Alaska GPS Analysis
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection
This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: May 24, 2018
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
- Diagram and describe the basic components of the GPS system and a GPS station
- Construct a small model GPS station
- Interpret high precision GPS data
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
- Calculate tectonic velocities from GPS time series data and graph resulting vectors
- Synthesize results from three GPS stations to determine the implications for future earthquakes in south central Alaska.
Other skills goals for this activity
Description and Teaching Materials
Alaska GPS Analysis Activity (Acrobat (PDF) 1.2MB May20 18)
Two similar activities featuring Pacific Northwest GPS data are available from the Cascadia EarthScope Earthquake and Tsunami Education Program (CEETEP)
Teaching Notes and Tips
The student exercise serves as the summative assessment for the activity. Some questions have clearly correct answers. Teachers can develop a simple grading scheme for open ended questions such as two points for thorough and correct answer, one point for partially correct, and zero for incorrect.
References and Resources
- Animations related to GPS and Alaska plate tectonics and earthquakes
- Alaska: Tectonics and Earthquakes
- Alaska: The Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964
- What can GPS tell us about future earthquakes?
- Videos on teaching about GPS
- GPS monitors deformation in subduction zone: Part A intro
- GPS monitors deformation in subduction zone: Part B, using real data
- Access Data from Your Closest GPS station (Acrobat (PDF) 595kB Sep12 18) - 1-page document that walks through how to access GPS data from the Plate Boundary Observatory GPS Network.
- GPS Velocity Viewer allows viewers to explore GPS motions around the world, including in Alaska.
- Tectonics Motions of Alaska poster by UNAVCO
- How GPS Works
- The activity was presented as part of the EarthScope ANGLE Educator Workshops.
- Contact ANGLE with questions or comments.