Lunar and Planetary Institute






Floods and Flows: Exploring Mars Geology on Earth  July 13-19, 2008


High School Floods and Flows
Framework for Lessons

Compiled by 2008 Floods and Flows Fieldtrip Participants

Essential Question:  What processes shape the Earth’s surface and how can we use these processes to recognize what has happened on Mars?

The processes addressed are:  glaciation, glacial lake formation, erosion, deposition, and their relationship to the formations we see on Mars. 

We will look at these processes in the context of the catastrophic events that created the Glacial Lake Missoula and the carving of the channeled scablands in Eastern Washington.  We will relate these concepts to the geologic features observed on Mars.

Glaciation

Major objective: How do glaciers form and affect the surface of the Earth?

Key concepts:  classification of types, formation, movement,

Activities:  Have students classify pictures of glaciers by structures and appearance

Powerpoint explanation of formation of the glaciers
Flubber lab: analyze the motion of glaciers based on temperature variations

Major objective:  How do glaciers erode and deposit planetary materials?

Key concepts:  erosion, deposition

Activities: 

Glacier table activity--students will model glacier movement and demonstrate how it erodes planetary surfaces

Students will identify glacier erosional features…striations…

Students will model glacier movement and demonstrate how it deposits on
planetary surfaces.

Students will identify glacier depositional features…till…

Relationship to GLM/Scablands: Students will look at images and rock samples from the Eastern WA and Missoula regions and  determine geologic story for area

Stream Formation

Major objective:  How do rivers form and affect the surface of the Earth?

Key concepts:  classification, erosion, deposition, sorting, stream related features

Activities: 

Stream table:  students will analyze the effects of gradient (slope) on the formation of stream related features.

Students will analyze images and classify erosional or depositional features

Powerpoint --students will analyze powerpoint images and accurately identify the stream related features using proper terminology.

Relationship to GLM/Scablands: Students will look at images and rock samples from the Eastern WA and Missoula regions and modify geologic story for area

Multiple Floods

Major objective:  What evidence demonstrates multiple flooding events?

Key concepts: erosion, deposition, superposition, catastophism, uniformitarianism, sorting, gradation,

Activities: Low flow velocity vs high flow velocity

Inquiry activity with simulation of blockage of various places representing glacial ice dam

Stream table inquiry activity analyzing water velocity influence ripple mark wavelength
           
Sediment column activity: Students analyze how water velocity influences sediment sorting and apply this to low and high energy environments.

Relationship to GLM/Scablands: Students will look at images and rock samples from the Eastern WA and Missoula regions and modify geologic story for area

Debrief of the GLM/ Scabland Story

Relationship to Mars – Culmination of Unit

Essential Question:  What geological processes have taken place on the surface of Mars

Key concepts: erosion, deposition, glaciation, basalt flows, alluvial/delta flooding features, craters (volcanic & impact), wind (vs. water formations?)

Activities:

Students will compare features on Earth with Features on Mars – Mix and match features from Phoenix mission…Mars Match Game, and the Phoenix mission PowerPoint from the website.
 
http;//phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/mars161.php#map

THEMIS activity:       

Students will elaborate on their observations via ppt or some form of presentation
           
Students will use activities from the Mars Exploration The Great Martian Floods and Pathfinder Mission.

Final Assessment

Students will identify geological features in previously unseen photos

Students will participate in “Was There Water On Mars Great Debate”.

 

 

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