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Volcanoes and Earthquakes

GLG 102

Volcanoes and Earthquakes

GLG 102

Course Description

Prerequisites: Prerequisites: READING LEVEL 2 and WRITING LEVEL 2 and MATH LEVEL 2.

A study of the internal dynamics of the earth. Major topics will include: catastrophic events in historic times, products of vulcanism, volcanic rocks, vulcanism and geothermal energy, relationship to earthquakes and volcanoes to plate tectonics, interpretation of earthquake records, man-made earthquakes, earthquake prediction and control. (15-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Demonstrate an understanding of how the theory of plate tectonics explains major features of the geology of Earth.

Objectives:

  • Identify the original lines of evidence that led to the concept of continental drift.
  • Describe the discoveries that led to the model of seafloor spreading.
  • Explain how earthquakes and volcanic activity under the sea support the seafloor spreading model.
  • Describe the geological and geophysical characteristics of convergent plate boundaries.
  • Distinguish between subduction and continent-continent plate boundaries.
  • Describe the geological and geophysical characteristics of transform plate boundaries.
  • Explain how evidence from all three types of plate boundaries can be synthesized into the modern theory of plate tectonics.
  • Explain how continental drift is now seen as part of plate tectonics.

Demonstrate an understanding of how earthquakes occur and how they provide evidence for the structure of Earth.

Objectives:

  • Identify the different causes of earthquakes.
  • Recognize that most earthquakes are related to plate tectonics.
  • Explain how elastic rebound theory explains the actual mechanism of most earthquakes.
  • Describe how the different types of earthquake waves travel and what are their characteristics.
  • Explain how seismographs operate.
  • Distinguish between the Mercalli Intensity Scale of earthquake damage and the Richter Magnitude Scale.
  • Describe how the different types of earthquake waves travel through Earth.
  • Explain how earthquake waves provide evidence for the structure of the interior of Earth.

Demonstrate an understanding of how earthquakes cause damage and what has happened in some of the great earthquake disasters of human history.

Objectives:

  • Identify which type of earthquake wave causes the most damage.
  • Describe the types of direct earthquake damage.
  • Discuss what happened in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, both at the epicenter and in San Francisco.
  • Describe how tsunamis are generated by great earthquakes.
  • Discuss what happened in the 1964 Alaskan earthquake.
  • Describe other indirect types of earthquake damage.
  • Discuss what happened during and after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
  • Discuss the significance of the 1994 Northridge earthquake in California.
  • Describe the major earthquake risks along the San Andreas Fault in California today.
  • Describe other earthquake risks in California today.
  • Explain why Oregon and Washington have until recently been considered to be at low risk from great earthquakes.
  • Describe recent discoveries that have led to the realization that Oregon and Washington are at risk from great earthquakes.
  • Explain why the 1995 Kobe earthquake had the greatest amount of damage of all earthquakes in history.
  • Describe the evidence that the 1811-1812 earthquakes near New Madrid, Missouri were the greatest earthquakes of U.S. history.
  • Discuss earthquake risk in the Memphis-St. Louis area in light of the New Madrid earthquakes.
  • Explain why scientists have such difficulty in explaining the New Madrid earthquakes.
  • Discuss other examples of earthquake disasters.
  • Describe the attempts at earthquake prediction.
  • Explain why attempts at earthquake prediction have not been successful.
  • Describe measures to minimize earthquake damage.

Demonstrate an understanding of how volcanoes form and what are the different types of eruptions.

Objectives:

  • Describe how magma is generated within Earth.
  • Explain the difference between plutonic and volcanic igneous rocks.
  • Explain how different textures of igneous rocks are produced.
  • Describe the range of composition of igneous rocks.
  • Distinguish between fissure eruptions, shield volcanoes, cinder cones, and composite volcanoes.
  • Explain why some types of volcanic eruptions are more explosive than others.
  • Identify some of the risks associated with volcanic eruptions.
  • Identify some of the beneficial aspects of volcanic eruptions.
  • Describe the volcanic rocks of the Lake Superior area.
  • Explain how the Lake Superior basin has formed as the result of volcanic activity.
  • Explain how the Hawaiian Islands formed.
  • Explain how the Hawaiian Islands are related to plate tectonics.
  • Describe the formation of calderas and flank eruptions.
  • Describe the difference between aa and pahoehoe lavas.
  • Describe the major features of the geology of the Yellowstone National Park area.
  • Explain how geysers and fumeroles form.
  • Explain how the Yellowstone area is related to plate tectonics.
  • Describe the evidence for major Yellowstone eruptions in geologic history.
  • Explain how the Cascade volcanoes formed.
  • Explain how the Cascade volcanoes are related to plate tectonics.
  • Describe the sequence of events leading to the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens.
  • Explain why the Mt. St. Helens eruption was so catastrophic.
  • Identify other major potential hazards of the Cascade volcanoes.
  • Discuss the sociopolitical significance of the 1902 Mt. Pelee eruption on Martinique.
  • Identify other major volcanic eruptions of human history.