Ball State University
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Students read reports about potential sources for tsunamis on the US east coast and compare them with previously discussed dangers for the west cost.
This is an introduction to geology class, mainly for non-majors. Typically this class is attended by 120 students. A geology lab is part of the class, but run independently. See the course profile page
for this course.
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
Understanding basics of plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanism, landslides and tsunamis
How the activity is situated in the course
The exercise is given after 2/3 of the course have been taught and all the relevant topics have been covered. Occasionally I use it as an extra credit assignment.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
geographical distribution of hazards, connection with plate tectonics, tsunamis
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
being able to summarize scientific papers, use knowledge in new geographic setting, and assess risk
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
Lectures and previous brief assignments dealt with plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. For the assignment, students read several articles describing potential sources for tsunamis on the east coast, including volcanic eruptions on the Canary Islands, underwater landslides off the shelf, and earthquakes. Their task is to summarize these potential sources, evaluate the risk of a tsunami on the east coast, and compare them with previously discussed risks for the west coast and Hawaii.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Check if students include all four papers, check if they portray the geologic settings correctly, check for a reasonable risk assessment and comparison with the west cost.
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