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View Resource The Mississippi River Delta

For the past 100 million years, redeposited sediment has gradually increased the size of the Mississippi River Delta. But over the past several decades, the coast of southern Louisiana has been losing rather than gaining land. This interactive feature illustrates how river management practices and severe weather events, including Hurricane Katrina, dramatically changed the size and shape of the...

View Resource Numerical Dating

In this exercise, students investigate methods used by geologists studying active tectonics for determining ages in actual numbers of years. Introductory materials describe the three most-used techniques for dating material formed during the Quaternary Period (approximately the last 1.65 million years), discuss the concepts of radioactive decay and half-life, and explain how these may be used to...

View Resource The Grand Time Game

The Grand Time Game is a collection of activities that teach students about geologic time. The game elements consist of a tabletop model that demonstrates the geologic history of the Grand Canyon, a script in which students report selected events along the geologic time scale as the instructor operates the model, and a set of overhead transparencies that the instructor shows to illustrate the...

View Resource Who's on First: A Relative Dating Activity

In this activity, students are introduced to sequencing and geologic time through relative dating techniques. Students begin by categorizing cards of nonsense words, then move on to cards with pictures of fossils. Once students begin to grasp "relative" dating, they can extend their knowledge of geologic time by exploring radiometric dating and developing a timeline of Earth's history. There is a...

View Resource Fossils, Rocks, and Time

This on-line book, published by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), discusses the use of fossils in determining the age of rocks. The publication covers how to place events in correct temporal order, a description of the geologic time scale, the use of fossils to indicate rock ages, the law of fossil succession, index fossils, and radioactive dating.

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