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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.

What is the Volume of a Debris Flow?
chuck connor
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students build a spreadsheet to estimate the volume of volcanic deposits using map, thickness and high-water mark data from the 2005 Panabaj debris flow (Guatemala).

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.

How Do We Estimate Magma Viscosity?
chuck connor
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students build a spreadsheet to examine how magma viscosity varies with temperature, fraction of crystals, and water content using the non-Arrhenian VFT model.

Roping Geologic Time
Randall Richardson, The University of Arizona
After having talked about the geologic time scale, I ask for two volunteers from the class to hold a rope that is 50 feet long. I say that one end is the beginning of the Earth (4.6 billion years ago), and the other is today. I then give out 16 clothes pins and ask various students to put a cloths pin on the 'time line' at various 'geologic events'. Throughout the activity I have a quiz going on where the students calculate percentages of Earth History for major geologic events, and compare it to their own ages. On their time scale, the dinosaurs died only about two 'months' ago! The exercise is very effective at letting them get a sense of how long geologic time is, and how 'recently' some major geologic events happened when you consider a time scale that is the age of the earth.

Northwest Passage
Glenn Richard, SUNY at Stony Brook
An investigation of changes in polar regions using Google Earth.

Air-sea Interactions: Activities in Oceanography
Steve LaDochy, California State University, Los Angeles
This online set of activities help students learn properties of ocean waves, wind-wave relationships and properties of tsunamis.



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