Visualising Earth Structure, redux

Last semester, when teaching my intro class about the composition and structure of the Earth and how we know, I went a bit overboard in producing a snazzy Earth cross-section:

Earth down through Kent

A slightly amended version of my cross-section through the Earth from Kent, OH to its antipode.

I’m still pretty proud of this, but one of its strengths is also a potential weakness: with so much information on offer, it may overwhelm students when they are studying. Which facts are the really important ones? So I’ve been experimenting with distilling the fundamental facts about the Earth’s compositional and mechanical layering into the one true mode of communication in the social media age. I speak, of course, of the animated GIF. Let me know what you think of my first attempts below.

The nature of the compositional layering in the Earth.

Flashcard animation showing the nature of the compositional layering in the Earth.

The nature of the mechanical layering in the Earth.

Flashcard animation showing the nature of the mechanical layering in the Earth.

Earth layers' radius and volume compared to the whole Earth.

Flashcard animation of Earth layers’ radius and volume compared to the whole Earth.

Categories: basics, geology, teaching
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