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ConcepTest: Magnetic Inclination in Lava

ConcepTest questions by David McConnell , David Steer , Walter Borowski, Jeffrey Dick, Annabelle Foos, Jeffrey Knott, Alvin Konigsberg, Michelle Malone, Heidi McGrew, Kathie Owens, and Stephen Van Horn


Two lava flows formed at the same location on a plate, 90 million years apart. The plate migrated 500 km northward in the time between the formation of the first and second lava flows. Scientists sampled rocks from both lava flows and measured the magnetic inclination of each sample. (Assume that the orientation of Earth's magnetic field was the same when each lava flow was formed.) Which statement is TRUE?

a. Magnetic inclination decreased from the first to the second lava flow.
b. Magnetic inclination increased from the first to the second lava flow.

Student Responses:

No data yet. The correct response is B.

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References and Notes:


Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics, Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology

Resource Type

Activities:Classroom Activity:Short Activity:ConcepTests

Grade Level

College Lower (13-14):Introductory Level

Ready for Use

Ready to Use

Earth System Topics

Solid Earth:Plate Tectonics, Igneous Processes, Earth Materials:Rocks


Solid Earth:Tectonics, Petrology


Teach the Earth:Teaching Environments:Intro Geoscience, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Petrology, Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Plate Tectonics