Assignments

Unit 2 Assignment # 1 – New Resource Post (due Jan. 24, 11:59PM)

  • Find an online resource that describes plate tectonics and how plate boundaries, or other tectonic related processes are linked with geological hazards.
  • Advertise your resource to the class by posting on the discussion page, as follows:
    1. Provide the link or access to the resource;
    2. Describe three new things you learned from it.
    3. Read the blogs contributed by  your classmates,  choose one resource from among the blogs, visit and learn from that resource, and then comment on their post by sharing  one additional new things you learned from it.
    4. Be sure to tag your post with the PlateTectonics category. 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 Jan. 26 11:59 PM on Blackboard) New Due Date: Friday February 2 11:59 PM on Blackboard

Google Earth Assignment: You will upload this assignment to Blackboard when completed

IMPORTANT – when you save your Google Earth kmz files, you have to open up the Temporary places folder, and check the box next to each of your placemarks before saving. Be sure the Temporary Places Folder is highlighted when you save. Otherwise it will only save the first one in your folder and the rest will not be included. See videos in the FAQ for more information. Also see video below:

  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. If you already know how to use Google Earth you can skip these instructions. If not, read through each navigation tip and try them out, including how to: navigate with the mouse, navigation controls, tilting and viewing hilly terrain.

Task 1: Type your home address in the search menu (specify street address, city, state) and click “search”. Move around your neighborhood using  whatever tool works best for you. Search for one other place you are interested in, like a national park, Hawaii, cultural features, whatever you are curious about. This step is to help you become familiar with how to navigate in Google Earth.

  • Make a placemark on a location of your choice by clicking on the yellow push pin. Label it with the name of the location and write a very short description.  The placemark will be stored in “Temporary Places”. For privacy reasons, DO NOT make a placemark on your home location. Do it for some other location you are interested.

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.

  • Creat a new placemark on Vesuvius and label it. Write a brief description. Now you have two places in your temporary places folder
  • Click on the “Tools” menu on the top bar, select kilometers for units. Then on the bar at the top of the Google Earth window, select the ruler icon. Click the square on one edge of Vesuvius’ crater, pull the line across, and click down on the far side. How wide is the crater in km? Write the distance in the description window.
  • Save the two locations (your first one and Vesuvius) as a kmz file as follows: Go to the Save menu, select “Save As…” and name it Tasks1and2_yourname and save as a kmz file.

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, each representing an earthquake that has happened between 1986 and 2015, of different colors on the globe. Examine the patterns of earthquakes and the legend in the upper left corner– the colors represent earthquake depths (orange are shallow; blue, purple are intermediate, and red are deep). The depths of the earthquakes are given in the legend on the left hand side of the screen. Answer the following questions:

  • Navigate to Hawaii and make a placemark, labeled appropriately. Are the Earthquakes here shallow (<70 km), or deep? What pattern do they make (clustered, spread out, along a line or curved path?). Describe them within the description window of your placemark.  Make a guess about the plate tectonic region and add that to your description window.
  •  Navigate to the Atlantic Ocean, midway between Africa and South America and make a placemark, labeled appropriately.  Are the Earthquakes here shallow (<70 km), or deep? What pattern do they make (clustered, spread out, along a line or curved path?). Describe the patterns of earthquakes within the description window of your placemark.  Make a guess about the plate tectonic region and add that to the description window.
  • Find a location on Earth where you find deep earthquakes – >150 km and make a placemark, labeled appropriately. Describe the location and patterns of earthquakes within the description window of your placemark. Measure the distance between where the shallow earthquakes happen to where the deep earthquakes happen. Record your measurement within the description window of this placemark. Make a guess about the plate tectonic region and add it to the description window.
  • Make one more location placemark with a label where you find the deepest earthquakes you can. Where is this location and how deep are they?

Task 4: Volcanoes – Download the volcanoes kmz and overlay on the earthquakes

  •  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 make a placemark, labeled appropriately. Are the earthquakes here shallow, deep, or a spread of depths? What pattern do the volcanoes make? Curved chain, line, cluster? Describe this location geographically (state, country, continent, etc) within the description window for your placemark.
  • Next, find a location on earth where there are lots of earthquakes but no (or very few) volcanoes and make a placemark, labeled appropriately.  Are the earthquakes here shallow or deep or both? Describe the earthquake patterns, and the location geographically (state, country, continent, etc) within the description window for your placemark.
  • Navigate to Parkfield, CA and zoom out to an eye altitude of 220 km.  Are there volcanoes here? What are the patterns of earthquakes? Shallow or deep? Spread out, or along a line? Make a guess at the type of tectonic boundary that runs through California and Parkfield following the patterns of earthquakes.  What is your evidence?

Task 5: Plate Boundary types

  • Add the Plate boundaries kmz file into your Google Earth  (clicking this link automatically downloads the file!)
  • Examine the plate boundaries and legend in the upper left corner (divergent, convergent, transform).
  • Revisit your placemarks and check your “guesses” about the plate boundary types of each. Where you correct? Write notes in each of the placemark descriptions “correcting” your plate boundary type guesses, but be sure to keep your original descriptions too.
  • Summarize the patterns of earthquakes and volcanoes found at each plate boundary listed below. Use your Google Earth locations and descriptions to help you complete this part. Make this a word document, and upload it with the kmz file, as below.
    • Hot spot
    • Mid ocean spreading ridge/divergent boundary
    • Collision zone/convergent boundary with no subduction
    • Subduction zone/convergent boundary
    • Transform boundary

Task 6: Make a kmz file of your placemarks and upload to Blackboard for grading, along with your summary from Task 5. For both files, give them filenames that include your first initial, last name, and Unit2 so that I can keep track!

GEOS 380