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Plate Tectonics Activities


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Compositional Diversity in Volcanic Suites
Kent Ratajeski, University of Kentucky
In this exercise, students use geochemical data downloaded from the GEOROC database to explore the origins of compositional variation among volcanic rocks associated with the Yellowstone and Crater Lake calderas.

When and How Did Continental Crust Form?
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
Many models have been proposed regarding the timing and mechanisms that first formed the continental crust. The purpose of this exercise is to help students explore the question of crustal genesis and evolution ...

Naming Igneous Rocks
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This project is intended to introduce students to the IUGS rock classification scheme. Samples come from the Wards Collections (which many schools have). Students are provided with both hand specimens and thin ...

Using Dynamic Digital Maps to Teach Petrology
Christopher D. Condit
In this session we will examine how to utilize Dynamic Digital Maps (DDMs) in undergraduate petrology courses to bring inaccessible and exciting volcanic field areas to the students in the classroom and to engage ...

Beartooth Highway Field Trip and Activities
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
This day-long field trip was part of the Teaching Petrology in the 21st Century workshop. The activity description/assignment file provided below includes 3 field exercises, including outcrop observation and ...

Petrography and Petrogenesis of a Mid-Ocean Ridge Lava Suite
Matthew Smith, University of Florida; Mike Perfit, University of Florida
This activity is designed to accompany a set of thin sections available from the authors. Students investigate mid-ocean ride basalt petrography and relate observed mineralogic changes to relevant phase diagrams ...

Hotspot Lesson: Hotspot Theory and Plate Velocities
Jamie A. Russell, Scripps Institution of Oceanography Related Links Relative Dating Mantle Plumes Samoan Hotspot Final Hotspot Project View Lesson Plan at ERESE ...
This activity provides the students with a data set of ages of some of the Hawaiian Volcanoes and seamounts and how far they are from the active volcanism (considered to be the location of the hotspot). By plotting the data on a graph and fitting the data with a line of best fit, the plate velocity can be estimated by taking the slope of the line.

Describe and Interpret Images: Folded Strata
Rebecca Teed, Wright State University-Main Campus; Heather Macdonald, College of William and Mary
In class, have students make a simple sketch of an outcrop shown in a slide (or computer projection) then discuss possible interpretations. -

Exploring lithological assemblages and structural styles of granite-greenstone belts
Dyanna Czeck, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
In this 1 week module, students use primary literature to study structural and tectonic styles within Archean granite-greenstone belts.

Hotspot Lesson: Samoan Hotspot
Jamie A. Russell, Scripps Institution of Oceanography Related Links Relative Dating Hotspot Theory and Plate Velocities Mantle Plumes Final Hotspot Project View Lesson Plan at ERESE ...
This lesson discusses the similarities and difference between Samoa and Hawaii. Both Samoa and Hawaii are island chains in the Pacific and thought to be the result of hotspots.

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