Friday, 31 August 2007

New Earthlearningidea activity

Our new activity is now ready for you to try - 'When will it blow? - predicting eruptions'. It shows how a simple tiltmeter can demonstrate the bulging of a volcano before eruption. Our short video clip shows the bulging in action.

This is a brilliant, simple activity and could form part of a lesson about volcanic eruptions and their effects. It could also be used as part of the preparation for the best response to an eruption in a volcanic area. Pupils will be able to relate this simple classroom demonstration to the fact that tiltmeters are used on volcanoes all over the world to help to predict eruptions.

Please try this out and let us have your comments here.


Pete Loader said...

Well done! Another very interesting and helpful aid. If I can again add a modification.

If 2 vertical sticks (cocktail sticks?) are attached to the two nearest ends of the dishes (tiltmeters) then the distance between the two can be measured before and after the "volcano" is inflated. In reality this is done by use of a very accurate electronic measuring device (laser etc) between two points on the volcano or from a fixed point away from the cone. Minute changes in the tilt and thus inflation or collapse of the volcano will be confirmed by the increase or decrease in the measurements.

Chris King said...

Brilliant idea, Pete. And I guess we could extend this even further by measuring the change in height of the sticks - then we'd be measuring: *tilt; *extension and *altitude - all key predictors of eruptions.

Gary @ GSA said...

What a great demo! Another extention could be to have different lengths of card on both sides, so that the tilt is different at different points on either side of the axis. You could even mark the change in fluid level and do some simple calculations!