SSAC Physical Volcanology Modules

Following are short descriptions of the available modules. To access any of them, select from the list and you will connect to cover material including learning goals, context of use, and other information. Within the cover material (under "Teaching Materials") there is a link by which you can download the student version of the module.

There are a couple of ways of searching for modules. The box below left provides a full-text search of the cover material about the module, so you can search by author, subject, or keyword. The controlled vocabularies below right allow targeted searches by three different dimensions (click on the links to see the full, hierarchical vocabularies): Math content (Quantitative Concept) (Microsoft Word 41kB Jun17 10), Context (Subject) (Microsoft Word 29kB Jul13 07), and Excel Skill (Microsoft Word 32kB Jul13 07).

[Nine modules have been created and implemented in courses. They are undergoing a final round of edits and will be posted momentarily.]


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How Does Surface Deformation at an Active Volcano Relate to Pressure and Volume Change in the Magma Chamber? part of Examples
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students build a spreadsheet to examine and apply the Mogi model for horizontal and vertical surface displacement vs. depth and pressure conditions in the magma chamber.

Quantitative Concepts: Basic arithmetic; Number sense:Ratio and proportion; percentage; interpolation, Unit conversions, Measurement; Data presentation and analysis; Probability:Descriptive statistics; trend lines :Goodness of fit (R2), Algebra; Modeling; Functions:Modeling:Forward modeling, Algebra; Modeling; Functions:Manipulating equations, Basic arithmetic; Number sense:Estimation, Geometry; Trigonometry :Spheres, Measurement; Data presentation and analysis; Probability:Visual display of data :XY scatter plots, Logarithmic scale
Subject: Natural science:Physics, Earth science
Excel Skills: Graphs and Charts:XY Scatterplot:Multiple Plots, Log Scale, Angles and Trig Functions:PI, Basic Arithmetic:Nested Formulas, Simple Formulas
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What is the Volume of a Debris Flow? part of Examples
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students build a spreadsheet to estimate the volume of volcanic deposits using map, thickness and high-water mark data from the 2005 Panabaj debris flow (Guatemala).

Quantitative Concepts: Measurement; Data presentation and analysis; Probability:Visual display of data :XY scatter plots, Measurement; Data presentation and analysis; Probability:Uncertainty:Effect of uncertainty; sensitivity, Basic arithmetic; Number sense:Significant figures, Measurement; Data presentation and analysis; Probability:Uncertainty:Error; relative error, Geometry; Trigonometry :Other plane figures, Basic arithmetic; Number sense:Estimation, Average; weighted average, Measurement; Data presentation and analysis; Probability:Gathering data
Subject: Natural science:Physics, Social science:Geography, History, Business, economics and finance :Economics, Natural science:Earth science
Excel Skills: Basic Arithmetic:Simple Formulas, Graphs and Charts:XY Scatterplot:One Plot
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What is the Relationship between Lava Flow Length and Effusion Rate at Mt Etna? part of Examples
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students use Excel to determine a log-log relationship for flow length vs effusion rate and compare it with a theoretical expression for the maximum flow length.

Quantitative Concepts: Measurement; Data presentation and analysis; Probability:Descriptive statistics; trend lines :Goodness of fit (R2), Algebra; Modeling; Functions:Nonlinear functions of a single variable:Power function, Basic arithmetic; Number sense:Logarithms; orders of magnitude; scientific notation, Unit conversions, Measurement; Data presentation and analysis; Probability:Visual display of data :XY scatter plots, Logarithmic scale, Measurement; Data presentation and analysis; Probability:Descriptive statistics; trend lines :Line- and curve-fitting
Subject: Natural science:Earth science
Excel Skills: Graphs and Charts:XY Scatterplot, XY Scatterplot:Log Scale, Basic Arithmetic:Nested Formulas, Other Elementary Math Functions:LOG, LOG10, Graphs and Charts:XY Scatterplot:One Plot, Trendlines
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Porosity and Permeability of Magmas part of Examples
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students build a spreadsheet for an iterative calculation to find volume of bubbles and hence porosity, permeability and gas escape as a function of depth.

Quantitative Concepts: Basic arithmetic; Number sense:Unit conversions, Measurement; Data presentation and analysis; Probability:Visual display of data :XY scatter plots, Algebra; Modeling; Functions:Manipulating equations, Basic arithmetic; Number sense:Rates, Geometry; Trigonometry :Spheres, Calculus; Numerical methods:Iteration
Subject: Natural science:Earth science, Physics
Excel Skills: Basic Arithmetic:Simple Formulas, Graphs and Charts:XY Scatterplot:Multiple Plots, Angles and Trig Functions:PI, Basic Arithmetic:Nested Formulas, Arithmetic Functions:SUM
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What is the Volume of the 1992 Eruption of Cerro Negro Volcano, Nicaragua? part of Examples
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students build a spreadsheet to calculate the volume a tephra deposit using an exponential-thinning model.

