For the InstructorThese student materials complement the Living on the Edge Instructor Materials. If you would like your students to have access to the student materials, we suggest you either point them at the Student Version which omits the framing pages with information designed for faculty (and this box). Or you can download these pages in several formats that you can include in your course website or local Learning Managment System. Learn more about using, modifying, and sharing InTeGrate teaching materials.
Geological monitoring can greatly improve our planning for and response to catastrophic events such as earthquakes and volcanoes. In this module, you will use real earthquake and volcano monitoring data to draw conclusions about risks to plate boundary communities, and to communicate and plan for those risks. In doing so, you will integrate scientific data with societal scenarios, making use of authentic data, funded by government agencies to mitigate issues faced by communities. The goal of this module is for you to use qualitative and quantitative information to assess risk due to geological hazards associated with plate boundaries and evaluate that data to develop strategies to mitigate risks associated with geological hazards.
By the end of the module, you will be able to:
On this page you will find links to the prework and homework assignments for each unit of this module.
This unit uses scientific data to quantify the geologic hazard that earthquakes represent along transform plate boundaries. Students will document the characteristics of the Pacific/North American plate boundary in California, analyze information about historic earthquakes, calculate probabilities for earthquakes in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, and assess the regional earthquake probability map.
- Please complete the Unit 1 Prework assignment (Acrobat (PDF) 1.7MB Mar19 15) and bring it to class.
- As an option, you can use the Unit 1 Prework kmz file (KMZ File 7.9MB Dec3 14) for exploring data interactively with Google Earth.
This unit builds on what students have learned about transform fault hazards to introduce the idea of risk. Students examine earthquake risk along the San Andreas Fault in San Francisco by examining public school sites around the city. Students calculate relative risk (risk = hazard probability x vulnerability x value) due to earthquake hazards at five sites, analyze different seismic hazard scenarios, communicate risks to stakeholders, and evaluate possible responses to seismic hazards. Students conclude with a summative assessment in which they reflect on the value of earthquake forecasts and warnings in mitigating risk.
- Find out whether your class will be using Google Earth for this unit, and complete the appropriate prework before class. Bring completed work as instructed:
- If your class is using Google Earth: Unit 2 Prework (Acrobat (PDF) 66kB Sep22 14) and San Francisco 1906 earthquake information (KMZ File 747kB Feb20 20) in Google Earth.
- If your class is not using Google Earth: Unit 2 Prework (Acrobat (PDF) 9MB Sep22 14).
- In-Class Materials:
- If your class is using Google Earth: San Francisco Earthquake Hazards (KMZ File 3.8MB Feb20 20) Google Earth file.
Students work in small groups to examine data and videos of earthquakes, submarine volcanic eruptions, and black smokers at submarine divergent plate boundaries and then predict similar processes at subaerial divergent plate boundaries. The culminating activity has students use data for one of three divergent plate boundary sites to make connections between the style and scale of volcanic eruptions and seismic activity. Data sets will include Google Earth, Smithsonian GVN, NOAA, USGS, and written accounts.
- Please complete the Unit 3 Prework (Acrobat (PDF) 64kB Apr1 15) before class, and bring completed work as instructed.
Volcanoes typically give warning that they are coming out of dormancy and entering an eruptive phase. Being able to recognize those warning signs and take appropriate actions (e.g. evacuations) are important strategies for mitigating risk due to volcanic eruptions. In this activity, students document and interpret ground deformation and seismic activity associated with the 2010 eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano, from its pre-eruption dormancy, through precursor activity, through the eruption and back into dormancy. Students learn how to recognize data characteristic of an imminent eruption, and discover the time frame of precursor activity.
- Please complete the Unit 4 Prework (Acrobat (PDF) 31kB Oct1 18) and bring it to class. Links used in the assignment:
Combined, Units 5 and 6 are a two-day activity that begins with an introduction to significant events at convergent boundaries (1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens). In class, Unit 5 highlights the distinctive features and processes associated with convergent plate boundaries using geological and geophysical information. In groups, students use one type of data set to interpret the simulated preliminary activity of a volcano (seismic, GPS, gas and ash emissions) in three iterations to update the state of activity using the USGS Volcano Alert Levels.
- Please complete the Unit 5 Prework Assignment (Acrobat (PDF) 164kB Sep4 14) before class, and bring completed work as instructed.
In Unit 6, students reconvene in new groups associated with a geographic location around Mount Rainier, in which each group includes a student from one of each of the scientific disciplines in Unit 5 (jigsaw activity). Students first share the data they have examined, and compile their interpretation of ongoing activity and then use "critical features" data to identify the most likely hazard associated with their site (Lahar, Ash Fall, Gas Emissions, Pyroclastic Flows). Midway through Unit 6, students are told the volcano has erupted and are asked to summarize damage reports of that location. Through report-outs, the whole class compiles a regional damage assessment and determines areas that need immediate and long-term remediation. Activities include the interpretation of a hazards map for the greater Seattle area to incorporate student knowledge of risk calculations and earthquake- and volcano-related hazards.
- Please read the USGS Fact Sheet (2008-3062) and use the following Geologic Data Sets to complete the worksheet before class, and bring completed work as instructed.
- Unit 6 Prework Worksheet (Acrobat (PDF) 62kB Apr8 15)
- Unit 6 Prework Student Data (Acrobat (PDF) 1.1MB Apr8 15)
- USGS fact sheet on the Hazards of Mount Rainier (Acrobat (PDF) 6.1MB Dec19 13) is required reading for this prework
- Assignment of Locations for Risk Analysis (check with instructor for information on your assigned location)