Video lecture on divergent (spreading), transform (strike-slip), and convergent (subduction and continental collision) types of plate boundaries.
Students investigate world seismicity and volcanic eruptions using SeismicEruption program. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions from 1960 to present are animated at a rate controlled by the user and for entire Earth or for specified regions. Earthquakes can be selected by magnitude and volcanic eruptions can be selected by volcanic explosivity index. In this way, large earthquakes and large eruptions can be selected to emphasize how different types of plate boundaries are characterized by different magnitudes of earthquakes (e.g. no major or great earthquakes occur on spreading ocean ridges). This lesson plan was developed by Roger Groom, Mt Tabor Middle School, Portland Oregon.
The SeismicEruption program runs is freeware developed by Alan Jones. The program runs on any PC (NOT MAC) and is downloadable from
This Word file contains questions for students to address as they explore the world map of tectonic plates. As students work through simple questions on this activity sheet, they are able to start building their understanding of patterns and processes that make up fundamental principles of plate tectonics. It is important to help students understand how the shape of the solid Earth is controlled by plate tectonic processes.
This world map of tectonic plates is a two-page PDF suitable for printing on legal-size (8.5″ X 14″) paper. Page one is the world map of tectonic plates with plate boundaries labeled and named. Page two is the world digital elevation model showing topography without plate boundaries or plates labeled. Page two can be used to examine how Earth’s surface topography itself can be used to oceanic ridges and trenches as well as continental mountain systems that are related to plate tectonic boundaries.
This map of world plates can be used as part of the Mapping World Plates Activity. The dimensions of the map are 24″ X 14″ so printing requires a large-format printer. Two other versions of the map of world plates are available: (1) Mapping World Plates – Small Map is a legal-size (8.5″ X 14″) map; and (2) Mapping World Plates Activity is a file of instructions that also contains the world map in three pieces than can be printed on legal-size paper.
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.
In this video segment, Jenda Johnson shows how to use candles of varying heights to demonstrate the hazard of volcanic gases. Jenda makes CO2 gas using baking soda and vinegar then gradually fills a bowl containing candles of different heights with the gas. The candles are progressively extinguished from shortest to tallest as the level of CO2 gas in the bowl rises.
In this video, Roger Groom (Mt Tabor Middle School, Portland, OR) demonstrates the “Gelatin Volcano” model of igneous processes. The preparation of the Gelatin Volcano is demonstrated. Then Roger shows how to inject chocolate “magma” into the volcano to make an intrusive dike and eruption of a laval flow on the flank of the volcano.
This PowerPoint presentation covers the basics of Cascade volcanoes and volcanic hazards. The presentation was developed by Beth Pratt-Sitaula and Jenda Johnson with assistance from Denise Thompson. Before veiwing this PowerPoint presentation, viewers are encouraged to review the PDF Introduction to Pacific Northwest Plate Tectonics, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes under the Cascadia Earthquakes and Tsunamis topic.
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.