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CCOG for G 148 archive revision 201604

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Effective Term:
Fall 2016 through Summer 2017
Course Number:
G 148
Course Title:
Volcanoes and Earthquakes
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Explores the Earth's volcanism and seismicity examining its nature, geographic distribution, frequency, magnitude, and relation to plate tectonics. Covers the assessment of hazards and risks associated with volcanoes and earthquakes and how communities can manage these hazards and risks. Includes a weekly lab. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

Volcanoes and Earthquakes (G 148) is a one-term introductory course in volcanology and seismology, which are branches of the science of geology. The student will develop an understanding of the types, origin, activity, products, and hazards of volcanoes and earthquakes. This course can be used to partly fulfill graduation requirements for the Associate Degree, and has been approved for block transfer. The text and materials have been chosen by the faculty and the emphasis of the course will be the viewpoint of the author(s). This includes the geologic time scale and the evolution of the Earth.
Regarding the teaching of basic geologic principles (such as geologic time and the theory of evolution), the Portland Community College Geology Department stands by the following statements about what is science.

Science is a fundamentally non-dogmatic and self-correcting investigatory process. A scientific theory is neither a guess, dogma, nor myth. The theories developed through scientific investigation are not decided in advance, but can be and often are modified and revised through observation and experimentation.
Creation science, also known as scientific creationism, is not considered a legitimate science, but a form of religious advocacy. This position is established by legal precedence (Webster v. New Lenox School District #122, 917 F.2d 1004).
Geology instructors at Portland Community College will teach the generally accepted basic geologic principles (such as geologic time and the theory of evolution) not as absolute truth, but as the most widely accepted explanation for our observations of the world around us. Instructors will not teach that creation science is anything other than pseudoscience.
Because "creation science", "scientific creationism", and "intelligent design" are essentially religious doctrines that are at odds with open scientific inquiry, the Geology/General Sciences SAC at Portland Community College stands with such organizations such as the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, the American Geophysical Union, the Geological Society of America, and the American Geological Institute in excluding these doctrines from our science curriculum.
Students are expected to be able to read and comprehend college-level science texts and perform basic mathematical operations in order to successfully complete this course.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Students who successfully compete this course should be able to:

  1. Use their understanding of basic physical and chemical processes to describe the mechanics of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
  2. Use their understanding of plate tectonics to explain the variety and geographical distribution of volcanoes and earthquakes.
  3. Identify landscape features of the Pacific Northwest associated with volcanic and earthquake activity and describe the events that formed them.
  4. Use the geologic history of earthquake and volcanic activity in the Pacific Northwest to assess the likely magnitude and frequency of future earthquake and volcanic activity in the Pacific Northwest.
  5. Make field, laboratory and web based observations and measurements of volcanic and seismic activity and landforms, use scientific reasoning to interpret these observations and measurements, and compare the results with current models of volcanic and seismic processes identifying areas of congruence and discrepancy.
  6. Access volcano and earthquake science information from a variety of sources, evaluate the quality of this information, use this information to evaluate the hazards and risks posed by earthquakes and volcanoes to a specific geographic area, examine how these risks can be managed, and effectively communicate the results of this analysis to others.

Quantitative Reasoning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to analyze questions or problems that impact the community and/or environment using quantitative information.

Aspirational Goals

Students who successfully complete this course should be able to:
1) Appreciate the contributions of volcanology and seismology to our evolving understanding of global change and sustainability while placing the development of volcanology and seismology in their historical and cultural context.
2) Become an Earth science literate citizen.
An Earth-science-literate citizen:
- understands the fundamental concepts of Earth’s many systems
- knows how to find and assess scientifically credible information about Earth
- communicates about Earth science in a meaningful way
- is able to make informed and responsible decisions regarding Earth and its resources
(Supporting concepts can be found at Earth Science Literacy Initiative).

Course Activities and Design

The material in this course will be presented in a lecture/discussion format and laboratory exercises.  Other educationally sound methods may be employed such as guest lectures, field trips, research papers, and small group work.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

At the beginning of the course, the instructor will detail the methods used to evaluate student progress and the criteria for assigning a course grade. The methods may include one or more of the following tools: examinations, quizzes, homework assignments, laboratory write-ups, research papers, small group problem solving of questions arising from application of course concepts and concerns to actual experience, oral presentations, or maintenance of a personal work journal.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Describe the relationship of volcanoes to plate boundaries

Classify the types of rocks created by volcanic processes

Contrast pyroclastic and effusive eruption styles

Examine the effect of silica content on eruption style

Discuss a number of historical volcanic eruptions and determine the major cause of human destruction for each case

Explore the methods used to forecast volcanic eruptions

Classify the features that occur in volcanic landscapes

Define the different kinds of plutons

Discuss the hazards associated with the Cascade volcanoes

Define the following terms: shield volcano, composite volcano, cinder cone, lahar, pyroclastic flow, pahoehoe, aa

Discuss the effects of volcanic eruptions on climate

Describe what is meant by "earthquake".

Define the following terms: focus, epicenter, refraction, reflection.

Describe the different types of seismic waves.

Describe the relationship of earthquakes to plate tectonics.

Define the following terms: strain accumulation, creep, foreshock, main shock, aftershock, interplate earthquake, intraplate earthquake.

Describe how a seismograph works.

Locate an earthquake epicenter using travel-time curves and three seismic records.

Describe how earthquakes can be used to study the interior of the earth.

Locate underground faults and describe crustal structure using a seismic profile.

Classify the different types of faults that result from earthquakes.

Define the following terms: strike-slip, dip-slip, oblique-slip, hanging wall, foot wall.

Describe the landforms produced along faults.

Describe the causes of earthquakes.

Define the following terms: compression, dilation, elastic rebound, compressive stress, tensile stress, fault-plane diagram

Identify the different types of seismic waves on a seismogram and determine the motion along the fault from the first motion of the p-wave.

Describe the relationship between earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.

Define the following terms: soil liquefaction, slickensides, sand boils, clastic sills.

Discuss a number of historical earthquakes and determine the major cause of destruction for each case.

Describe the events that precede earthquakes.

Describe the evidence for past earthquakes along the Cascadia subduction zone.

Describe steps that an individual can take to protect against earthquake damage

Describe methods for making buildings and other structures more earthquake resistant.