Before we dive into these fun plate tectonics activities, let’s review the basics. The theory of plate tectonics is a scientific theory central to the field of geology. This theory explains that the surface of the earth is broken into large plates that are slowly moving. These plates slide past and over one another. Their […]
Earth’s lithosphere (surface) is broken into massive, irregularly-shaped pieces, called tectonic plates. Some of the plates are so large that they span entire continents. Others are smaller. Tectonic plates sit atop a denser, soft part of the mantle called the asthenosphere. If you need a refresher, view my Layers of the Earth post. The theory […]
A volcano is an opening in the crust where lava, volcanic gases, and ash are expelled onto the earth’s surface. They typically have cone-like shapes with depressions at their centers. There are three main types of volcanoes: shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes (also known as composite volcanoes), and cinder cones. Apart from these main types, other categories […]
In school, you usually learn that the three main layers of the earth are the crust, mantle, and core. Geologists call these compositional layers, because the layers are defined by the materials they are made of. However, geologists also think about how different layers of the earth move: for example, do they flow easily? Are […]
Glaciers make a big mark on the landscapes beneath and around them. Even thousands of years after a glacier disappears, you can still find evidence of its presence in the glacial landforms left behind!
Before we can learn about groundwater-surface water interactions, we must understand the water table. The water table is the level at which the pore spaces are filled entirely with water. The water table is not a flat plain, but rather, a three-dimensional surface.
Hydrologists collect stream measurements to ensure we are not using our water resources too quickly or in unsustainable ways. With a few household items, you can collect river measurements too!
Different rivers naturally have different planforms – and that’s a good thing! You will find healthy streams and rivers with a variety of different natural planforms – no one planform is necessarily better than the others. What is best is for a river to be in as close to its natural state as reasonably possible.
A glacier is a large, dense ice mass made from compacted snow that slowly moves under its own weight over a long period of time. Unlike seasonal snowpack, glacial ice does not fully melt in summer. Although glaciers move slowly, often just centimeters per day, they may cover great distances over many years. There are […]
About common water features Before diving into definitions and examples of some common water features, let us ask: “what is a water feature?” Water features are any waterbody or waterway found on the earth’s surface! Water features come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes! For example, some water features are lotic (flowing, like […]