Water World: Large Waterbodies
It is hypothesized that an ocean might have existed on Mars. Students will learn what sedimentary structures of Earth marine environments in the ancient look like and the processes by which they formed. From this Earth-analog approach students will observe Mars imagery and determine whether or not a Mars ocean might have existed in the distant past.
- Identify spits on Mars and Earth and understand their respective formation.
- Recognize and identify carbonate rocks and the reasons for a lack of carbonates on Mars.
- Critically analyze press releases of Mars discoveries and determine what, if any, other data is needed to make the scientific findings valid.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
- In-Class Activity 1: Spits on Mars
- In-Class Activity 2: Where is the Carbonate on Mars?
Teaching Notes and Tips
- In-Class Activity 2: for classes >20 students try your best to pass around several specimens of carbonate rocks and/or use an overhead microscope system for the classroom so students can observe the texture and make observations of the carbonate rocks without a hand specimen.
- Homework 1: You may need to exchange the press release articles for more current articles depending on the year in which you use this material.
- Often, you will integrate the Explain and Explore sections of the In-Class Activities. Interact with the students as they "explore" and help them define terms/principles they should become familiar with.
Each In-Class Activity and/or Homework has its own measure of Assessment.
References and Resources
- Water World Image file (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 17.4MB Oct23 12)
- Spit Formation in the UK and longshore drift: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe9YBuK_qEo&feature=endscreen&NR=1
- Lake Bonneville video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SJDOluY4OI
- NASA Video "Keeping up with Carbon": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgEZpX3n5mo
- Beachy Head geology: http://www.discoveringfossils.co.uk/beachy_head_fossils.htm