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8.E.5A.1 Develop and use models to explain how the process of wethering, erosion, and deposition change surface features in the environment.
Essential Knowledge
Weathering, erosion, and deposition are processes that act together to wear down and builds up Earth's surface.
These processes have occurred for billions of years.
Weathering is any process that breaks down rocks and creates sediments. There are two forms of weathering, chemical and mechanical (physical)
• Chemical weathering is decomposition of rock caused by chemical reactions resulting in formation of new compounds.
• Mechanical (physical) weathering is the breakdown of rock into smaller pieces.
Erosion is the process by which natural forces move weathered rock and soil from one place to another.
• Gravity, running water, glaciers, waves, and wind all cause erosion. The material moved by erosion is sediment. Deposition occurs when the agents (wind or water) of erosion lay down sediment.
• Deposition changes the shape of the land.
Erosion, weathering, and deposition are at work everywhere on Earth. Gravity pulls everything toward the center of Earth causing rock and other materials to move downhill. Water’s movements (both on land and underground) cause weathering and erosion, which change the land’s surface features and create underground formations. The effects of these processes are as follows:
• Changes in shape, size, and texture of landforms (i.e. mountains, riverbeds, and beaches).
• Buildings, statues, and roads wearing away.
• Soil formation
• Washes soil, pollutants, harmful sediments into waterways.
• Causes metals to rust
• Reduces beaches, shorelines.
• Forms new landforms.

Extended Knowledge Geologic cycle is a collective term used to describe the complex interactions between the component sub-cycles of tectonic, hydrologic, rock, and the biological cycling of elements known as the biogeochemical cycle. These various sub-cycles influence each other and may produce natural hazards and processes important to environmental geology such as landslides, earthquakes, volcanic activity, flooding, groundwater flow, and weather. The rock cycle is influenced by all the other geologic sub-cycles.

Science and Engineering Practices S.1A.2

8.E.5A.2 Use the rock cycle model to describe the relationship between the processes and forces that creat igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks.
Essential Knowledge
There are three large classifications of rocks – igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. Each type of rock is formed differently and can change from one type to another over time. The way rocks are formed determines how we classify them.
• Forms when molten rock (magma or lava) cools and hardens.
• If cooling takes place slowly beneath Earth’s surface, the igneous rock is called intrusive.
• If the cooling takes place rapidly on Earth’s surface, the igneous rock is called extrusive.
• Forms when rocks are changed into different kinds of rocks by great heat and/or pressure – they are heated, squeezed, folded, or chemically changed by contact with hot fluids and/or tectonic forces.
• When heat and pressure reach the rock’s melting point, it melts into magma.

• Forms from the compaction and/or cementation of rock pieces, mineral grains, or shell fragments called sediments.
• Sediments are formed through the processes of weathering and erosion of rocks exposed at Earth’s surface.
• Sedimentary rocks can also form from the chemical depositing of materials that were once dissolved in water.

The rock cycle is an ongoing process. The sample diagram illustrates the series of natural processes that can change rocks from one kind to another:
Image Source:…..

Extended Knowledge
• Rocks are used for building and construction based on their properties.
• The rock cycle is an example of how Earth recycles itself.
• Heat and pressure results in metamorphic changes in minerals that, in turn, result in a rock being reclassified as a metamorphic rock.
• As heat and pressure increase, one type of metamorphic rock will transform into another type.
*When slow cooling magma is ejected before it has completely cools, the resulting igneous rock will have a mixture of macroscopic and microscopic mineral crystals (porphyritic texture: both intrusive and extrusive features).

