This classroom activity was developed by Bonnie Magura (Jackson Middle School, Portland, OR) and Chris Hedeen (Oregon City High School, Oregon City, OR). The map was developed by Scott Walker (Digital Cartography Specialist, Harvard College Library). Graphics and tectonic overlay by Jenda Johnson (Volcano Video & Graphics). This PDF Explains the World Tectonic Mapping Activity and includes the map of world plates in three pieces that can be printed on legal-size paper.
The “Earthquake Machine” is a simple model of the earthquake process using a wood block, sandpaper, and rubber bands. This model shows how “Forces, Faults, and Friction” interact as elastic energy is slowly stored as the rubber back stretches and then rapidly released as the block jerks in an “earthquake”. Although this physical model is very much simpler than the interaction of forces, fault, and friction on a real geological fault, the model does demonstrate the unpredictable nature on earthquakes. Links are provided to computer animations and video lectures, as well as other supporting background and lesson plan documents.
This activity was developed by Anne Ortiz and Tammy Baldwin and is offered through Science Education Solutions. Many Earth science textbooks contain a description of earthquake location by triangulation from three seismic stations. Distance of the earthquake from each seismic station is determined using the time difference between the arrivals of the primary (P) and secondary (S) waves from the earthquake. This activity permits students to use real seismograms to determine the arrival times for P and S waves and use these times to determine the distance of the seismic station from the earthquake. Seismograms from four seismic stations are provided, although only three records are required to determine the epicenter using the S-P method. Because real seismograms contain some “noise” with resultant uncertainty in locating arrival times of P and S waves, this activity promotes appreciation for uncertainties in interpretation of real scientific data. Note that Science Education Solutions holds the copyright but allows educational use of this activity.
An additional regional triangulation activity is available through Science Education Solutions at http://www.scieds.com/spinet/pdf/triangulation.pdf
PDF of References in article “USArray Visualization Show Seismic Waves Sweeping Across the U.S.” by R.F. Butler, C. D. Hedeen, and R. Groom in The Earth Scientist.
This Word file is the answer key for the table of lava chemistry and properties. The table is designed to be used as part of the Modeling Lava Viscosity Demonstration.
This Word file is a blank table that students can use to organize their understanding of lava chemistry and properties. The table is designed to be used as part of the Modeling Lava Viscosity Demonstration. The properties of four types of lava (rhyolite, dacite, andesite, and basalt) and the volcanoes that from by eruption of these lavas can be briefly described and / or drawn on the table. The answer key is provided in the completed table “Modeling Lava Viscosity – Table of Volcanic Eruption Styles Answers”.
Bonnie Magura (Jackson Middle School, Portland, Oregon) developed this classroom demonstration of lava viscosity. The viscosity of lava that erupts from a volcano controls the shape of the resulting volcano. In turn, the silica (SiO2) content of the erupting lava controls its viscosity, with higher silica (SiO2) content resulting in higher viscosity. (Remember that low viscosity means “runny” lava that can flow down a gentle slope whereas high viscosity means “sticky” lava flows slowly and can form a steep-sided volcano.) By mixing different syrups, a variety of “lavas” with contrasting viscosities can be made. This demonstration invites students to join their teacher as (s)he melts different rocks with different silica (SiO2) contents to form “lavas” with contrasting viscosities. If you are a teacher with a flare for drama, this is your activity!
This activity allows teachers to demonstrate how magma intrudes the rocks beneath a volcano, sometimes leading to an eruption of lava from the summit or flanks of the volcano. The gelatin volcano is transparent so students can observe the process of intrusion as the “magma” shoulders surrounding rocks aside to form dikes (vertical igneous rock bodies in the subsurface) or sills (subhorizontal igneous rock layers in the subsurface). The setup time for this classroom demonstration is significant but the payoff can be dramatic! The accompanying video demonstration by Roger Groom (Mt Tabor Middle School, Portland, Oregon) shows how the gelatin volcano works to help students understand the inner workings of a volcano.
Some volcanic craters form by the violent expulsion of magma (liquid rock) when it reaches Earth’s surface where liquid rock is referred to as “lava”. However, many volcanic craters form by collapse of the rock near the summit of the volcano. When magma pushes up through Earth’s crust, it must displace the surrounding and overlying rocks as it works its way toward the surface. When magma enters a shallow reservoir beneath a volcano, the ground above that magma chamber can “inflate,” pushing the ground upward and outward away from the center of the volcano. When an eruption occurs, magma is removed from the shallow reservoir beneath a volcano and the volcano can “deflate” with the ground sinking downwards and inward toward the center of the volcano. This inflation-deflation process can fracture and weaken the ground surrounding and above the magma chamber. The fractured rocks can sink to form a round or elliptical depression of the ground called a “caldera”. The formation of a caldera can be a catastrophic process that accompanies a violent eruption (e.g. geologically-recent eruptions of Yellowstone in Wyoming or Long Valley in eastern California) or a relatively gentle volcanic eruption (e.g. eruptions of basaltic lavas from Hawaiian volcanoes). This flour box demonstration takes learners through the stepwise process of “predicting” what you might see before and after a caldera collapse.
This 5-page PDF provides a brief introduction to the primary methods of monitoring volcanoes. Approaches to monitoring ground deformation on and around volcanoes are described along with methods for monitoring earthquake activity beneath a volcano and monitoring volcanic gas emissions.