Plate tectonics w/ GoogleEarth

This lab involves data imported from GeoMapApp saved as overlays within a GoogleEarth kmz file.   Because of issues with polar regions, the final trench (Aleutians) is missing the GeoMapApp overlay.   Future versions will hopefully fix this.

What the kmz includes:
-place marks of three MORs, three trenches, and one hotspot track
-age & ocean bathymetry overlays from GeoMapApp

How the questions were presented:
-within a quiz on Moodle
-questions were made into numerical +/-, multiple choice, or matching with the exception of the final open question, which was included as an essay
-Moodle grades everything except the final question automatically
-on a previous version, I gave blanks for the answers instead of options, and the answers were frequently out of left field

Please feel free to add comments on the related blog post.

Question list for the kmz:
  • For the "MOR - slow spreading" placemark:
    • Examine the region surrounding the placemark and determine the width of the region dominated by faults & ridges (in km).
    • Turn on the "SA-elevation" overlay.  Where are the highest elevations?
    • How does the elevation vary as you move away from the highest point to both the east and west? (symmetrically, no pattern visible, assymetrically)
    • What is the general shape of the highest points? (linear, curved, square, squiggly)
    • Using the "SA-ages" overlay, examine the sea floor ages to determine the relationship between elevation & age.
  • Answer the same questions for "MOR - intermediate spreading" and "MOR - fast spreading" (remember to alter E/W/N/S appropriately)
  • You are challenged to find the oldest region of the South Atlantic--where would you look first?
  • the ridge are off-set by fracture zones, some of which are active & some inactive faults.   Match placemarks 1a, 1b, & 1c with the appropriate descriptions (active fault, inactive fault - moving east, inactive fault - moving west)
  • Compare & contrast the width of the youngest seafloor for the South Atlantic & the East Pacific Rise.   How does the width of the East Pacific Rise region compare?
  • For the "Trench - ocean-ocean I" placemark:
    • What is the distance between the deepest & highest point on the "MT - elevation" overlay?
    • What is the general shape of a line connecting the lowest points? (linear, curved, square, squiggly)
    • How does the elevation vary as you move away from the highest point to both the east & west? (symmetrically, no pattern visible, assymetrically)
  • Answer the same questions for "Trench - ocean-continent" and "Trench - ocean-ocean II" (remember to alter E/W/N/S appropriately)
  • For all of the trenches marked, what are the highest points?
  • For the "Ocean island chain" placemark:
    • What is the pattern of highest elevations on each of the Hawaiian islands?  (higher to NW, random variation, decrease to NW, same on each island)
    • Use the Global Volcanism project website to match the name of the Hawaiian volcano with its last known eruption: (2460 BC, 1750, 1801, 1984, currently erupting)
      • Mauna Loa
      • Kilauea
      • Hualalai
      • Haleakala
      • Mauna Kea
    • What is the relationship between age & location of the volcanoes?
  • For each type of setting examined (MOR, trench, ocean island chain) find your own example.   Submit for the latitude & longitude along with what kind of setting it is.
rev: Jan 2011
Elli Goeke,
Jan 17, 2011, 8:28 PM