Demonstrations of Geophysical Principles Applicable to the Properties and Processes of the Earth's Interior

by Jeffrey S. Barker

Presented at the NE Section GSA Meeting, Binghamton, NY, March 28-30, 1994.





The following are demonstrations I have used with my introductory geological sciences class, "The Earth's Dynamic Interior". Many of the students in this class do not have a strong science background, and I find that these demonstrations help them develop a conceptual understanding of the material. I have also used some of them with high school and middle school classes with some success.

Demo #1: Rheology
Demo #2: Seismic Waves
Demo #3: Reflection
Demo #4: Standing Waves
Demo #5: Rigidity and Velocity
Demo #6: Earthquake Machine
Demo #7: Earthquake Location
Demo #8: Building Resonance
Demo #9: Density of the Earth
Demo #10: Precession
Demo #11: The Shadow Zone
Demo #12: The Magnetic Field
Demo #13: Curie Temperature
Demo #14: The Core Dynamo
Demo #15: Earth Calendar


I have also found the PC programs SEISMIC and SEISMIC WAVES, written by Alan Jones to be invaluable for illustrating concepts of earthquake occurrence, plate tectonics, wave propagation and Earth structure to my classes or general audiences. The figure to the right is a thumbnail; you can click on it to see a larger version. This is a screen image from SEISMIC showing seismicity in California. The size and color of the dots relate to earthquake magnitude and depth, respectively. When the program is run, these dots appear sequentially through time. These may be replayed, stopped or started using the buttons at the bottom.
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Last modified: March 18, 1996 (jsb)