8.E.5A.3 Obtain and communicate information about the relative position, density, and composition of Earth’s layers to describe the crust, mantle, and core.
Essential Knowledge
The Earth is approximately 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers) from surface to center. Earth has layers that have specific conditions and composition.
Layer Relative Position Density Composition
Crust • Outermost layer • Least dense layer of all Solid rock made of mostly silicon
• Oceanic crust is thinner • Oceanic crust (basalt) and oxygen
than continental crust is more dense than *Oceanic Crust-basalt
• Crust and top of mantle continental crust (granite) *Continental crust-granite
are called the lithosphere

Mantle • Middle layer *Density increases with *Hot softened rock
• Thickest layer depth due to increasing *Contains iron and
• Top portion called the pressure magnesium

Core • Inner layer *Heaviest material *mostly iron and nickel
• Two parts- outer core *Most dense layer *outer core-slow
and inner core flowing liquid
*inner core-a spinning

Extended Knowledge
• Scientists have been able to identify the composition of inner and outer core based on the movement of seismic waves through the earth’s layers.
• Scientists have been able to identify the composition of the mantle based on the movement of seismic waves through the earth’s layers as well as materials ejected from volcanic activity. Most lava that erupts during volcanic activity is actually just melted crust and is not material from the mantle and/or the core.
The reason that the inner core is solid, despite being at very high temperatures, is because of the weight of all of the other materials above it (crust, mantle, and outer core). The pressure of these layers keeps the inner core solid.
• The movement of the inner and outer core results in Earth’s magnetic field.
8E5A4 Construct explanations for how the theory of plate tectonics accounts for (1) the motion of lithospheric plates (2) the geologic activities at plate boundaries, and (3) the change sin landform areas aover geologic time.
Essential Knowledge
The theory of plate tectonics explains the past and current movements of the rocks at Earth’s surface (lithospheric plates) and provides a framework for understanding its geological history. Plate movements are responsible for most continental and ocean floor features and for the distribution of most rocks and minerals within Earth’s crust. Evidence that supports the theory of plate tectonics includes distribution of rock formation and fossils, shapes of existing continents, ocean floor features, and seismic and volcanic activity. This evidence shows how Earth’s plates have moved great distances, collided, and spread apart throughout Earth’s history
Motion of the Lithospheric Plates
• Plates float on the upper part of the mantle.
• Convection currents can cause the asthenosphere to flow slowly carrying with it the plates of the lithosphere.
• This movement of plates changes the sizes, shapes, and positions of Earth’s continents and oceans.
Geologic Activities at Plate Boundaries
Divergent boundary—where two plates are moving apart
• Typically located along mid-ocean ridges although they can also be found on land
• new crust forms because magma pushes up and hardens in the rift zone between separating plates (seafloor spreading)
• earthquakes occur as the plates spread apart
Convergent boundary—where two plates come together and collide
• activity depends upon the types of crust that meet
• more dense oceanic plate slides under less dense continental plate or another oceanic plate forming a trench at the subduction zone where crust is melted and recycled
o along these trenches, island arcs and volcanic arcs can be created
*two continental plates converge, both plates buckle and push up into mountain ranges or volcanoes
• earthquakes occur as the plates collide
Transform boundary—where two plates slide past each other
• crust is neither created nor destroyed;
• earthquakes occur frequently as plates slide past each other
Changes in Landform areas over Geologic Time
• Plates move at very slow rates, averaging about one to ten centimeters per year
• At one time in geologic history the continents were joined together in one large landmass that was called Pangaea.
• As the plates continued to move and split apart, oceans were formed, landmasses collided and split apart until the Earth’s landmasses came to be in the positions they are now.
• Evidence of these landmass collisions and splits includes identical fossil formations found on separate continents, landform shapes and features, identical rock formations found on separate continents, and paleoclimate evidence (for example, evidence of warmer climates found in Antarctic fossils).
• Landmass changes can occur at hot spots within lithospheric plates. Volcanic activity occurs as magma rises and leaks through the crust.
• Earth’s plates will continue to move.
• Landforms of Earth can be created or changed by volcanic eruptions and mountain-building forces.
Extended Knowledge
Tectonic forces
• Forces, or stresses, that cause rocks to break or move are:
o Tension—forces that pull rocks apart
o Compression—forces that push or squeeze rocks together
o Shearing—forces that cause rocks on either side of faults to push in opposite directions
Forces or stresses (for example, tension and compression) on rocks in the lithosphere can cause them to bend and stretch.
o This bending and stretching can produce mountain ranges.
o If pressure is applied slowly, folded mountains form.
• If normal faults uplift a block of rock, a fault-block mountain forms.
8E5A5 Construct and analyze scientific arguments to support claims that plate tectonics accounts for 1) the distribution of fossils on different continents 2) the occurrence of earthquakes, and 3) continental and ocean floor features (including mountains, volcanoes, faults and trenches.
Essential Knowledge
There is a variety of evidence that supports the claims that plate tectonics accounts for (1) the distribution of fossils on different continents, (2) the occurrence of earthquakes, and (3) continental and ocean floor features (including mountains, volcanoes, faults and trenches).
• The continents fit together almost like puzzle pieces forming Pangaea (one super-continent).
• Fossils on different continents are similar to fossils on continents that were once connected. When the continents split, different life forms developed.
• Most continental and oceanic floor features are the result of geological activity and earthquakes along plate boundaries. The exact patterns depend on whether the plates are converging (being pushed together) to create mountains or deep ocean trenches, (diverging) being pulled apart to form new ocean floor at mid-ocean ridges, or sliding past each other along surface faults.
• Most distributions of rocks within Earth’s crust, including minerals, fossil fuels, and energy resources, are a direct result of the history of plate motions and collisions and the corresponding changes in the configurations of the continents and ocean basins.
• This history is still being written. Continents are continually being shaped and reshaped by competing constructive and destructive geological processes.
Example: North America has gradually grown in size over the past 4 billion years through a complex set of interactions with other continents, including the addition of many new crustal segments.

