# Reading Time Series Plots

Shelley Olds
,
UNAVCO
Author Profile

#### Summary

This activity provides a brief introduction to GPS and provides a student activity to practice creating and reading time series plots with simplified GPS data and with authentic GPS data from Iceland.

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## Context

#### Audience

This activity is taught within a suite of activities on the application of GPS and Geodesy to study plate tectonics and other sciences. While I teach this to faculty of undergraduate and upper-secondary students, this activity has been taught in introductory geology.

#### Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

reading and creating a simple graph, concept of tectonic plates, basic algebraic skills,

#### How the activity is situated in the course

after tectonic plates, used as a technique to have students discover that the plates are moving

## Goals

#### Content/concepts goals for this activity

• Explain the components of GPS data.
• Determine velocity vectors from GPS time series plots.
• Describe how GPS vectors relate to plate motion / deformation.
• Identify uses of GPS in applications in addition to driving and hiking.

#### Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

analysis of GPS time series plots

## Description of the activity/assignment

This activity provides a brief introduction to GPS and provides a student activity to practice creating and reading time series plots with simplified GPS data. Students graph how a tectonic plate (and the GPS unit attached to it) has moved over a five year time period by moving a GPS model across a North-East coordinate graph. Students practice these skills by analyzing GPS time series from two GPS stations in Iceland.

## Teaching Tips

#### Adaptations that allow this activity to be successful in an online environment

Need to really transform to an online environment. I did have one participant draw the vectors on an online map of Iceland - however, only one person gets to do this, so I'd like to figure out other techniques for this.

## Determining whether students have met the goals

After practicing reading two component GPS data, students check their understanding with a series of graphs to determine direction of motion. The final section has the students plot vectors onto a map.