Comparative planetary geology requires understanding how geological processes are affected by changes in physical environment-each planet and moon provides an opportunity to refine our understanding of how physical geological processes operate. Volcanism is a great example of a major geological process highly susceptible to such variations. Students performing this exercise will constrain how "Amboy Crater" would look if the same eruption happened on the Moon and Mars. Part 1 of the exercise asks small groups to assess either the yield strength of the Amboy flows or the time required for the flow to travel a given distance. After discussion of the results, Part 2 asks students to characterize the dimensions of the same flow, if emplaced on Mars or the Moon (changing only gravitational acceleration), and the time required for it to form; they are asked to predict the outcome in advance. Part 3 uses "Erupt" freeware by Ken Wohletz to explore how gravity changes will affect cinder cone geometry; the model is tested first to see if it correctly predicts an Amboy-like geometry, and afterwards students are asked to brainstorm what other factors should also be modified to improve the accuracy of the simulation, and how these changes would be expected to affect the geomorphological outcome. Finally, Part 4 asks students to use simple ballistic equations, implemented via an online Applet (Stromboli), to constrain the launch angle and starting velocity for the eruption that formed Amboy Crater (modifications are supposedly underway to permit this applet to run with different values of gravitational acceleration and air resistance).


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    Higher Education,NSDL,Undergraduate (Upper Division),Teaching with Equations,Undergraduate (Lower Division),oai:nsdl.org:2200/20100502195807109T,Vocational/Professional Development Education,Volcanology/Petrology,NSDL_SetSpec_380601



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