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ERESE > Activities > Hotspot Lesson: Mantle Plumes

Hotspot Lesson: Mantle Plumes

Jamie A. Russell, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection

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For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.



This page first made public: Jan 29, 2008

This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project

Summary

This lesson explains a theory on magma generation at hotspots called the mantle plume theory as well as possible ways of finding evidence to support the theory. This theory was introduced in the early 1970's by W. Jason Morgan in absence of a good plate tectonic model explaining the existence of seamount trails in the middle of all oceanic tectonic plates. The goal of this lesson is to introduce students to a theory that scientists are actively trying to evidence or refute. Through this students will learn about mantle tomography which helps scientists make predictions about the inside of the earth.

Mantle Plumes Spacer Mantle Plumes

Learning Goals

  • Teach students the concept of inferred deep earth processes.
  • Prepare students to apply global concepts or models to a limited set of observations.
  • Context for Use

    This activity was developed for use in a high school (grades 9-12) earth science class. It is also appropriate for an introductory level college geoscience class. Lesson duration: Approximately 25 minutes.

    Description and Teaching Materials

    The Mantle Plume Lecture introduces students to the latest techniques of studying the structure and dynamics of the mantle in the deep earth.

    Mantle Plumes
  • This lesson explains a theory on magma generation at hotspots called the mantle plume theory as well as possible ways of finding evidence to support the theory. The goal of this lesson is to introduce students to a theory that scientists are actively trying to evidence or refute. Through this students will learn about mantle tomography which helps scientists make predictions about the inside of the earth. Download ...
  • Assessment

    Based on the information presented in the lecture, students should have become aware of the novel techniques used to study the hypothesized mantle plumes. Their heightened awareness is the assessable product.

    References and Resources

    Lesson Materials

    Mantle Plume Lecture

    ERESE Resource Matrices

    Formation of Seamounts
    Hotspots and Plate Motion
    Volcanoes

    Outside Links on Hotspots

    Wikipedia
    Google

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