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Lava Layering

Lava Layering. About this activity. The focus of this activity is on the sequence of lava flows produced by multiple eruptions. THEMIS vis image Lava flows. Mauna loa lava flows. Background: Earth/Mars/Moon comparison. Olympus Mons on Mars ~ 80,000 Ft. Tall!.

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Lava Layering

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  1. Lava Layering

  2. About this activity • The focus of this activity is on the sequence of lava flows produced by multiple eruptions. • THEMIS vis image • Lava flows • Mauna loa lava flows

  3. Background: Earth/Mars/Moon comparison Olympus Mons on Mars ~ 80,000 Ft. Tall! • Volcanoes, like those so familiar to us on Earth and Mars, are not present on the Moon. Java, Indonesia

  4. Background: Moon volcanoes • The Earth's Moon has no large volcanoes like Hawaii or Mount St. Helens. • However, vast plains of basaltic lavas cover much of the lunar surface • Dome

  5. Background: Moon • A lunar dome is a type of shield volcano that is found on the surface of the Earth's moon. • They are typically formed by highly viscous, possibly silica-rich lava, erupting from localized vents followed by relatively slow cooling. Lunar domes on Mons Rümker.

  6. Background: Moon geology • Aristarchus plateau • Three well-known areas on the Moon interpreted as important volcanic complexes are: • Aristarchus plateau • Marius Hills • Rumker Hills • These areas are characterized by sinuous rilles (interpreted as former lava channels and/or collapsed lava tubes) and numerous domes. Marius Hills • Rumker Hills • Cinder cones

  7. Why study lava flows? • Volcanoes and/or lava flows are prominent features on all large rocky planetary bodies. • Volcanism is one of the major geologic processes in the solar system. • Mars has a long history of volcanic activity. Olympus Mons is a volcanic mound that would cover the entire state of Arizona!

  8. Extreme Life • Where volcanic heat and water interact here on Earth, scientists are finding life. • In the hot springs of Yellowstone Park, they have found abundant life forms including some very small bacteria. • There is a possibility that life may have found a place in the ancient volcanic terrain of Mars. pH value in rock pores where organisms live acidic enough to dissolve nails, say researchers

  9. Objectives • Participants will: • Construct a model of a volcano • Follow a procedure to produce a sequence of lava flows • Observe, draw, record and interpret the history of the volcano.

  10. Lava Layering Part 1 (15 min) • In teams of 3: • Follow the procedures under Part 1 of the student sheet • For your caldera, cut a paper Dixie cup to 1 inch in height • Be sure to name your volcano • Label north at the top of the model • Use different colors of play-dough to represent different flows. • 3-4 flows show a good example of a shield volcano. • Fill out the results sheet • NOTE: • You may add fresh baking soda to the source cup or spoon out excess vinegar from the source cup as needed.

  11. Results • Where is the oldest flow? • Where is the youngest flow? • What do you think influences the path direction of lava flows?

  12. Lava Layering Part 2 • Objectives • Participants will: • produce a map of an unknown volcano and show the sequence of lava flows. • interpret the map data and infer the subsurface extent of the flows. • predict where excavations will give the most information.

  13. Procedures • Switch volcanoes with another team. • Draw a “satellite view” map of the volcano. Be sure to include the “North” arrow. • Develop a plan for excavating the surface. • How might you “see” the layers of the volcano? • Where might a river cut to expose layers? • What are the ways humans and nature provide a view below the surface? • Once you have a plan, begin the excavation • Using straws, collect core samples and observe what lies beneath the surface. Be sure to indicate on the map from where you took the core sample. Olympus MonsTHEMIS Mosaic

  14. Extensions • Where might scientists send spacecraft to examine the surface more closely? • In what ways do humans expose layers? • In what ways does nature expose layers?

  15. Contact info:Brian.Grigsby@asu.edu480-965-5514 Mars Education Website:http://marsed.asu.eduAdditional Files:http://marsed.asu.edu/upload/Mars_Ed_Fall_2007_WSIncludes: PowerPointLava Layering Lesson PlanLava Layering Demo videoVolcano paper modelExploring the Moon lesson plans

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