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Teaching Activities

These teaching activities have been designed with the aim of helping develop students' quantitative skills, literacy, or reasoning. To search by a specific discipline, use the 'Refine the Results' links on the right.


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Bubbles in Magmas
Module by Chuck Connor, University of South Florida, Tampa. This cover page by Ali Furmall, USF, now at U. Oregon.
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students build a spreadsheet and apply the ideal gas law to model the velocity of a bubble rising in a viscous magma.

Porosity and Permeability of Magmas
chuck connor
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students build a spreadsheet for an iterative calculation to find volume of bubbles and hence porosity, permeability and gas escape as a function of depth.

What is the Volume of the 1992 Eruption of Cerro Negro Volcano, Nicaragua?
chuck connor
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students build a spreadsheet to calculate the volume a tephra deposit using an exponential-thinning model.

What is the Relationship between Lava Flow Length and Effusion Rate at Mt Etna?
chuck connor
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students use Excel to determine a log-log relationship for flow length vs effusion rate and compare it with a theoretical expression for the maximum flow length.

How Does Surface Deformation at an Active Volcano Relate to Pressure and Volume Change in the Magma Chamber?
Module by Peter LaFemina, Penn State, State College, PA. This cover page by Ali Furmall, University of South Florida, now at University of Oregon.
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students build a spreadsheet to examine and apply the Mogi model for horizontal and vertical surface displacement vs. depth and pressure conditions in the magma chamber.

Using Melting Ice to Teach Radiometric Dating
Developed by Donald Wise, Franklin and Marshall College. Taken from Wise, 1990 . Related Links Radioactive Decay
Students are challenged to a Sherlock Holmes-style mystery in which they construct their own decay curves of melting ice to determine time-zero.

Density of Earth - Using Some Field Data
Len Vacher, Dept of Geology, University of South Florida
This module addresses the problem of how to determine the density of the earth and has students do some field experiments to get the data they need to answer the problem.

The Floating Lithosphere - Eureka!
Len Vacher, Dept of Geology, University of South Florida
In this module, students examine Archimede's Principle in general and as it applies to Isostacy.

The Earth's Shells - Density vs. Depth
Len Vacher, Dept of Geology, University of South Florida
In this module, students are asked to devise a way of graphically plotting the density variations with depth in the Earth.

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Eruption Rates
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question Over the last 70 million years or so, the Hawaiian Hot Spot has been pumping out lava, a total of about 775,000 km3 worth. As the Pacific Plate has moved over the hot spot, the volcanic peaks and plateaus ...



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