Vectors and slope stability

Eric M. D. Baer, Carleton College Science Education Resource Center

This activity is designed to teach students with little or no experience with vectors, free-body diagrams, or the like to apply vectors to slope stability problems. Students first learn the basic properties of vectors, vector addition, resolving forces, etc. They then apply these techniques to establish in a simplified way how geologists can determine if a slope is stable, how much loading a slope can withstand before it becomes unstable, and other principles of slope stability determination. Learning goals, context for use, teaching tips, materials, assessment tips and related resources are provided.

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geomorphology, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Mass Wasting, Physics
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity
Special Interest: Hazards
Topics: Chemistry/Physics/Mathematics
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Geomorphology, Environmental Science, Teach the Earth:Incorporating Societal Issues:Hazards