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Science, technology, engineering and math in K-12
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Rescooped by Bonnie Bracey Sutton from Geography Education!

Dramatic Confluences

Dramatic Confluences | STEM Connections |

"Confluences occur wherever two streams come together. If the gradient is low (i.e., nearly level) and the properties of the two streams are very different, the confluences may be characterized by a dramatic visible distinction as the mixing occurs only slowly."


Tags:  physical, fluvial, geomorphology, erosion, landscape.

Via Seth Dixon
Sylvain Rotillon's curator insight, January 7, 5:47 AM

Wonderful pictures of rivers confluences

Rescooped by Bonnie Bracey Sutton from Geography Education!

Aerial Photographs Catalogue the Life and Death of Volcanic Islands

Aerial Photographs Catalogue the Life and Death of Volcanic Islands | STEM Connections |

Volcanic islands can seem to appear out of nowhere, emerging from the ocean like breaching monsters of the deep. Below, Mika McKinnon explains how these odd geological formations are born, how they evolve, and how they eventually vanish back beneath the waves.

Via Seth Dixon
Danielle Lip's curator insight, April 22, 9:59 PM

It is extremely interesting to see how these volcanic islands are creating themselves, this article talks about how these islands are born and why they are being created. Countless eruptions are bringing these islands to above sea level, creating the island basically "below the waves." After each eruption occurs it seems that once the volcano hits the sea floor it starts to build upwards, being not only a volcano island but also a coral reef. Are there other volcanic islands enlarging around the world besides the ones already found? Rock is eventually turned into sand and the volcano underwater becomes dominant and still, where nothing is occurring and the sand begins to pile up, which goes to show how the island is building gradually. The sand can also slip as well as seen in the picture all the way to the right, where parts of the island sink in and the water takes over.

The volcanic islands that have been researched and found are Tahiti, Pinta which is a dry volcanic island, with dark lava flows staining its flanks and lastly is Maupiti whose tip is poking barely 213 meters above the sea.

It is crazy to think that such a geological formation can be created just by the sea alone, it is scary to think of what else could happen to this world, no one really knows and no one really will. I wonder what these volcanic islands will be like in a few years, if the same processes will occur or something new because as we know everything can change at the drop of a dime.


WILBERT DE JESUS's curator insight, April 27, 12:56 PM

This pictures show how most islands in the pacific ocean have formed. They rise, erode and then desapear.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 4, 12:33 PM

This is an amazing event.  It's crazy how they can be born and die.  Which begs the point, what will happen with Hawaii?  Why do some islands survive?  

Rescooped by Bonnie Bracey Sutton from Geography Education!

Yellowstone National Park rattled by largest earthquake in 34 years

Yellowstone National Park rattled by largest earthquake in 34 years | STEM Connections |

"Yellowstone National Park, which sits atop one of the world's largest super-volcanoes, was struck on Sunday by a magnitude 4.8 earthquake, the biggest recorded there since February 1980, but no damage or injuries were immediately reported."

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 31, 2014 9:10 AM

The amazing geothermal activity in Yellowstone National park annually brings thousands of tourists to the region.  The reason why these geysers, hot springs and fumaroles are there is because of the what is just below the surface.  Watch a video (the 2 minute version or a 44 minute version) to see why this natural wonder is also a major geologic threat for earthquake and volcanic activity, which explains the reasons for this weekend's earthquake.   Not to be an alarmist, but this is why some fear another major eruption soon.

CSINowedu's curator insight, March 31, 2014 9:23 AM

Yellowstone National Park, which sits atop one of the world's largest super-volcanoes, was struck on Sunday by a magnitude 4.8 earthquake, the biggest recorded there since February 1980, but no damage or injuries were immediately reported.

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Earth Science Week

Earth Science Week | STEM Connections |

Take part in Earth Science Week 2013! Held October 13-19, ESW 2013 will promote awareness of the many exciting uses of maps and mapping technologies in the geosciences. “Mapping Our World,” the theme of ESW 2013, engages young people and the public in learning how geoscientists, geographers, and other mapping professionals use maps to represent land formations, natural resource deposits, bodies of water, fault lines, volcanic activity, weather patterns, travel routes, parks, businesses, population distribution, our shared geologic heritage, and more. Maps help show how the Earth systems – geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere – interact.

Via Seth Dixon
Malini Mehan's curator insight, October 6, 2013 10:49 AM

Earth Science week unleashes the mechanism to understand the  dynamic world. It is a great way to observe and understand the constanly evolving processes that bring about changes in the physical and social landscape. From the evolution of islands off the coast of southern Pakistan, as was reported after the deadly earthquake of 24th September to freak weather and migration of illegal immigrants from Europe to Africa, understanding mapping techniques would give valuable insight into the interaction of the Earth Systems.

Elaine Watkins's curator insight, October 11, 2013 2:35 AM

Some awesome activity ideas and unit plans on this site for teachers to do with Earth Science!

