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Plate Tectonics Web Sites

The Dynamic Earth, U.S. Geological Survey. On-line version of the U.S. Geologic Survey's publication on plate tectonics, with excellent graphics and discussion of the theory of plate tectonics.  Contains all the text from the original book with chapters and images about the theory of plate tectonics, plate motions, ridges and trenches, and effects on people.

Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo. Do you want to know how fast and in what direction your class is moving? If you know the approximate latitude and longitude of your city, you can input the numbers into the Absolute Plate Motion Function, and this site will calculate the direction and speed the plate you are on is moving! Kentucky is on the North American plate between latitudes 37 and 39 and longitudes -82 and -89.

Geosphere Activities, Montana State University, Department of Mathematical Sciences.Online lessons for earthquakes, mountain building, and plate motions, which integrate math and earth science arranged into novice, intermediate, advanced, and expert levels. Good graphics and materials for the classroom in most lessons. Includes assessment activities, and links to Geosphere Resources with more graphics and information.

Surfing for Earthquakes and Volcanoes. Lesson plan for grades 6-8, developed at UC-Berkeley, in which students use the Internet to research volcanoes and earthquakes, and then plot their locations to map plate boundaries.

Inside Geology, Worth Publishers. Provides an on-line textbook, with chapter 12 concerning plate tectonics, links to lecture plans from teachers at different universities around the globe, glossary of terms, and a plate tectonics literature reference list. Also interesting are virtual field trips, in which you can connect to photos and descriptions of geology around the world.

Volcano World. A teacher's guide to the geology of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Provides numerous images and information on plate tectonics and the relation between plate tectonics and volcanoes.

The Nevada Seismological Lab, University of Nevada, Reno. Provides numerous images of plate tectonics and explanations about the relation between plate tectonics and earthquakes.

U.S. National Earthquake Information Center. U.S. Geological Survey. Provides information and images about the relationship between plate tectonics and earthquakes.

U.S. Geological Survey’s Adventures in the Learning Web provides teaching packets, posters, booklets, and fact sheets on a wide variety of tectonics subjects. If you have an Apple computer you should visit the section on Geologic Animations and Paper Models, in which there are several earthquake and volcano models, an animation of sea floor spreading and ocean trenches, and instructions on making your own tectonic globes that can be used with Apple’s Hypercard if you’re a Mac user.

K–12 Earth Science On-Line Classroom Activities, Society of Sedimentary Geologists. This site is the on-line version of the society’s popular educational publication that has several lesson for K–12 teachers including Shake, Rattle and Roll, Modeling an Explosive Volcano, Seafloor Spreading, and Plate Tectonics and Climate Change.

Go to Earthquake Web Sites for more plate tectonics information.

Go to Volcanoes Web Sites for more plate tectonics information.

Go to Tectonic Plates Through Time for reconstructions of the Earth's surface and moving plates through time.

To calculate the rate (speed) and direction of movement of any plate go to Plate Tectonic Motion Calculators