Initial Publication Date: February 25, 2013

Mini-Lessons by Topic

Jump Down To: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy | Geochemistry and Petrology | Other

Plate Tectonics

  • Plate Tectonics as Expressed in Geological Landforms and Events: An Exploration using Google Earth™ and GeoMapApp
    Jeffrey G. Ryan, University of South Florida
    Level: Lower-Division, Upper Division
    Classes: Introductory Geology, Tectonics, Petrology
    Description: This activity seeks to have students analyze global data sets on earthquake and volcano distributions toward identifying major plate boundary types in different regions on the Earth. A secondary objective is to familiarize students with two publicly available resources for viewing and manipulating geologically-relevant geospatial data: Google Earth(TM) and GeoMapApp.
    Initiative: SubFac, Seize, RCL Review this Mini-Lesson

  • A tour of the Mariana Subduction System
    Andrew M. Goodliffe, University of Alabama
    Level: Lower-Division
    Classes: Introductory Geology
    Description: This lesson presents a brief tour of the Mariana subduction system, an active continental margin in the west Pacific.
    Initiative: SubFac Review this Mini-Lesson

  • Testing plate tectonics in the Gulf of California
    Paul Umhoefer, Northern Arizona University
    Level: Lower-Division
    Classes: Introductory Geology
    Description: This is a simple exercise to use real-world data from recent large earthquakes so that students can "test" for themselves if plate tectonics "works" in the Gulf of California.
    Initiative: RCL Review this Mini-Lesson

Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

  • Are You in a Hotspot?
    Judy Harden, University of South Florida
    Level: Lower-Division
    Classes: Introductory Geology
    Description: This activity is a PowerPoint module designed to help students differentiate hotspot island chains from volcanic island arc systems. Using map images, students are asked to describe and differentiate the topography and geologic features of the two tectonic settings.
    Initiative: SubFac, RCL Review this Mini-Lesson

  • What Can (and Cannot) Be Learned from Scientific Drilling Using Examples from Margins Initiatives
    Rosemary Hickey-Vargas, Florida International University
    Level: Lower-Division
    Classes: Introductory Geoscience
    Description: This is a lecture segment that could be introduced to an introductory geoscience class to help explain and demonstrate what can and cannot be found out by scientific drilling.
    Initiative: Seize, SubFac Review this Mini-Lesson

Activity Ideas

  • Tracing sediment provenance from source to sink: Isotope records in the Bay of Bengal and Indonesia
    Annika Johansson, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University; Jeff Ryan, University of South Florida
    Description: In this exercise students examine data from a geochemical database to understand the link between source rocks and sedimentary deposits in the ocean, focusing on the Bay of Bengal in the context of the MARGINS Source-to-Sink initiative and contrasting these data with those offshore of Indonesia. This activity utilizes the online geochemical database SedDB, GeoMapAPP, and Excel.

Geochemistry and Petrology


  • Profiling Earth's Surface using GeoMapApp
    Laura Reiser Wetzel, Eckerd College
    Level: Lower-Division
    Classes: Introductory Physical Geology
    Description: In this exercise, students relate large-scale features on Earth's surface to lithospheric plates, the underlying asthenosphere, earthquakes, and volcanoes. After creating a cross section showing elevation using GeoMapApp, students add additional features by hand.
    Initiative: General Review this Mini-Lesson