GEOL 101 Plate Tectonics Age of Crust Pattern to The Earthquakes Solved Quiz

GEOL 101 Plate Tectonics Age of Crust Pattern to The Earthquakes Solved Quiz

GEOL 101 Plate Tectonics Age of Crust Pattern to The Earthquakes Solved Quiz

GEOL 101 – Physical Geology
Google Earth Lab: Plate Tectonics Student Name:
Before attempting this lab:
• You should have completed the Google Earth World Tour (introductory lab) and successfully downloaded
the required kml/kmz datasets
• Read the textbook chapter on Plate Tectonics
• Look at the lectures on Plate Tectonics
For multiple choice questions, write your choice (the letter A, B, C…) on the line to the left of the question
Open Google Earth and in the left side column under My Places check the boxes to turn on: (remember that you
should move the kmz/kml files to “My Places” if they are still under “Temporary Places”)
• Earth Tectonic Plates
• USGS M2.5+ earthquakes
Location I. On your image of the Earth, navigate to South America. Look closely at the west coast of South
America, particularly in the bend of its coastline. You should see colored dots of different sizes representing
earthquakes. The yellow line is the convergent boundary line between the Nazca Plate and the South American
___1. Look at the legend for the Earthquakes. (You may find that the Plate Boundary legend is blocking part of the
Earthquake (magnitude, depth) legend. Unselect the Earth’s Tectonic Plates layer, if necessary, to see the
Earthquake legend.)
o What color are the shallowest earthquakes? ___________________
o What color are the deepest earthquakes? ____________________
___2. There is a pattern to the earthquakes in the last 30 days. Choose the following sentence that best describes
this pattern and write the letter (A, B or C) on the line to the left of the question #. (Make sure you turn on the
Tectonic Plate layer if you turned it off)
A. The earthquakes are directly on the plate boundary line
B. The earthquakes are on one side of the plate boundary
C. The earthquakes are on both sides of the plate boundary
___3. The deepest earthquakes are:
A. farthest from the plate boundary line
B. closest to the plate boundary line
C. directly on the plate boundary line
Now check the box to turn on the Global Volcanism data. You only need to see the Holocene volcanoes (turn
off/uncheck Pleistocene Volcanoes). The volcanoes are represented as red triangles.
___4. Most/all of the volcanoes located:
A. On the east side of the plate boundary
B. On the west side of the plate boundary
C. Directly on the plate boundary
GEOL 101 – Physical Geology
This boundary along the west coast of South America is a clear example of a subduction zone. Subduction occurs
when two plates converge and one is forced down and under the other one. Usually one of the plates is denser
than the plate it is converging with and when they meet, the more dense plate is pushed downward, where it is
exposed to the high heat and pressure of the mantle. Plates with ocean floor crust are denser than plates of
continental crust, which means an oceanic crustal plate will always subduct beneath a continental crustal plate
when they converge.
___5. In your own words, explain what is happening to the two plates below the surface that results in the
earthquake and volcano patterns you see?
___6. Draw a sketch of what the subduction zone along the west coast of South America looks like from a side view,
beneath the surface, with west on the left and east on the right. Your sketch should include the following,
including labels: the subducting (down-going) plate and the overriding plate, the names of the plates, the
location of the trench, the volcanoes, shallow earthquakes, and deep earthquakes. Write whether each plate
consists of continental crust or ocean crust.
GEOL 101 – Physical Geology
Location II. Type “Mariana Trench” into the Search box on the left side column. Once you have flown to this spot,
zoom out to at least 2000 miles ‘eye alt’ or more. [Remember- the altitude is shown on the lower right side of the
screen. If you want to change units of measure, go to the top and select Google Earth Pro>Preferences>Units of
Measurement]. Zoom out until you see a yellow line (convergent boundary), with the Pacific Plate on the right
side and the Philippine Plate on the left side. You may have to zoom out also to see the names of the plates. The
yellow line (plate boundary) marks the actual location of the deepest part of the trench.
