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Jigsaw version: To prepare, students do background reading on landslides and rock avalanches and read the introductory portion of Hermanns and Strecker's 1999 article on rock avalanches in Argentina. In class, students receive data (assembled from figures in the article) on bedrock geology and physiography, as well as stereonets showing orientations of prominent joint sets, bedding, and foliations in the bedrock. Their task is to answer the question of why gigantic rock avalanches occur is some places but not others in this part of Argentina. Each student receives one of four possible data sets and works with a team to analyze the data and solve the problem for the team's area. Each team member must then individually explain his/her analysis to a group of three other students, one from each of the other teams, and the group then compares the four locations for similarities and differences. The activity gives students practice in interpreting geologic maps, using stereonets, and peer teaching. The activity also connects structural geology to another geoscience discipline.Short case example version: This is an abbreviated version of the jigsaw activity described above and focuses on only one of the rock avalanche areas.
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