Science / Year 9 / Science Understanding / Earth and space sciences

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Curriculum content descriptions

The theory of plate tectonics explains global patterns of geological activity and continental movement (ACSSU180)

Elaborations
  • recognising the major plates on a world map
  • modelling sea-floor spreading
  • relating the occurrence of earthquakes and volcanic activity to constructive and destructive plate boundaries
  • considering the role of heat energy and convection currents in the movement of tectonic plates
  • relating the extreme age and stability of a large part of the Australian continent to its plate tectonic history
General capabilities
  • Numeracy Numeracy
ScOT terms

Plate movement

Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)

Tectonics investigator

Investigate the internal structure of the Earth using earthquake measurements. Examine the Earth’s outer layer. Fit the Earth's tectonic plates together like a jigsaw puzzle. Identify how plate movements produce many features of the Earth’s surface. Predict the formation of new volcanic islands. This learning object is ...

Moving Image

Below Earth's crust

Imagine tunnelling deep, deep below the Earth's surface. What do you think you would find thousands of kilometres down? Watch this clip to find out what is inside the Earth, what it's made up of and how hot it is. Find out about earthquakes, volcanoes, and geysers, and how they help us to understand about the composition ...

Interactive resource

Tectonic boundaries

Apply different tectonic forces to plate boundaries. Compare the effects when plates collide, separate, or slide past each other. Investigate the causes of earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes. Investigate important boundary sites, for example the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the Andes, the San Andreas Fault, the Himalayas, and the ...

Collection

Earthquakes

You might not realise but the ground beneath us never stops moving. Only when the movement is sudden and powerful do we take note.

Interactive Resource

Tsunami: the ultimate guide

This comprehensive web resource provides a series of six interactive slide shows (chapters) that introduce the cause and impacts of tsunami with a focus on Australia, Asia and Pacific regions. Produced by experts in the field, this information is clearly and simply described. The engaging presentation is enriched with photography, ...

Assessment resource

Tectonics investigator: Earth's structure: assessment

Test your understanding of the Earth's internal structure. Use animations and images to help you answer a series of questions dealing with the seismic exploration of the Earth’s internal structure and the structure of tectonic plates. View and print a report on your work. This assessment object is one in a series of two objects.

Interactive resource

Tectonics investigator: hot spots

Identify how plate movements produce many features of the Earth’s surface. Predict the formation of new volcanic islands. This learning object is part of a series of three objects. The series is also packaged as a combined learning object.

Interactive resource

Tectonic boundaries: convergent

Apply different tectonic forces to plate boundaries. Identify convergent boundaries. Compare the effects when plates collide, for example the formation of the Himalayas. Investigate the causes of earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes. Predict the geological events occurring at plate boundaries at different locations on Earth. ...

Interactive resource

Tectonic boundaries: transform

Apply different tectonic forces to plate boundaries. Identify transform boundaries. Compare the effects when plates slide past each other. Investigate the causes of earthquakes, for example at the San Andreas Fault in North America. Predict the geological events occurring at plate boundaries at different locations on Earth. ...

Interactive resource

Tectonic boundaries: challenge

Apply different tectonic forces to plate boundaries. Identify boundary and crust types. For example, identify a transform boundary between a continental plate and an oceanic plate, where both carry continental crusts. Predict the geological events occurring at plate boundaries at different locations on Earth. This learning ...

Moving Image

Tsunamis

Discover what powerful force triggers a tsunami. In this clip you will see the damage caused by tsunami, and find out why it occurred. Learn about what is happening on the ocean floor and the connection between tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes and tectonic plates. See how a warning centre is working to keep people safe ...

Moving Image

Predicting earthquakes

Will scientists ever be able to accurately predict earthquakes? Imagine the number of lives that could be saved if this were possible. Dr Maryanne Demasi joins a group of researchers drilling into one of the most earthquake-prone regions on Earth as they try to improve earthquake prediction to add precious seconds to earthquake ...

Interactive resource

Tectonics investigator: magnetic stripes

Investigate tectonic plate behaviour. Identify how plate movements produce many features of the Earth’s surface. This learning object is part of a series of three objects. The series is also packaged as a combined learning object.

Moving Image

New Zealand's earthquakes

Damaged buildings, flooded roads, and crashed cars! No, it's not a bad dream; it's actually the aftermath of an earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2011. Find out about what causes earthquakes, the damage they cause, and why Christchurch was rocked by two quakes within six months. This clip includes footage of earthquake ...

Teacher resource

Natural disasters

This is a teaching and learning resource containing teacher resources, student activities and worksheets on Earth science topics including natural disasters and geology. The teacher resources include five pages of links to Earth science related websites. The collection of student activities covers a range of topics and ...

Moving Image

Volcanoes and people

Imagine living in the shadow of a volcano? Well, millions of people do in Naples, Italy, where a massive volcano called Vesuvius exists. This clip explores the dangers posed by volcanoes and investigates some recent and ancient eruptions. Find out some misconceptions about volcanoes and discover how science is helping prevent ...

Assessment resource

Tectonics investigator: plate movement: assessment

Test your understanding of tectonic plate movement. Use animations and images to help you answer a series of questions dealing with evidence of plate movement. Interpret data from magnetic surveys of divergent zones, as well as patterns derived from hotspot traces. View and print a report on your work. This assessment object ...

Image

Earthquakes

This is an online resource about current earthquake activity in Australia and the wider region. The resource provides a map and a satellite image of near real-time earthquake activity in the last seven days. Links on the map provide further details and information about individual earthquake events. The resource also contains ...

Moving Image

Dr Karl discusses the Earth's heat

Discover the activities deep within the Earth that could seriously impact life on Earth far into the future. Watch this video to find out about the sources of the Earth's own heat. Dr Karl explains clearly just what is below the Earth's surface and what is happening there. As well, he talks about changes in the Sun and ...

Interactive resource

Down to Earth: palaeotraveller

Travel back in time and see how the Australian continent has changed. For example, find out when glaciers were common on the Australian mainland. Look at maps, landscapes, living things and environments over the last 545 million years. Compare past temperatures and sea levels with those of today. Explore which forces are ...