Assignments

Unit 2 Assignment # 1 – New Resource Post (due Jan. 26, 11:59PM)

Part A:  Search the web to find an online resource that describes plate tectonics and how plate boundaries, or other tectonic related processes are linked with geological hazards.

Part B:  Advertise your resource to the class by posting on the discussion page, as follows:

    1. Include in your post a link  to the resource;
    2. Describe three new things you learned from it.
    3. Read the blogs contributed by  your classmates.
      1. Choose one post.
      2. Visit the resource from the other post you chose and read it.
      3. Comment on the other student’s post and write about one additional new thing you learned from it.
    4. Be sure to tag your post with the PlateTectonics category in the right side side bar menu. This ensures all posts are on that page of the discussion menu, and you all can see each others posts.

Unit 2 Assignment # 2 – Use Google Earth to investigate plate tectonics in 3D (Due January 26th at 11:59PM – take the quiz on Blackboard once you have completed the exploration activity)

For this assignment, you will download the Desktop version of Google Earth and navigate to different plate tectonic regions and features on Earth. Each section of the assignment will involve finding the answers to questions. At the end of the assignment, you will take a quiz on Blackboard where you will input your answers.

Task 1: Download and learn basic navigation in Google Earth

  1. Download Google Earth – Its Free!  You need an active internet connection to use Google Earth so be sure you are connected when you do these activities. Apparently you also need Google Chrome to run Google Earth so the site will prompt you to download the Chrome browser first.
  2. Open Google Earth and install the web plugin, following the installer instructions
  3. If you are new to Google Earth, follow the pop up “Start Up Tips”  instructions about how to navigate. Click “Learn more about navigating in Google Earth” and you will go to an instruction page that gives information about how to use all of the controls.
  4. Grab a notepad or take notes in a Word or text editor so that you can answer the following questions:

Task 2: Type “Vesuvius Volcano, Italy” into the search menu to navigate to Vesuvius. Use the mouse to zoom in and look at the crater up close.  Tilt the view so you can see the relief of the volcano and use the navigation tools in the upper right corner (compass etc) to zoom and move around the volcano. Then, tilt the view back so you are looking straight down on the volcano from above.

  1. Look for the little ruler icon along on the top bar. Click on the icon and select kilometers for “Map Length”. With the ruler menu still open, click the ruler square on one edge of Vesuvius’ crater. Then release the mouse and drag the line over to the other edge of the crater. Click on the other edge of the crater.
  2. Write down the distance across the crater, given by the “Map Length” measurement in the ruler menu box.

Task 3:  Download the Earthquakes kmz file  and open in Google Earth (either go to “File/Open…” and select, or double click the kmz files). This file (usgs_5.v2.kmz) contains the locations of all earthquakes larger than magnitude 5.4 between 1986 and 2015 from the USGS catalog. The earthquakes file should now be located in Temporary Places. Once you get the Earthquakes kmz file loaded, be sure that the folder is checked in the box next to its name in the Places menu bar to the left of the main Google Earth window. You should now see a bunch of circles in different colors and sizes, each representing an earthquake that has happened between 1986 and 2015. Examine the patterns of earthquakes and the magnitude and depth legend in the upper left corner– the colors represent earthquake depths (orange are shallow; blue, purple are intermediate, and red are deep). Write down the answers to the following questions:

  1. Navigate to Hawaii. Are the Earthquakes here shallow (<70 km), or deep? What pattern do they make (clustered, spread out, along a line or curved path?).  What type of plate tectonic region (hot spot, spreading ridge, subduction zone, transform boundary) is found in Hawaii?
  2.  Navigate to the Atlantic Ocean, midway between Africa and South America.  Are the Earthquakes here shallow (<70 km), or deep? What pattern do they make (clustered, spread out, along a line or curved path?). What type of plate tectonic features (hot spot, spreading ridge, subduction zone, transform boundary) are found in this region of the mid Atlantic ocean.
  3. Find a location on Earth where you find a spread out pattern of earthquakes that start shallow (<70 km depth) and extend to  deeper than 150 km. Write down a description of the location you found. Using the ruler tool,  measure the distance between where the shallow earthquakes happen to where the deep earthquakes happen and write it down. What type of plate tectonic region (hot spot, spreading ridge, subduction zone, transform boundary) is found in your chosen location?
  4.  Find one more location with the deepest earthquakes you can find on the globe. Write down where this location is, and how deep the deepest earthquakes are.

Task 4: Volcanoes – Download the volcanoes kmz and overlay on the earthquakes. The volcanoes will show up in Google Earth as little red triangles. Write down the answers to the following questions:

  1. In general, are volcanoes located in similar locations to earthquakes around the globe? Navigate to a region where you find both lots of earthquakes and lots of volcanoes and write down the answers to these questions. Are the earthquakes here shallow, deep, or a spread of depths? What pattern do the volcanoes make, a curved chain, line, or cluster? Describe this location geographically (state, country, continent, etc).
  2. Next, find a location on earth where there are lots of earthquakes but no (or very few) volcanoes.  Are the earthquakes here shallow or deep or both? Describe the earthquake patterns, and the location geographically (state, country, continent, etc).

Task 5: Plate Boundary types

  1. Add the Plate boundaries kmz file into your Google Earth 
  2. Examine the plate boundaries and legend in the upper left corner (divergent, convergent, transform).
  3. Revisit your answers to the questions above and check your “guesses” about each plate boundary type. Write notes about each of your descriptions and “correct” your plate boundary type guesses, but be sure to keep your original descriptions too.

Task 6:  Take the Blackboard Plate Tectonics Quiz! Use your written notes and Google Earth Explorations to complete the quiz.

GEOS 380