EGAATA-3: MANTLE CONVECTION WEBSITE FOR TEACHING

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

Overview: 

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!

Summary:

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.