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Episodic tremor and slip: The Case of the Mystery Earthquakes | Lessons on Plate Tectonics
Earthquakes in western Washington and Oregon are to be expected—the region lies in the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Offshore, the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate subducts under the North American plate, from northern California to British Columbia. The region, however, also experiences exotic seismicity— Episodic Tremor and Slip (ETS).In this lesson, your students study seismic and GPS data from the region to recognize a pattern in which unusual tremors--with no surface earthquakes--coincide with jumps of GPS stations. This is ETS. Students model ductile and brittle behavior of the crust with lasagna noodles to understand how properties of materials depend on physical conditions. Finally, they assemble their knowledge of the data and models into an understanding of ETS in subduction zones and its relevance to the millions of residents in Cascadia.

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy, Seismology, Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes, Geoscience:Oceanography:Marine Hazards, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Coastal Hazards:Tsunami, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity, Lab Activity, Activities
Grade Level: Middle (6-8), College Lower (13-14), High School (9-12)
Quantitative Skills: Graphs, Vectors and Matrices, Arithmetic/Computation
EarthScope: Geophysics Data: Geophysics Data:GPS/GNSS, Seismic, Data:GPS/GNSS, Seismic
Collection Source: UNAVCO
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Visualizing Relationships with Data: Exploring plate boundaries with Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and GPS Data in the Western U.S. & Alaska | Lessons on Plate Tectonics
Learners use the UNAVCO GPS Velocity Viewer, or the included map packet to visualize relationships between earthquakes, volcanoes, and plate boundaries as a jigsaw activity.

Subject: Geoscience, Geology:Tectonics, Geophysics:Geodesy, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Natural Hazards:Earthquakes
Resource Type: Activities, Lab Activity, Classroom Activity
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14), High School (9-12), Middle (6-8)
Quantitative Skills: Vectors and Matrices, Estimation, Models and Modeling
EarthScope: Geophysics Data: Geophysics Data:GPS/GNSS, Data:GPS/GNSS
Collection Source: UNAVCO
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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3D View from a Drone | Make a 3D Model From Your Photos
Using cameras mounted to drones, students will design and construct an experiment to take enough photos to make a 3-dimensional image of an outcrop or landform in a process called structure from motion (SfM). This activity has both a hands-on component (collecting data with the drone) and a computer-based component (creating the 3-dimensional model).___________________Drones can take photos that can be analyzed later. By planning ahead to have enough overlap between photos, you take those individual photos and make a 3-dimensional image!In this activity, you guide the students to identify an outcrop or landform to study later or over repeat visits. They go through the process to plan, conduct, and analyze an investigation to help answer their science question.The Challenge: Design and conduct an experiment to take enough photos to make a 3-dimensional image of an outcrop or landform, then analyze the image and interpret the resulting 3-d image.For instance they might wish to study a hillside that has been changed from a previous forest fire. How is the hillside starting to shift after rainstorms or snows? Monitoring an area over many months can lead to discoveries about how the erosional processes happen and also provide homeowners, park rangers, planners, and others valuable information to take action to stabilize areas to prevent landslides.

Subject: Geoscience, Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy
Resource Type: Activities, Lab Activity, Classroom Activity
Grade Level: Middle (6-8), High School (9-12)
Quantitative Skills: Gathering Data
EarthScope: Geophysics Data: Geophysics Data:Structure from Motion
Collection Source: UNAVCO
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Detecting Cascadia's changing shape with GPS | Lessons on Plate Tectonics
Research-grade Global Positioning Systems (GPS) allow students to deduce that Earth's crust is changing shape in measurable ways. From data gathered by EarthScope's Plate Boundary Observatory, students discover that the Pacific Northwest of the United States and coastal British Columbia — the Cascadia region - are geologically active: tectonic plates move and collide; they shift and buckle; continental crust deforms; regions warp; rocks crumple, bend, and will break.

