Have you been aching for some ocean front
property? Just sit tight for several million years, and you might get
it. As you know, the earth is continually changing. The outer layer
earth is called the crust. Under the continents, the crust is over 30
miles thick. Under the oceans, the crust is only about seven miles
The crust is broken into chunks known as plates. The plates move about
on a fluid layer of the earth. Plates can move apart, come together,
push past each other. When they do, tremendous things happen.
The mighty Himalayas
spectacular mountain range is the result of plates colliding. 30-50
million years ago the continental plate that India is on came crashing
into the Eurasian plate. The crust pushed up forming some of the tallest
mountains in the world. Mount Everest in the Himalayas, is 29,028
tall and growing!
This pushing up of the land is called uplift.
It is one method of mountain building. You will learn others.
Snickers® Science This experiment
requires a Snickers® candy bar. It works best with a small, fun-sized
one, but you don't have to tell your folks that. This candy provides you
with a great and tasty model of Earth's structure and its plates.
Carefully unwrap and take out your Snickers®.
Bite off one end of your candy bar! Look closely
at the layers of the earth!
Chocolate - thin like Earth's crust
Caramel - fluid like the asthenosphere
(Earth's fluid layer)
Nougat - solid, representing the Earth's mantel
Core - sorry. Use your imagination here!
Gently push your finger into the surface of your
candy bar. Make sure that you crack the chocolate layer.
The cracks your finger make represent Earth's plates.
Now it's time to play with your candy bar! Gently
pull it apart. Notice how the "plates" move on the caramel.
Push it together. Try to build your own little Mount Everest!
This is a Snickers® model of uplift. One plate
pushed into another buckling the bar.
Once you finish testing how the plates move, destroy
Have you tried sliding a heavy box around? If you haven't,
you are really missing out. What usually happens is you are sliding along
just fine when you hit a little bump or ridge. You push harder and harder
until you conquer the bump. The box surges forward, much faster than before.
The box story is a simple example of how force builds
up and is released in an earthquake. An earthquake is
a shaking or trembling of the earth. Most earthquakes happen at the
boundaries of plates. The earth moves along cracks called faults.
If a fault builds up pressure, when the force is great enough it suddenly
releases. The result is violent shaking.
You can simulate your very own earthquake. You'll need
... your two hands! Push your hands together with all your might. Try
one toward you and the other away from you while you push. Eventually one
hand will win. There will be a tremendous release of pressure and your
will move apart. Try to simulate
all three types of faults at the
Pele, daughter of an island
goddess named Haumea, knew she was different. She was quick-tempered
with red hair and eyes. Her uncle, Lonomakua, was keeper of the
flames. He knew Pele would be an apt student. He taught her all
his secrets of fire. Pele's sister, Namaka was goddess of the water.
She was jealous of Pele and forced Pele, her brothers and other
sisters out of their home. They traveled across the sea to a new
place called Hawaii.
But Hawaii already had its
own god named Aila'au,
or forest eater. Pele and Aila'au fought for control of Kilauea.
They threw fireballs, erupted volcanoes and spewed smoke at each other.
When the smoke finally cleared, Pele had won. People of Hawaii respect
Pele. Legend says that if you remove lava rock from the islands Pele
curse you. You know, she's there whenever Kilauea, Mauna
Loa, or Mauna Kea, the volcanoes of Hawaii, turn on the heat. Remember,
Pele is still watching.
The Hawaiian Islands were created by volcanoes.
A volcano is an opening in the earth's crust where rock and steam come
out. The islands are located on a plate, which is moving northwest at
a rate of about four inches per year. The plate is passing over a "hot
spot" or volcanic vent. This vent has been spewing lava for millions
of years. The vent spews lava and creates a volcanic island. The plate
moves on. The vent spews more lava, creates another island, and the plate
moves on. The evidence? The oldest islands are the northwestern ones -
in the direction the plate is moving.
form from relatively quiet eruptions. The sides are gently sloping.
It doesn't really look like a classic volcano.
Plateaus don't look like volcanic
landforms, but they are. They are flat-topped, and built of volcanic
flows. Remember the buttes from earlier in this unit? Their hard,
flat top is often volcanic material.
Read each question and answer it in your head.
Check your answer using the drop down menu option.
What volcanoes are created from alternating
violent and calm eruptions?
What mountain building force created the Hawaiian
Which flat volcanoes indicate quiet eruptions
and lava flows.
Crater Lake is actually one of these that filled
Who is the respected goddess of Hawaii's volcanoes?
Which volcanoes are composed of cinders rather
than lava flow.
Volcanoes are classified as active, dormant,
and extinct. Which would prove the least threat to us?
How do we
know the Hawaiian plate is moving?
a shield volcano
Plastic zipper storage bag
Plaster of Paris
Mix about 1/2 cup of plaster of Paris with enough
water to pancake batter consistency.
Put a drop or two of red food coloring in the mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the storage bag.
Clip a small hole in one corner of the bag.
Cut a small hole in the center of the index
Slip the baggie through and squeeze a little
plaster through the hole.
Squeeze gently. Remember, shield volcanoes erupt
calmly and quietly.
Use the hair dryer to dry the first eruption.
Repeat the process.
may have to cut the hole open again if "lava" clogs
You can paint your resulting volcano.
Salt dough (1/2 c. salt, 2 c. flour, water)
Red food coloring
Construct a volcano out of salt dough on the
You will want to create a classic composite
Insert the film canister in the center.
Let your composite volcano dry.
Paint the volcano if you would like.
When you are ready to cause it to erupt, go
Fill the film canister 1/2 full of vinegar.
Add a couple of drops of red food coloring and
1 tablespoon of baking soda.
Your "lava" will
erupt and flow over the sides of your volcano.
1 warm bottle or can of soda
Shake the soda.
Open up the soda.
The soda explodes out of the can much like a volcanic
eruption. The contents of the can are under pressure. When the pressure
is released the contents rush out.
Get the plug-ins: ,
(The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)
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