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Exploring California's Plate Motion and Deformation with GPS | Lessons on Plate Tectonics
Students analyze data to study the motion of the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. From GPS data, students detect relative motion between the plates in the San Andreas fault zone--with and without earthquakes. To get to that discovery, they use physical models to understand the architecture of GPS, from satellites to sensitive stations on the ground. They learn to interpret time series data collected by stations (in the spreading regime of Iceland), to cast data as horizontal north-south and east-west vectors, and to add those vectors head-to-tail.Students then apply their skills and understanding to data in the context of the strike-slip fault zone of a transform plate boundary. They interpret time series plots from an earthquake in Parkfield, CA to calculate the resulting slip on the fault and (optionally) the earthquake's magnitude.

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Unit 2: Global Sea-Level Response to Temperature Changes: Temperature and Altimetry Data
What is the contribution of seawater thermal expansion to recent sea-level rise? In this unit, students create time-series graphs of global averaged sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) data spanning 1880–2017 ...

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Unit 2: Earthquakes, GPS, and Plate Movement
GPS data can measure bedrock motion in response to deformation of the ground near plate boundaries because of plate tectonics. In this module, students will learn how to read GPS data to interpret how the bedrock ...

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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.

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Engaging With Earthquake Hazard and Risk
This introductory activity engages learners in the study of earthquake hazards and the risk these hazards pose to humans in the communities in which we live. Learners will compare three maps of Anchorage, AK, depicting spatial information related to seismic hazards to generate questions about the factors that influence shaking intensity and damage to the built environment during earthquakes.

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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 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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Human Wave: Modeling P and S Waves
Lined up shoulder-to-shoulder, learners are the medium that P and S waves travel through in this simple, but effective demonstration. Once "performed", the principles of P and S waves will not be easily forgotten. This demonstration explores two of the four main ways energy propagates from the hypocenter of an earthquake as P and S seismic waves. The physical nature of the Human Wave demonstration makes it a highly engaging kinesthetic learning activity that helps students grasp, internalize and retain abstract information.

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Unit 5: Mitigating future disasters: developing a mass-wasting hazard map
This unit serves as the summative assessment of the Surface Process Hazards module. In September 2013, the Boulder area of Colorado experienced an extreme rain event that led to mass wasting in many areas. This has ...

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Unit 3: Understanding landslide factors
How do slope characteristics and magnitude of forces dictate whether or not a slope will fail? Can environmental and built characteristics change the magnitude of these forces? In this unit, students qualitatively ...

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Unit 4: Anatomy of a tragic slide: Oso Landslide case study
Landslides can have profound societal consequences, such as did the slide that occurred near Oso, Washington in 2014. Forty-three people were killed and entire rural neighborhood was destroyed. In this unit, ...

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Unit 1: Climate Change and Sea Level: Who Are the Stakeholders?
How are rising sea levels already influencing different regions? This unit offers case study examples for a coastal developing country (Bangladesh), a major coastal urban area (southern California), and an island ...

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Unit 2: Monitoring surface and groundwater supply in central and western US
In Unit 2, students learn how the techniques for water budgeting (covered in Unit 1) can be used to monitor both groundwater (High Plains Aquifer) and surface water (western mountain watershed) systems. Students ...

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Volcano Monitoring with GPS: Westdahl Volcano Alaska
Learners use graphs of GPS position data to determine how the shape of Westdahl Volcano, Alaska is changing. If the flanks of a volcano swell or recede, it is a potential indication of magma movement and changing ...

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How Do We Know Where an Earthquake Originated?
Students use real seismograms to determine the arrival times for P and S waves and use these times to determine the distance of the seismic station from the earthquake. Seismograms from three stations are provided to determine the epicenter using the S – P (S minus P) method. Because real seismograms contain some "noise" with resultant uncertainty in locating arrival times of P and S waves, this activity promotes appreciation for uncertainties in interpretation of real scientific data.

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Earthquake Hazard Maps & Liquefaction: Alaska emphasis
Ground shaking is the primary cause of earthquake damage to man-made structures. This exercise combines three related activities on the topic of shaking-induced ground instability: a ground shaking amplification demonstration, a seismic landslides demonstration, and a liquefaction experiment. The amplitude of ground shaking is affected by the type of near-surface rocks and soil. Earthquake ground shaking can cause even gently sloping areas to slide when those same areas would be stable under normal conditions. Liquefaction is a phenomenon where water-saturated sand and silt take on the characteristics of a dense liquid during the intense ground shaking of an earthquake and deform. Includes Alaska and San Francisco examples.

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Building Shaking —Variations of the BOSS Model
Building Oscillation Seismic Simulation, or BOSS, is an opportunity for learners to explore the phenomenon of resonance for different building heights while performing a scientific experiment that employs mathematical skills. They experience how structures behave dynamically during an earthquake.

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Base Isolation for Earthquake Resistance
This document includes two activities related to earthquake base isolation. Learners explore earthquake hazards and damage to buildings by constructing model buildings and subjecting the buildings to ground vibration (shaking similar to earthquake vibrations) on a small shake table. Base isolation a powerful tool for earthquake engineering. It is meant to enable a building to survive a potentially devastating seismic impact through a proper initial design or subsequent modifications. The buildings are constructed by two- or three-person learner teams.

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Exploring Tectonic Motions with GPS
Using a map showing the horizontal velocities of GPS stations in the Plate Boundary Observatory and other GPS networks in Alaska and Western United States, students are able to describe the motions in different regions by interpreting the vectors resulting from long-term high-precision Global Positioning System (GPS) data. Show more information on NGSS alignment Hide NGSS ALIGNMENT Disciplinary Core Ideas History of Earth: HS-ESS1-5 Earth' Systems: MS-ESS2-2 Earth and Human Activity: MS-ESS3-2, HS-ESS3-1 Science and Engineering Practices 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions Crosscutting Concepts 4. Systems and System Models 7. Stability and Change

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Alaska GPS Analysis of Plate Tectonics and Earthquakes
This activity introduces students to high precision GPS as it is used in geoscience research. Students build "gumdrop" GPS units and study data from three Alaska GPS stations from the Plate Boundary Observatory network. They learn how Alaska's south central region is "locked and loading" as the Pacific Plate pushes into North America and builds up energy that will be released in the future in other earthquakes such as the 1964 Alaska earthquake.

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Alaska Earthquake Hazard Inventory & Mitigation Planning
In this two-part activity, students/participants first: - Complete a Hazard Inventory for their city or area of interest in the event of a magnitude 7 or larger earthquake and tsunami. - Identify what critical structures and infrastructure will be affected. Then: - Write a summary statement assessing strengths and vulnerabilities of essential services or infrastructure. - Propose actions for mitigating vulnerabilities. - Create an Action Plan to address identified needs.

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