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Rock-Tectonics synthesis lab
Dori Farthing, SUNY Geneseo
This lab aims to draw together rock identification and plate tectonics as well as relative age relationships. It gets students to "be" geologists...looking at rock suites and trying to see how they fit ...

Determining Earthquake Recurrence Intervals from Trench Logs
Patricia Cashman, University of Nevada-Reno
Trench logs of the San Andreas Fault at Pallett Creek, CA are the data base for a lab or homework assignment that teaches about relative dating, radiometric dating, fault recurrence intervals and the reasons for uncertainty in predicting geologic phenomena. Students are given a trench log that includes several fault strands and dated stratigraphic horizons. They estimate the times of faulting based on bracketing ages of faulted and unfaulted strata. They compile a table with the faulting events from the trench log and additional events recognized in nearby trenches, then calculate maximum, minimum and average earthquake recurrence intervals for the San Andreas Fault in this area. They conclude by making their own prediction for the timing of the next earthquake.

South Carolina Studies: Bringing the Geologic Time Scale Down to Earth in the Students' Backyard
John Wagner, Clemson University
Students visit Drayton Hall historic plantation near Charleston, South Carolina and are led on a field trip that starts with a discussion of documented historic changes that have affected the mansion and the surrounding property. The field trip continues with a study of Native American artifacts and ends with analysis of coastal plain deposits exposed along the Ashley River. Students use paleogeographic maps to discuss both historic and prehistoric changes to the landscape. Back in the classroom, students gather data to draw paleogeographic maps of their own school site through geologic time.

Characterizing Plate Boundaries
Bill Hirt, College of the Siskiyous
Students examine maps showing four different types of geologic data along three specific plate boundaries, and document the patterns in the data along each boundary. Next, they compare their observations to the ...

Visualizing Earthquakes at Divergent Plate Margins
Cara Harwood, University of California-Davis
In this activity students visualize the distribution and magnitude of earthquakes at divergent plate boundaries. Earthquakes are visualized on a 3D globe, making it easy to see their distribution within ...

Testing the Fixed-hotspot-moving-plate model
Sara Harris, University of British Columbia
Students examine hot spot tracks, magnetic inclination data, and coral data from the Hawaii-Emperor Seamount Chain to test the hypothesis that hotspots are fixed. Most students have learned somewhere that hotspots ...

Is the New Madrid Seismic Zone at risk for a large earthquake?
Eliza Richardson, Penn State
In this lesson we discuss the controversy regarding the extent of seismic risk in the central United States today. We learn how to estimate earthquake recurrence interval using a variety of methods. This lesson ...

Visualizing Earthquakes at Convergent Plate Margins
Cara Harwood, University of California-Davis
In this activity students visualize the distribution and magnitude of earthquakes at convergent plate boundaries. Earthquakes are visualized on a 3D globe, making it easy to see their distribution within ...

A Kinesthetic Demonstration for Locating Earthquake Epicenters
John Keyantash, California State University-Dominguez Hills
A kinesthetic activity for students to understand the technique for locating the epicenter of an earthquake. It is performed indoors and outdoors in three lessons.

Distribution of Active Volcanoes Exercise
Rebecca Teed, Wright State University-Main Campus
In this series of inquiry-based exercises about volcanoes and plate tectonics, students will collect, plot, and interpret data and finish with a role-playing activity and a virtual field trip. -


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