This location is another convergent boundary with subduction. This time both plates are equally dense oceanic
crust, but still, only one must subduct! You can see from the shadow along the yellow boundary line that it is
deeper there. This is a trench, formed when two equally dense converging plates pull each other downward –
until eventually one begins to subduct.
___7. Judging from the location of the volcanoes and earthquake depths in relation to the boundary line, which is
A. The Philippine Plate is subducting beneath the Pacific Plate.
B. The Pacific Plate is subducting beneath the Philippine Plate.
C. Neither plate is subducting.
Location III. Type in “Kamchatka” and Google Earth should fly to you to the Kamchatka Peninsula. Zoom out and
scroll south until you see the convergent boundary between the Okhotsk Plate and the Pacific Plate (north of
Japan and south of the Kamchatka Peninsula).
___8. Describe the location of volcanoes along this boundary (on which plate?).
___9. Earthquakes are located:
A. On the same plate as the volcanoes
B. On the other plate
___10. The deepest earthquakes are:
A. Directly on the boundary
B. Closest to the boundary
C. Farthest from the boundary
SCREENSHOT: Take a screenshot that clearly shows the plate boundary and the earthquakes. This should show
the information that you used to answer the previous question. Save the screenshot with a file name that includes
your last name. You will submit this screenshot file along with your completed worksheet.
___11. Can you see a trench (deep, dark blue line) along this plate boundary? (Yes or No)
___12. Judging from this information, is this plate boundary a subduction zone? (Yes or No)
___13. What type of crust makes up the Pacific Plate at this boundary?
A. Continental crust
B. Ocean crust
GEOL 101 – Physical Geology
___14. What type of crust makes up the Okhotsk Plate at this boundary?
C. Continental crust
D. Ocean crust
Location IV. Now search for Himalayas and let Google Earth fly you there. This is another convergent boundary
example. In this example two plates of continental crust (the Eurasian Plate and the Indian Plate) are converging
into one another and building a mountain range.
___15. Two students are discussing the plate boundary along the Himalayas while working on their lab:
• Student 1: This convergent boundary is unlike the other ones we’ve looked at in this activity because there
is no oceanic crust. Without oceanic crust, there must not be any subduction, just mountain building.
• Student 2: I agree that this boundary is different from the others, but I think there must still be subduction
because there is a volcano and some deep earthquakes in one corner. The Indian Plate must be subducting
beneath the Eurasian Plate deep below the mountains.
Which student do you agree with the most? Explain what you find incorrect about the other student’s answer:
Convergent Boundary Wrap Up:
Before moving on to the next boundary type, complete the convergent boundary portion of the Plate Boundary
Summary Table, located at the end of this lab worksheet. Apply what you’ve learned so far about convergent
boundaries – their characteristics and the surface features that distinguish between ocean-ocean convergence,
continent-continent convergence and ocean-continent convergence.
While you are still looking at the Himalayas, notice the boundary along the left side of the Indian Plate. It is blue.
This is a transform boundary type. Transform boundaries occur anywhere that two plates are moving alongside
one another – but not directly towards or away from one another.
___16. There are a few earthquakes along this transform boundary. Are they all shallow or a mix of shallow and
Location V. One of the best examples of a transform boundary is along the west coast of North America. Navigate
to California. Zoom in/out so that you can see the entire blue line boundary (about 900 miles eye alt.)
GEOL 101 – Physical Geology
Along the western edge of California there are two yellow arrows, one pointing north and the other pointing
south. This is the San Andreas Fault zone. Be sure not to look too far inland, the San Andreas Fault is right along
the coast stretching from the Juan de Fuca Plate at the top, to Baja peninsula in the south.
___17. Which of the following are present along the San Andreas Fault transform boundary? Write “YES” or “NO” to
indicate whether each of the following is visible in Google Earth along this boundary.
_____ abundant volcanoes on the boundary _____ deep earthquakes _____ shallow earthquakes
______ deep-sea trench
As you answer the following questions, you may need type the city name in the search bar and zoom in or out to
see the features or labels.