Extended Knowledge
• During the time of Pangaea most of the dry land on Earth was joined into one huge landmass that covered nearly a third of the planet's surface. The giant ocean that surrounded the continent is known as Panthalassa.
• Pangaea existed during the Permian and Triassic geological time periods, which were times of great change.
*Most distributions of rocks within Earth’s crust, including minerals, fossil fuels, and energy resources, are a direct result of the history of plate motions and collisions and the corresponding changes in the configurations of the continents and ocean basins.
• North America has gradually grown in size over the past 4 billion years through a complex set of interactions with other continents, including the addition of many new crustal segments.
8.E.5B.1 Analyze and interpret data to describe patterns in the location of volcanoes and earthquakes related to tectonic plate boundaries, interactions, and hot spots.
Scientists study and record seismic data and volcanic activity in order to support the theory of plate tectonics.
The evidence proves that there is a distinct relationship between seismic activity, volcanic activity, and the
lithospheric plate boundaries.
Seismic Data and Plate Tectonics:
 The interaction along plate boundaries results in an increased frequency of earthquakes at those
locations. Additionally, stronger earthquakes are more likely to occur along active plate boundaries.
 Strong earthquakes are more common at transform and convergent plate boundaries.
Activity and Plate Tectonics:
 The interaction of plate boundaries results in an increased frequency of volcanic activity at these
 Volcanoes occur at convergent plate boundaries where subducting oceanic crust is melted. This magma
rises through the crust to form volcanoes and volcanic island arcs.
 Volcanoes occur at divergent plate boundaries where upwelling magma pushes between plates (rift
zones) as the plates move apart.
- The Pacific Ring of fire is a region of high volcanic and seismic activity that surrounds the majority of
the Pacific Ocean Basin. The Pacific Ring of Fire is made up of converging plate boundaries that border
the Pacific Ocean basin. Scientists use volcanic activity data from this area to show the relationship
between volcanic activity and lithospheric plate motion.
Hot Spots and Plate Tectonics:
A volcanic hotspot is an area in the mantle from which heat rises in the form of a thermal plume from deep
within the Earth. Higher heat and lower pressure at the base of the lithosphere melts rock and forms magma.
The magma rises through the cracks in the lithosphere and erupts to form volcanoes. As the tectonic plates
continue to move over a stationary hotspot, the volcanoes break away and move along with the plate allowing
new volcanoes to form in their place. This plate tectonic movement over a hotspot results in chains of
volcanoes, such as the Hawaiian Islands.
Extended Knowledge
 At a hot spot, higher heat and lower pressure at the base of the lithosphere melts rock and forms
magma. The magma rises through the cracks in the lithosphere and erupts to form volcanoes.
 Students can trace the Hawaiian island chain and the Emperor Sea Mounts to not only show the
stationary nature of the hot spot versus the movement of the Pacific plate, but can also see where the
plate itself changed the direction it is moving
8.E.5B.2 Construct explanations of how forces inside Earth result in earthquakes and volcanoes
Convection currents in the mantle result in the movement of lithospheric plates. The motion and interactions of
the plates can create patterns in the location of volcanoes and earthquakes that result along the plate boundaries.
The resulting activity that happens along the plate boundaries depends on the type of plate boundary being
created (divergent, convergent, and transform) and the forces associated with those boundaries (compression,
tension, and shearing). For example:
Lithospheric Plate Motion and Seismic Activity:
 Earthquakes occur along plate boundaries where tectonic forces result in the formation of faults and the
buildup of pressure. When this built up pressure is released, an earthquake results along this fault line.
 Earthquakes can also occur along faults
