Assesing the angle of subduction using GeoMapApp
This activity has students determine the angle of subduction using GeoMapApp. Students use datasets available within GeoMapApp to examine the influence of the age of oceanic lithosphere and convergence rate on the angle of subduction. These datasets include: earthquakes (depth, magnitude, etc), subduction interface (based on earthquake data), convergence rate, and age of oceanic lithosphere.
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description and Teaching Materials
This activity is a homework assignment that students complete after discussing subduction zones in lecture. The crux of the assignment is to use GeoMapApp to examine datasets from four different subduction zone systems (Tonga-Kermadec, Java-Sumatra, Central America, and Chile-Peru). Students work through a directed assignment and then answer accompanying questions that aid in interpreting the data they have collected. This assignment requires only access to the internet and the attached Word document. Depending on class size and level, there could be many interesting tweaks to this assignment. As an example: Each student could study one subduction zone and report back to the class. Then, students could compare data and come up with a rationale for distinguishing characteristics of subduction zones.
Updated_SubductionAngle_PlateTectonics_McF (Microsoft Word 43kB Jul14 23) (updated file includes directions after GeoMapApp revised data organization)
Subduction_Angle_PlateTectonics_McF (Microsoft Word 41kB May4 12)
Teaching Notes and Tips
Also, to create the subduction interface profile it is necessary to already have added the subduction interface data (seems obvious, but of course it's not).
References and Resources
Syracuse and Abers (2006): Global compilation of variations in slab depth beneath arc volcanoes and implications