___18. On what tectonic plate is Los Angeles, California located? __________________
___19. What direction is that plate moving in this location? _______________________
___20. On which plate is San Francisco, California located? ________________________
___21. What direction is that plate moving in this location? __________________
___22. Use the Tools > Ruler to measure the length of this transform boundary between Los Angeles and San
Francisco in miles:__________ and inches:_____________
___23. In this area, the plates are moving at a rate of 2.1 in/yr (inches per year). How long will it take Los Angeles to
become a suburb of San Francisco? [To make this calculation, remember: rate = distance/time. Therefore use
this equation: years = distance ÷ rate. Show your work and write out the units of measure.]
___24. Look around the planet for other transform boundaries marked with a blue line. Which statement best
describes what you observe about transform boundaries around the world:
A. Transform boundaries always have a lot of earthquakes at different depths
B. Transform boundaries usually have shallow earthquakes lined up along the boundary.
C. Transform boundaries have various earthquake patterns, but the earthquakes are almost always shallow.
Are there other characteristics of transform boundaries can you identify that distinguish them from other
boundary types? Fill these in on your Plate Boundary Summary Table.
Location VI. Fly to Iceland. Once there, go to the Places column on the left and click to turn on Age-of-Seafloor. It
may take some time for these layers to load. Then follow the red line that goes through Iceland, south through
the Atlantic Ocean until you see a rainbow. You are looking at the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Ridge. Mid-ocean ridges
mark divergent boundaries where two plates of oceanic crust are moving away from each other. If you zoom out
GEOL 101 – Physical Geology
to 2,000 mile eye alt. or more you will see that this boundary line exists like a seam, all the way down the Atlantic
The colors along the boundary represent the age of the rocks that make up the sea floor. Red is the youngest, or
newest rocks, while the blues and purples are the older rocks. You can see the older oceanic crust in the Atlantic
Ocean is near the edge of the South American and African continents. Zoom out further and swirl around the
globe – you will notice that there is only data for some parts of the seafloor.
___25. The oldest seafloor rocks on the planet are illustrated by which color? _____________
___26. The oldest seafloor rocks on the planet occur in which basin? (choose one) Mediterranean Sea, Pacific Ocean,
or Indian Ocean
Find the divergent boundary with young ocean floor just south of the Arabian Peninsula. This is called the Gulf of
Aden and connects the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean.
___27. At the plate boundary that runs through the center of the Gulf of Aden two (oceanic / continental) plates are
moving (towards / away from) one another.
This boundary is one of three that meet in this region – creating what is called a triple junction. One boundary
goes up through the Red Sea, one out through the Gulf of Aden and one goes down through Africa- creating what
is called the Great Rift Valley. At this particular triple junction all of the plate boundaries are divergent.
___28. There are many (volcanoes / earthquakes) along the African portion of the boundary.
Two students are discussing the triple junction and these volcanoes:
• Student 1: If there is a divergent boundary in the Gulf of Aden, then the other two boundaries must be
convergent. I think the volcanoes are the result of subduction at a convergent boundary.
• Student 2 : I agree volcanoes are found at convergent boundaries, but usually with earthquakes. There
aren’t any earthquakes along the boundary in Africa, just a lot of volcanoes. The boundary through Africa
must be something other than a convergent boundary.
___29. Which student do you agree with the most and why? What is wrong with the other student’s statement?
When a divergent boundary occurs between two plates of continental crust their movement away from each
other stretches the crust until it is very thin. Once it is thin enough, magma will break through creating a chain of
volcanoes along the rift.
Divergent Boundary Wrap Up
Complete the information on your Plate Boundary Summary Table about divergent boundaries, their
characteristics and the surface features that distinguish between ocean-ocean divergence and continentcontinent divergence.
GEOL 101 – Physical Geology
Plate Boundary Summary Table: Complete this with your observations from this lab and from what you’ve
learned through textbook and lectures this week.
Boundary Type Crust Type at Boundary Geologic Features Found at This
Boundary Type
Do Earthquakes Occur
Near This Boundary
Type? (Yes or No)
Transform continental-continental
Here are some geologic features that should be included in your summary table: mountain range, volcanic arc,
other volcanic features, deep-sea trench, rift valley, mid-ocean ridge, new ocean crust, subduction (older ocean
crust is “recycled”)

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