Subject: Geoscience, Geology:Tectonics, Geophysics:Geodesy, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Natural Hazards:Earthquakes
Resource Type: Activities, Lab Activity, Classroom Activity
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14), High School (9-12), Middle (6-8)
Quantitative Skills: Arithmetic/Computation, Graphs, Models and Modeling, Vectors and Matrices
EarthScope: Geophysics Data: Geophysics Data:GPS/GNSS, Data:GPS/GNSS
Collection Source: UNAVCO
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Measuring Plate Motion with GPS: Iceland
This lesson teaches middle and high school students to understand the architecture of GPS—from satellites to research quality stations on the ground. This is done with physical models and a presentation. Then students learn to interpret data for the station's position through time ("time series plots"). Students represent time series data as velocity vectors and add the vectors to create a total horizontal velocity vector. They apply their skills to discover that the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is rifting Iceland. They cement and expand their understanding of GPS data with an abstraction using cars and maps. Finally, they explore GPS vectors in the context of global plate tectonics.

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics, Geoscience
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity, Activities, Lab Activity
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14), High School (9-12), Middle (6-8)
Quantitative Skills: Vectors and Matrices
EarthScope: Geophysics Data: Data:GPS/GNSS, Geophysics GPS/GNSS
Collection Source: UNAVCO
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Converging Tectonic Plates Demonstration
During this demo, participants use springs and a map of the Pacific Northwest with GPS vectors to investigate the stresses and surface expression of subduction zones, specifically the Juan de Fuca plate diving beneath the North American plate.

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics, Geophysics:Geodesy, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Geography:Geospatial, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity, Activities, Outreach Activity, Lab Activity
Grade Level: High School (9-12), Middle (6-8), College Lower (13-14)
Quantitative Skills: Models and Modeling
EarthScope: Geophysics Data: Data:GPS/GNSS, Geophysics GPS/GNSS
Collection Source: UNAVCO
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Measuring Ground Motion with GPS: How GPS Works (Demonstration)
With printouts of typical GPS velocity vectors found near different tectonic boundaries and models of a GPS station, demonstrate how GPS work to measure ground motion.GPS velocity vectors point in the direction that a GPS station moves as the ground it is anchored to moves. The length of a velocity vector corresponds to the rate of motion. GPS velocity vectors thus provide useful information for how Earth's crust deforms in different tectonic settings.

Subject: Geography:Geospatial, Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics, Geophysics:Geodesy
Resource Type: Activities, Classroom Activity, Outreach Activity, Lab Activity
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14), Middle (6-8), High School (9-12)
Quantitative Skills: Models and Modeling
Collection Source: UNAVCO
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Pinpointing Location with GPS Demonstration
Using string, bubble gum, and a model of a GPS station, demonstrate how GPS work to pinpoint a location on Earth.Precisely knowing a location on Earth is useful because our Earth's surface is constantly changing from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tectonic plate motion, landslides, and more. Thus, scientists can use positions determined with GPS to study all these Earth processes.

Subject: Geography:Geospatial, Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy
Resource Type: Activities, Outreach Activity, Classroom Activity, Lab Activity
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14), Middle (6-8), High School (9-12)
Quantitative Skills: Models and Modeling
Collection Source: UNAVCO
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Working with Point Clouds in CloudCompare and Classifying with CANUPO
In spring 2020, the world was hit by a pandemic that spread globally by March, causing universities and most of the world to move to remote means. Summer field camps, long hailed as a rite of passage in the ...

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy
Resource Type: Activities:Virtual Field Trip, Field Activity, Classroom Activity, Lab Activity
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14), College Upper (15-16)
EarthScope: Geophysics Data: Geophysics Data:Structure from Motion, Lidar
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Getting started with Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry
Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry method uses overlapping images to create a 3D point cloud of an object or landscape. It can be applied to everything from fault scarps to landslides to topography. This ...

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity, Field Activity, Lab Activity
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
EarthScope: Geophysics Data: Geophysics Data:Structure from Motion
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
Learn more about this review process.

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