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  • EarthViewer

    EarthViewer

    Click & Learn

    Download the accompanying student worksheet under "Downloads." What did Earth look like 250 million years ago? Or 1 billion years ago? Or 4.5 billion years ago? EarthViewer is an interactive tool that allows you to explore the science of Earth's deep history.

  • Asteroid Impact?

    Asteroid Impact?

    Image of the Week

    A living foraminifer, Orbulina universa, in the act of shortening its spines in preparation for gametogenesis.

  • Ocean Acidification

    Ocean Acidification

    Activity

    In this hands-on activity, students simulate the effects of decreasing pH caused by rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

  • Discovering the Wallace Line

    Discovering the Wallace Line

    Activity

    This activity supports the HHMI short film The Origin of Species: The Making of a Theory. Students are presented with a map of the Malay Archipelago and some field notebooks with observations of animals. By plotting which animals are found on which island, the students discover the Wallace Line—a sharp boundary that separates distinct Asian and Australian fauna. 

  • Geological History of Oxygen

    Geological History of Oxygen

    Click & Learn

    Explore the changes in oxygen levels throughout Earth’s history and discover their impact on life.

  • Plate Tectonics

    Plate Tectonics

    Animation

    (1 min 16 sec) Plate tectonics is the unifying theory of Earth science.

  • EarthViewer Data Files

    EarthViewer Data Files

    Activity

    Summaries and links to the data files used to create the charts in EarthViewer, including the APK file to manually install the app.

  • The Geologic Carbon Cycle

    The Geologic Carbon Cycle

    Animation

    (6 min 20 sec) CO2 emitted by volcanoes into the atmosphere is removed by a series of chemical reactions related to rock weathering.

  • Holmes' Model of Convection

    Holmes' Model of Convection

    Animation

    (45 sec) An early continental drift model proposed that mantle convection can produce continental movement and new plate formation.

  • Daly's Model of Subduction

    Daly's Model of Subduction

    Animation

    (2 min 19 sec) An early model of continental drift proposed that parts of continental plates can sink into the mantle, allowing for movement.

  • Continental Movement Over the Past 200 Million Years

    Continental Movement Over the Past 200 Million Years

    Animation

    (1 min 1 sec) The breakup of a supercontinent into several smaller continents explains the distribution of fossil and geologic evidence.

  • Arctic Island Was a Tropical Island 500 Million Years Ago

    Arctic Island Was a Tropical Island 500 Million Years Ago

    Animation

    (47 sec) Reconstructing past continental plate movements reveals the island of Spitsbergen was tropical 500 million years ago.

  • The Principle of Isostasy

    The Principle of Isostasy

    Clip

    (2 min 39 sec) Continents rose in elevation after ice sheets from the last ice age retreated. This suggested that the underlying mantle is pliable.

  • Earth's Climate: Back to the Future

    Earth's Climate: Back to the Future

    Lecture

    (1 hr 27 min 59 sec) Earth has been both cooler and warmer in the past, but the change is usually gradual. The current rate of carbon dioxide increase is unprecedented in human history, and solutions to mitigate its effect on global warming are challenging to implement.

  • Changing Planet: Past, Present, Future

    Changing Planet: Past, Present, Future

    Lecture

    Has Earth changed over deep time? How did Earth shape life and life shape Earth? What does Earth's climate in the distant past tell us about the future?

  • Stratigraphic Principles

    Stratigraphic Principles

    Clip

    (2 min 21 sec) Dr. John Shea demonstrates the two main principles in the study of rock layers: superposition and association.

  • Rift Valleys of Africa and Plate Tectonics

    Rift Valleys of Africa and Plate Tectonics

    Clip

    (2 min 14 sec) African rift valleys were formed by the separation of tectonic plates. Water flows down to the valley floors, creating rivers and lakes.

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