 Scientists can specifically identify the type of boundary and fault that occurs along the
edges of the plates by examining plate boundary maps. Scientists can also use seismic
data to understand the ways in which the plates are moving and the relationship between
seismic activity and lithospheric plate motion
Lithospheric Plate Motion and Volcanic Activity:
 There is scientific data supporting abundant volcanism occurrences at divergent and convergent plate
boundaries and a lack of volcanism associated with transform plate boundaries.
o Volcanic activity at divergent plate boundaries occurs as the plates pull apart which allows
magma to fill the rift zone between the separating plates.
o Volcanic activity at convergent plate boundaries occurs as the two plates converge on one
another. The leading edge of the subducted plate melts and rises through the overlying crust
resulting in the formation of a volcanic chain of mountains. The most volcanically active belt on
Earth is known as the Ring of Fire, a region of volcanic activity that happens at subduction
zones surrounding the Pacific Ocean.
o Volcanic eruptions are constructive in that they add new rock to existing land and form new
islands. Volcanic eruptions can be destructive when an eruption is explosive and changes the
landscape of and around the volcano.
o Magma that reaches Earth’s surface is known as lava.
Extended Knowledge
 The specific types of volcanism that happens at divergent and convergent plate boundaries are called
spreading center volcanism and subduction zone volcanism
 Intraplate volcanism is another term to describe the presence of volcanic activity over hot spots
 Specific surface features created from lithospheric plate motion include the Mid-Atlantic Ridge,
Mariana trench, and the Aleutian trench
8.E.5B.3 Define problems that may be caused by a catastrophic event resulting from plate movements and design possible devices or solutions to minimize the effects of that event on Earth’s surface and/or human structures.
Most earthquakes and volcanic eruptions do not strike randomly but occur in specific areas such as along plate
boundaries. For example, the Ring of Fire where the Pacific Plate interacts with many surrounding plates, is
known as one of the most seismically and volcanically active zones in the world.
- Earthquakes and People:
o Many population centers are located near active fault zones and/or active plate boundaries, such
as the San Andreas Fault. Millions of people in these population centers have suffered personal
and economic losses due to volcanic and earthquake activity.
- Defining problems associated with earthquakes:
o There is evidence to support the idea that tectonic activity contributed to the demise of ancient
civilizations. Based on the locations of current population centers, scientists have developed
models that show that populations today may be just as vulnerable to the aftereffects of powerful
o When exposed to sudden lateral forces produced by seismic waves buildings and bridges can fail
completely and collapse, crushing the people in and around them.
o Modern population centers tend to be more densely packed with large numbers of tall buildings.
The complex infra-structure of modern cities also poses a danger in case of a major earthquake.
o Over the past few decades, architects and engineers have developed a number of innovative
technologies to ensure houses, multi-dwelling units, and skyscrapers bend instead of break.
Making these buildings more pliable, less brittle, and better able to move with the earthquake
waves has made it possible for inhabitants to survive extremely destructive earthquakes.
- Defining problems associated with Volcanoes:
o Most of the world’s active above-sea volcanoes are located near convergent plate boundaries, an
area of subduction. Subduction-zone volcanoes typically erupt with an extremely explosive
force. There are many large population centers that are within areas that may be affected by
explosive volcanic eruptions. These powerful eruptions can affect people in many different
 Local effects – personal property damage, personal injuries or possible death, destruction
of urban and suburban areas, disruption of local water supplies, contamination of food
