Volcanic Landforms and Magma Composition

Kent Ratajeski
Published July 12, 2006.
Wilson Butte
Wilson Butte in eastern California: an excellent example of a lava dome. Details


Magma composition is an important control on the geomorphology of lava flows and volcanoes. In this exercise, students investigate this relationship by studying several classic examples of diverse volcano types in the western United States. Students use the interactive Google Earth software to determine the size and shape of the selected volcanoes, and then use the North American Volcanic and Intrusive Database (NAVDAT) to gather whole-rock geochemical data to test the nature of the relationship between magma composition and volcano geomorphology.

This exercise is one of several examples featured in the Geoscience Education in the New Cyberinfrastructure module at SERC. Each example is designed to give instructors and students direct practice for using cyberinformatic databases and tools to analyze Earth science data. Students should begin on the Step-by-step instructions page.

      Next Page »