Geology of Hawaii

Carol Ormand
,
SERC, Carleton College
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Summary

Students examine a geologic map of Hawaii and begin to decipher it.

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Context

Audience

Geology of the National Parks (intro level course for majors and non-majors)

See the course description, including links to all of the other teaching activities for this course.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should be familiar with mafic volcanic rocks.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is an early lab exercise, the second of several related to volcanoes and volcanic processes.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

Students will learn how to read a geologic map.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Students will learn how to interpret a geologic map.

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

Students examine a geologic map of Hawaii and begin to decipher it. In particular, students are asked to examine the map and its legend, to answer some specific questions about them, and then to answer the overarching question, "What evidence is there on this map that the Hawaiian Islands formed over an oceanic hotspot?"

Determining whether students have met the goals

Working alone or in groups, students write a report summarizing (a) how the Hawaiian Island – Emperor Seamount chain has formed; (b) how mafic magma forms gabbro, basalt, vesicular basalt, or obsidian, depending on its cooling history; and (c) the evidence on the geologic map of Hawaii that these islands formed over a hotspot. I evaluate their report using a rubric, included in the lab handout.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Teaching materials and tips

Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs

Wolfe and Morris, Geologic Map of the Island of Hawaii (USGS Geologic Investigations Series Map I-2524-A)

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