Quantitative Concepts: Measurement; Data presentation and analysis; Probability:Visual display of data :XY scatter plots, Basic arithmetic; Number sense:Unit conversions, Geometry; Trigonometry :Circles (including radians and pi), Algebra; Modeling; Functions:Nonlinear functions of a single variable:Logarithmic function, Algebra; Modeling; Functions:Straight lines and linear functions:Slope, intercept; linear trends, Basic arithmetic; Number sense:Logarithms; orders of magnitude; scientific notation, Estimation, Algebra; Modeling; Functions:Nonlinear functions of a single variable:Exponential decay, Algebra; Modeling; Functions:Manipulating equations
Subject: Natural science:Earth science, Social science:History, Natural science:Physics
Excel Skills: Graphs and Charts:XY Scatterplot:Trendlines, Other Elementary Math Functions:POWER, Graphs and Charts:XY Scatterplot:One Plot, Other Elementary Math Functions:LN, EXP, Basic Arithmetic:Arithmetic Functions:PRODUCT
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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How Do We Estimate Magma Viscosity? part of Examples
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students build a spreadsheet to examine how magma viscosity varies with temperature, fraction of crystals, and water content using the non-Arrhenian VFT model.

Quantitative Concepts: Measurement; Data presentation and analysis; Probability:Visual display of data :Logarithmic scale, XY scatter plots, Algebra; Modeling; Functions:Manipulating equations, Nonlinear functions of a single variable:Exponential function, Logarithmic function, Basic arithmetic; Number sense:Rates, Ratio and proportion; percentage; interpolation, Logarithms; orders of magnitude; scientific notation
Subject: Natural science:Earth science, Chemistry, Physics
Excel Skills: Graphs and Charts:XY Scatterplot:Log Scale, Basic Arithmetic:Nested Formulas, Other Elementary Math Functions:LOG, LOG10, LN, Graphs and Charts:XY Scatterplot:Multiple Plots, One Plot
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Bubbles in Magmas part of Examples
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students build a spreadsheet and apply the ideal gas law to model the velocity of a bubble rising in a viscous magma.

Quantitative Concepts: Basic arithmetic; Number sense:Ratio and proportion; percentage; interpolation, Unit conversions, Geometry; Trigonometry :Spheres, Basic arithmetic; Number sense:Rates, Algebra; Modeling; Functions:Manipulating equations, Geometry; Trigonometry :Circles (including radians and pi), Measurement; Data presentation and analysis; Probability:Visual display of data :XY scatter plots
Subject: Natural science:Chemistry, Physics, Earth science
Excel Skills: Basic Arithmetic:Arithmetic Functions:PRODUCT, Graphs and Charts:XY Scatterplot:Multiple Plots, Basic Arithmetic:Arithmetic Functions:SUM, Angles and Trig Functions:PI
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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How are Flow Conditions in Volcanic Conduits Estimated? part of Examples
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students build a spreadsheet to calculate velocity of rising magma in steady-state Plinian eruptions using conservation of mass and momentum.

Quantitative Concepts: Measurement; Data presentation and analysis; Probability:Visual display of data :XY scatter plots, Basic arithmetic; Number sense:Rates, Ratio and proportion; percentage; interpolation, Estimation
Subject: Natural science:Chemistry, Earth science, Physics
Excel Skills: Graphs and Charts:XY Scatterplot:Multiple Plots, Basic Arithmetic:Simple Formulas, Angles and Trig Functions:PI

How Do We Estimate Melt Density? part of Examples
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students build spreadsheets to estimate melt density at high temperatures and pressures from the thermodynamic properties of silicates.

Quantitative Concepts: Calculus; Numerical methods:Derivatives and integrals (analytical), Basic arithmetic; Number sense:Unit conversions, Ratio and proportion; percentage; interpolation, Rates, Measurement; Data presentation and analysis; Probability:Visual display of data :XY scatter plots
Subject: Natural science:Physics, Earth science, Chemistry
Excel Skills: Graphs and Charts:XY Scatterplot:Multiple Plots, Basic Arithmetic:Arithmetic Functions:SUM, Basic Arithmetic:Simple Formulas