sources, landslides, and lack of breathable air
 Global effects – changes in weather and climate, aviation safety hazards, tsunamis if
volcanic activity is under or near oceans, seismic activity in accompaniment with
volcanic activity, and production of acid rain
- Minimization Efforts of Volcanic Effects:
o The pathway of an eruption is difficult to predict so most of the minimization efforts are focused
on monitoring volcanoes for increased activity. This provides enough warning for people in the
potentially affected areas to be evacuated.
o Scientists suggest the following for structures where volcanic activity may occur:
 houses should be constructed in a manner that will allow for all vents to be closed
 windows and doors should be properly insulated
Extended Knowledge
The following major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions may be studied in further detail:
- Volcanic Eruptions of Interest:
o Mount Pinatubo in Philippines (1991-1996)
o Rabaul in Papua New Guinea (1994)
o Lake Nyos in Cameroon (1986)
o Nevado del Ruiz in Columbia (1985)
o El Chichon in Mexico (1982)
o Mount St. Helens (1980)
o Mount Tambora (1815) that resulted in the year without a summer
- Earthquakes of Interest:
o Great San Francisco Earthquake – 1906 (8.3 magnitude)
o Loma Prieta Earthquake – 1989 (7.1 magnitude)
o Kobe, Japan Earthquake – 1995 (7.2 magnitude)
o Northridge Earthquake – 1994 (6.6 magnitude)
o Charleston, South Carolina Earthquake – 1886 (7.0 magnitude)
o Haiti Earthquake – 2010 (7.0 magnitude)
o Indian Ocean Earthquake (9.0 magnitude)
Further exploration of the “temblor thwarting technologies” for earthquake prevention and sustaining
buildings may also studied
- Students can also research the locations of, and history of, super volcanoes. From this information,
students can explore the past effects of these types of eruptions and extrapolate the potential effects of a
modern eruption of a super volcano.
8E.5C.1 Obtain and communicate information regarding the physical and chemical properties of minerals, ores, and fossil fuels to describe their importance as Earth resources.
Earth’s resources (minerals, ores, and fossil fuels) have properties that make them important and useful.
Properties that determine the usefulness of an ore or mineral may be identified using a chart, diagram, or
dichotomous key. Two types of properties used to determine the usefulness and value of a resource include:
- Physical properties: characteristics that can be observed of measured without changing the matter’s
- Chemical properties: characteristics that describe matter based on its ability to change into new
materials that have different properties
- Three common Earth resources that have importance based on their properties are:
o Minerals: natural, solid materials found on Earth that are the building blocks of rock
 Each mineral has a certain chemical makeup and set of properties that determine their use
and value such as hardness, luster, color, texture, cleavage/fracture (the way it breaks),
flammability, reactivity to acids, and density
 One such valuable mineral is gypsum. It is used in the production of cement.
o Ores: minerals that are mined because they contain useful metals or nonmetals
 One such valuable ore is bauxite. It is a primary source of aluminum.
o Fossil fuels: natural fuels that come from the remains of living things
 Fuels give off energy when they are burned
 One such valuable fossil fuel is natural gas. It is a cleaner-burning fuel source.
Extended Knowledge
Minerals can be classified and identified using their physical and chemical properties. Some minerals have
specific identifying features that are key indicators used to identify the mineral. Using mineral identification kits
to test a mineral’s hardness, observe its luster, reactivity to acid, and cleavage/fracture (the way it breaks) to
identify a mineral is an important classification strategy.
There are positive and negative consequences of the removal and use of these non-renewable resources
WOAs Feb 25- Mar 1
Mon Feb 25 -pg 236 1 and 2
Tues Feb 26 - The Sun Worksheet
Wed Feb 27 - Solar System Test
Thurs Feb 28 - pg 288
Fri Mar 1 Pie Chart Questions 1-3
Feb 27
Solar System Test
Mar 5
One Day, One Book
Read "The Playbook" all day in every class