A Grand Tour of the Ocean Basins

Declan G. De Paor, Old Dominion University

This activity is part of the GEODE Project

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Summary

The Tour Stops are arranged in a teaching sequence, starting with continental rifting and incipient ocean basin formation in East Africa and the Red Sea and ending with the oldest surviving fragments of oceanic crust. Transforms and fracture zones are introduced, also abandoned basins, convergent boundaries, and marginal basins. Instructors can easily change the sequence of stops to suit their courses using the Google Earth desktop app or by editing the KML file.

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Context

Audience

This resource is adaptable to instructor needs. Depending on the selected tour stops it could be used in introductory to advanced geoscience courses, including physical geology, oceanography, marine geology, and structural geology.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Familiarity with using Google Earth and an introduction to plate tectonics and seafloor features.

How the activity is situated in the course

This could be used to expanded on fundamentals of plate tectonics and on ocean basin formation and evolution.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

Plate tectonic movement, structures and features associated with plate tectonics in the sea floor

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Geospatial reasoning

Other skills goals for this activity

Using of Google Earth

Description and Teaching Materials

Instructors can use these resource files to develop students exercises on several topics, such as: (a) the tectonic life cycle of an ocean basin, (b) comparisons of processes, rates, and seafloor features associated with fast and slow spreading centers, (c) simple vs. complex plate motion geometries, and (d) comparisons of hot spot and plate boundary features.

Teaching Notes and Tips

The Tour Stops are arranged in a teaching sequence, starting with continental rifting and incipient ocean basin formation in East Africa and the Red Sea and ending with the oldest surviving fragments of oceanic crust. Transforms and fracture zones are introduced, also abandoned basins, convergent boundaries, and marginal basins. Instructors can change the sequence of stops to suit their courses using the Google Earth desktop app or by editing the KML file.Because large placemark balloons tend to obscure the Google Earth terrain behind them, you are advised to keep Google Earth and this PDF document open in separate windows, preferably on separate monitors or devices. Figure captions acknowledge all data and imagery sources.

References and Resources

Original website and project - http://csmgeo.csm.jmu.edu/Geollab/Whitmeyer/geode/GTOB2/

This is part of the GEODE Project funded by NSF DUE 1323468 and a Google curriculum award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or Google Inc.

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