Classroom, Lab and Field Exercises in Geophysics

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SIGkit (Software for Introductory Geophysics toolkit) for modelling and visualization of data part of Workshop 07: Activities
Charly Bank, University of Toronto
Predicting what geophysical data may look like and making basic inferences from data are critical learning outcomes of introductory geophysics courses whether they happen in a classroom or in a field setting. This ...

Earthquake Epicenter Location Exercise using Google Earth and OneNote part of Workshop 07: Activities
Jeffrey Nunn, Louisiana State University
Students are provided with data from 4 seismograms which are used to plot the epicenter of an earthquake using OneNote to pick the P-S wave arrival gap and Google Earth to plot the circles which intersect at the ...

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SeisMac Seismogram Modeling part of Workshop 07: Activities
Michael Wysession, Washington University in St. Louis
Use the freely-downloaded "SeisMac" program on a Mac laptop to demonstrated the differences between P, S, Rayleigh and Love waves. SeisMac is a free program that instantly turns a Mac laptop into a ...

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Interpretation of plate boundaries from topography, bathymetry, volcanoes, and earthquake focal depths using Google Earth and OneNote part of Workshop 07: Activities
Jeffrey Nunn, Louisiana State University
Students are provided with data on topography, bathymetry, locations of earthquakes and volcanoes and earthquake focal depths in Google Earth. They are asked to plot a cross-section of topography/bathymetry and ...

Animated Ray Paths in MS Powerpoint part of Workshop 07: Activities
Jeffrey Nunn, Louisiana State University
A series of MS PowerPoint slides that illustrate ray paths for reflection and refraction. They can be used in lecture and/or laboratory assignments or posted on a web page for students to review on their own time. ...

Ground-penetrating and Space-born Radar part of Workshop 07: Activities
Susan Sakimoto, University of Notre Dame
This is a introductory lecture on ground-penetrating radar and space-born radar, a classroom data classifying activity, and descriptions of field and extended activities.

Episodic tremor and slip: The Case of the Mystery Earthquakes | Lessons on Plate Tectonics part of Geodesy:Activities
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
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.

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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 part of Geodesy:Activities
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
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.

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3D View from a Drone | Make a 3D Model From Your Photos part of Geodesy:Activities
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
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.

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Detecting Cascadia's changing shape with GPS | Lessons on Plate Tectonics part of Geodesy:Activities
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
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.

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Measuring Plate Motion with GPS: Iceland part of Geodesy:Activities
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
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.

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Converging Tectonic Plates Demonstration part of Geodesy:Activities
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
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.

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Measuring Ground Motion with GPS: How GPS Works (Demonstration) part of Geodesy:Activities
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
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.

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Pinpointing Location with GPS Demonstration part of Geodesy:Activities
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
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.

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Working with Point Clouds in CloudCompare and Classifying with CANUPO part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching with Online Field Experiences:Activities
Sharon Bywater-Reyes, University of Northern Colorado
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 ...

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Getting started with Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching with Online Field Experiences:Activities
Beth Pratt-Sitaula, UNAVCO
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 ...

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Earthquake Early Warning Demonstration part of Geodesy:Activities
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
This hands-on demonstration illustrates how GPS instruments can be used in earthquake early warning systems to alert people of impending shaking. The same principles can be applied to other types of early warning systems (such as tsunami) or to early warning systems using a different type of geophysical sensor (such as a seismometer instead of a GPS).This demo is essentially a game that works best with a large audience (ideally over 30 people) in an auditorium. A few people are selected to be either surgeons, GPS stations, or a warning siren, with everyone else forming an earthquake "wave."

Science with Flubber: Glacial Isostasy part of Geodesy:Activities
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
Using two sets of flubber, one representing the Earth and one representing a glacier, demonstrate how the crust sinks and rebounds to the weight of a glacier, and how this motion can be measured using GPS.Flubber is a rubbery elastic substance, a non-Newtonian elasco-plastic fluid, that flows under gravity, but breaks when under high stress. Flubber is useful for demonstrating a wide range of Earth and glacier processes.

OpenTopography Data Sources and Topographic Differencing part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching with Online Field Experiences:Activities
Sharon Bywater-Reyes, University of Northern Colorado
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 ...

Introduction to Terrestrial Laser Scanning part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching with Online Field Experiences:Activities
Sharon Bywater-Reyes, University of Northern Colorado; Beth Pratt-Sitaula, UNAVCO
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 ...

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