Activity: Introduction to Plate Tectonics

Satisfactory Essays
Adapted from an activity by
Laurel Goodell
February 2013

Introduction to Plate Tectonics via Google Earth (24 pts)
B. Topographic Patterns

Uncheck all of the layers and focus on topographic features of the earth.

Topography of the earth ABOVE sea level


1. Are mountains randomly distributed on the continents, or do they tend to occur in particular patterns (clusters, linear chains, arcs, etc.)?

Some appear in lines and others in arcs

2. Find Mt. Everest, the highest point on earth. Zoom in enough to see the summit, then pan your cursor around to locate the 8840_______ meters highest point (elevations shows up in the status bar at the bottom, as long as
View/Status Bar is selected):

Adapted from an activity by
Laurel Goodell
February 2013

Topography of the earth BELOW sea level
3. If the earth’s lowest spots aren’t in the
 Some are along the coastlines of continents middle of the ocean, where are they? Focus
 From South America westward, the depth of on the west coast of South America, and in the ocean increases rapidly until you reach the describe the change in bathymetry off the bottom of the trench; then the depth decreases coast. What is the deepest spot, and how far as you leave the trench. See the image below. is it found off the coast?
 6,000m deep, 110 km from the coast
The deep linear features, the lowest points on Earth, are called ocean trenches.
4. Using Google Earth, search for Challenger
In the Pacific near Guam
Deep, the deepest place on Earth (once
Google Earth gets you there, you may have to zoom out to see where you are). Where is it? 1pt
5. Challenger Deep reaches 11 km (36,000 ft)
Depth of Challenger Deep by over 3 km below sea level. Which is greater, the elevation of Mt Everest (see question 2) above sea level, or the depth of Challenger
Deep below sea level, and by how much?
6. Give the locations of three other ocean
Puerto Rico Trench, Aleutian Trench, Tonga Trench trenches on earth (Challenger

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