Here is the third ‘Excellent Geophysics Articles As Teaching Aids’ (EGAATA) post.  The point of these posts is to highlight excellent articles that could be a basis for teaching a section on the chosen topic. 

Executive summary: Well, this is actually a website, rather than an article. Dr Ian Rose has developed an Interactive Earth, which allows users to play with the fundamentals of mantle convection – as well as generating earthquakes to monitor!

Title: Interactive Earth

Type of article: a website!

Authors: Ian Rose


The website allows users to kick start convection though implementing plumes and subduction zone, from here the users can change the convective vigour of the simulation through modifying the temperature – all really nice ways for a student to play around with the fundamentals of convection. This really is an interactive website, which I think would be very useful to supplement a lecture/class.

The website also allows for the user to generate an earthquake and position a seismometer – another excellent aid for teaching.

There are two different simulations to play with – thermal convection and thermo-chemical convection. Both are really fast and offer a range of teaching points.

As mentioned in the About section – “the goal is speed over accuracy”. The website is very fast!


The website is excellent as a teaching guide for mantle convection and could be used as a supplement for lectures.

Title: Interactive Earth

Feel free to ask questions in the comments. I can provide further information (and materials) for any high school educators that would be interested in teaching mantle convection.