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, October 30, 2013 3:58 PM


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Eerie Landforms

Eerie Landforms | STEM Connections |

Utah's Fantasy Canyon features mudstone eroded into bizarre shapes. This one's called "Flying Witch". #Halloween


Tags: physical, geomorphology, erosion, landforms, Utah.

Via Seth Dixon
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Logging and Mudslides

Logging and Mudslides | STEM Connections |
In recent decades the state allowed logging — with restrictions — on the plateau above the Snohomish County hillside that collapsed in last weekend’s deadly mudslide.

Via Seth Dixon
Geofreak's curator insight, April 3, 2014 1:39 PM

Mijnbouw en aardverschuivingen, een goede combinatie ...... 

PIRatE Lab's curator insight, April 7, 2014 11:48 AM

There are several reasons for mudslides--some are purely a result of physical geography and others are related to land use patterns.  This last week's mudslide in Washington state was a combination of the two and although this impacts one place (see on map), it is a good teaching moment to discuss the environmental impacts of land use patterns and resource extraction projects.  As seen in this interactive, the river was cutting at the base of the hill, while loggers were clear-cutting at the top of the mountain.  Trees help prevent erosion as the roots hold the soil in place--a critical piece to the puzzle in a very rainy climate.  With $1 million worth of timber on the slope, logging companies persisted despite objections from the Department of Natural Resources and some restrictions (but in hindsight, those restrictions clearly were not enough). 


View the impact in ArcGIS online: Before and After Swipe, LiDAR I and II, and Imagery.


Questions to Consider: Other than economic worth, what other ways are there to value and evaluate the environment?  How could this landscape have been protected and managed better or was this mudslide inevitable?   

El Futuro deWaukesha's curator insight, April 18, 2014 12:03 AM

Working on an Inquiry of recent natural disasters with first grader.  

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Gravity... | STEM Connections |

"The video clip shows the cliff where the fall initiated, near the ledge close to the skyline.  Then, below the ledge, you can see the talus cone, which are rocky bits along the slope. The really large boulders that fell down and ruined the house have carved out soil ruts as the boulders rolled downhill."

Via Seth Dixon
YEC Geo's curator insight, January 31, 2014 1:42 PM

Gravity-induced erosion in action.

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, February 3, 2014 2:04 PM


Alison D. Gilbert's curator insight, February 5, 2014 3:13 PM

There are some things that just cannot be avoided like this rock that gouged its way down a hill, destroying part of a home and the landscape. Will we ever be in time to predict their coming and avoid such disasters from happening?

Rescooped by Bonnie Bracey Sutton from Geography Education!

What is a Hotspot?

1) What is a hotspot? A volcanic "hotspot" is an area in the upper mantle from which heat rises in a plume from deep in the Earth. High heat and lower pressure at the base of the mantle facilitates melting of the rock. This melt, called magma, rises through cracks to the surface and forms volcanoes. As the tectonic plate moves over the stationary hot spot, the volcanoes are rafted away and new ones form in their place.

Via Seth Dixon
Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 23, 6:49 PM

The first video dumbs it down nicely for people like me. The tectonic plate moves roughly three inches a year, as the plate moves the magma stream stays in the same place, providing the foundation for the first island. The weight of the island actually deforms the plate and  the magma is temporarily stifled. Once the plate moves away from the weight of the island a new hotspot is formed and a new island forms in the same way, thus making the Hawaiian islands a string of islands. 

The second video details how Oahu lost 20 trillion pounds of rock eons ago and this is why the island has such a unique shape. It lost an estimated twenty miles of island into the ocean. Fascinating stuff for a neophyte like me!

Danielle Lip's curator insight, April 22, 9:46 PM

While watching this video you can learn a lot about a hotspot in just 2 minutes, understanding that a hotspot is an area in the upper mantle in which heat rises and slowly begins to expand, building up pressure. The magma, which is hot rises and the cold matter sinks. the magma rises through the cracks and the plates actually carry the volcano. How did the whole idea of a volcano occur? Who knows where these volcanos are?  The hotspot can cause volcanos to erupt or even cause the volcanos to spread out, who knew a hotspot could be such a huge influence on the world, causing massive landforms and causing much tragedy.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, May 6, 10:33 AM

What is a hotspot? It is a source of localized energy from the seafloor that creates volcanoes. It is not just a shallow reservoir nor a pipe filled with liquid. It is a constant stream of magma that does not move. Simple the plate move over it creating a row of multiple volcanoes, such as the Hawaiian Islands. When the magma erupts thru the surface the magma then turns to lava, and dries to rock. This process repeats until the built up lava is a volcano, still with hotspot in the middle. The plate moves and the hotspot creates a new volcano.

                This is interesting because hotspots are always changing geography, and causing map makers and teachers everywhere to learn new islands.