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1.2 Earth Systems

In this section you will find materials that support the implementation of 1.2: Earth Systems. Use the navigation below to find the materials.

Section Materials


Visions of Earth, by AGI
A four-DVD set on interactions in Earth systems.

A Digital View of Our Dynamic Planet, by Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Gain a general introduction to the Earth as a system. Learn about the Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Geosphere, and Biosphere. See the Earth at night, and examine images of the globe, captions, and some time-lapse sequences.

Earth System Science Online, by Universities Space Research Association
Discover a repository for Earth System Science education and research resources.

Earth System Resources, by The GLOBE Program. A NASA science education program
Find Earth System resources for understanding earth system science.

Using GLOBE Data to Investigate the Earth System, by SERC
In this chapter from the Earth Exploration Toolkit, classes can access and graph environmental data that has been collected by students who participate in the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) Program. Then they use GLOBE's graphing tool to compare several variables and interpret the graph to examine evidence of Earth system processes. This chapter highlights the opportunities for using GLOBE data to introduce basic concepts of Earth system science.

Looking into Earth with GIS, by SERC
This chapter of the Earth Exploration Toolbook provides an excellent introduction to GIS (geographic information system). Users work with data from a seismic wave model in a freely available GIS program, ArcVoyager SE.

Rock Identification Key, by Don Peck
This easy to navigate key has been designed and written to assist children and adults in identifying the common rocks they find in their back yards and on memorable vacations.

Igneous Rock Classification, by James Madison University
Find a handy chart with hot links for the mineralogic identification of different types of igneous rocks.

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Visions of Earth, by AGI
82 High-definition animations showing a variety of Earth and space system processes.

Water Cycle Movie, by NASA
While it's a little large at 44Mb, the animation does a clear job of demonstrating all of the aspects of the water cycle and includes what could be interpreted as "lake effect" and "orographic lifting". The link to the movie is on the right side of the (NASA) page.

Rock Cycle, by Exploring Earth
This highly simplified Flash animation displays some of the most common rock-forming processes. Embedded animations include crystallization of magma to form igneous rock, rock erosion to create sediment, transportation of sediment, deposition of sediment to create sedimentary rock, and creation of a metamorphic rock in a subduction zone. The neat feature of this animation is that each step in the sequence above is linked to other animations in the Exploring Earth collection, providing a fairly in depth exposure to the processes involved in the rock cycle. Caution students against the oversimplified linear pattern of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rock formation. In reality, there are many interconnections in the cycle with, for example, sedimentary rocks being eroded and becoming transformed to a different sedimentary rock type without being metamorphosed or, as another example, igneous rocks never being reduced to sediment, and instead directly evolving to metamorphic rocks. The animation can be paused and rewound to stress important points.

Earth History, by John Kyrk
View a flash time-line of Earth's history, starting with the "Big Bang".

Earth's Spheres, by Exploring Earth
We can visualize the Earth system as a set of four overlapping, interacting spheres. The geosphere is the rocky part of the planet; it includes all rock materials on the surface and in Earth's interior layers. The hydrosphere includes all Earth's water, in liquid, solid, and gaseous phases. The biosphere includes all life forms of all sizes in all habitats. The atmosphere is the blanket of gas that surrounds the entire planet and extends to the edge of space. Earth system science is the study of processes that move energy and materials among the four spheres.

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