floor data" map. In class, students divide into teams of 3, with each team member having prepared different specialties. They discuss their respective maps and look for spatial patterns among the data.

Evidence for Plate Tectonics
David Smith, GLOBE; Franklin Kao; Missy Holzer
DATA: Sea Floor Age, Volcano and Earthquake Distributions. TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Identify relationships among sea-floor age, earthquakes, and volcanoes to understand how they support the theory of plate tectonics.


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