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This virtual field trip provides an overview of the regional geology of the Lake Baikal area of southern Russia. Satellite imagery and diagrams accompanied by written narrative and thought questions guide students through the process of inferring how geologic movements (faulting) in the area might have been responsible for the formation of the lake. The field trip also provides reinforcement for the ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Field trip - virtual
Subject: Geology, Structural geology
 
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In this activity, students will learn why and how rock layers are folded and faulted and learn how to represent the structures in maps and cross sections. They will layer four colors of playdough to represent a horizontally layered rock mass with the oldest layer on the bottom. By pushing on the playdough block from two opposite sides, the students apply a compressive stress resulting in the folding ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Classroom activity
Subject: Geology, Structural geology
 
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In this activity, students create paper models to represent simple faults and illustrate some of the landforms associated with faulting of the Earth's crust. To make the models more realistic, some of the fault scarps are cut by gullies and are eroded in ways indicative of an arid landscape. All of the paper models show displacement on the fault by the use of arrows and by the offset of a marker bed ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Classroom activity, Guide for instructor
Subject: Geology, Structural geology
 
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In this lesson, students will learn to distinguish the different layers of the Earth, observe the effects of plate movements, and explore the reasons for earthquakes and volcanoes. They will label and measure the thicknesses of each layer of the Earth (lithosphere, asthenosphere, etc.) and record their results, construct models from sand and clay to illustrate what happens at the three types of plate ... Full description.
Grade level: Intermediate (3-5), Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Classroom activity, Guide for instructor, Lesson plan
Subject: Geology, Structural geology
 
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The sea floor is mapped for a variety of environmental and commercial reasons, including marine and coastal resource management, navigational charting, and oil and gas exploration. This video segment shows how geologists aboard a research vessel employ air guns and an array of listening devices to create a profile of subsurface rock layers. They hope to use the specialized maps they create to learn ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Video, Ref. material
Subject: Geology, Structural geology
 
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National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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In this exercise, students investigate the use of balanced cross sections and retrodeformation to study faults that do not break the surface and their application to tectonics, folding, and earthquake hazards. Introductory materials explain how to construct geologic cross-sections, the idea of balance in a cross-section, and the concept of retrodeformability, whether or not the structures seen in ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Classroom activity
Subject: Geology, Structural geology
 
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In this exercise, students investigate the evolution of Earth's surface over time, as governed by the balance between constructional (tectonic) processes and destructional (erosional) processes. Introductory materials explain the processes of degradation, including the concepts of weathering-limited versus transport-limited slopes, and diffusion modeling. Using the process of diffusion modeling, students ... Full description.
Grade level: High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Classroom activity
Subject: Geology, Structural geology
 
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Dynamic Earth is an interactive Web site where students can learn about the structure of the Earth, the movements of tectonic plates, and the forces that create mountains, valleys, volcanoes, and earthquakes. It consists of four sections, a glossary and an assessment. Each section explores one aspect of the Earth's structure and the movement of its tectonic plates. At various points of the interactive, ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8)
Resource type: Computer activity, Illustration - scientific
Subject: Geology, Structural geology
 
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These visualizations are animations of processes that occur along plate boundaries. The animations show plate interactions at transform boundaries, convergent boundaries and divergent boundaries. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Visualization - scientific
Subject: Geology, Structural geology
 
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This interactive is a section of the Dynamic Earth that focuses on plates and boundaries. Convergent, divergent and transform boundaries are explored with examples given for each. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8)
Resource type: Computer activity, Illustration - scientific
Subject: Geology, Structural geology
 
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