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

Interactive

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 ...

Interactive

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 ...

Online

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

EarthViewer - iTunes app

Journey through geological time and discover changes on Earth from the Hadean time, more than 4.5 billion years ago, through to today. Find out about plate tectonics, continental movement, atmospheric conditions, life on Earth, extinction events, fossil sites and much more. Contains many features which include allowing ...

Video

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 ...

Online

Fossils to fuels

What are fossil fuels? How do they form? What do we use them for? Could renewable energies, like hydro, wind and solar, replace fossil fuels in the future?

Video

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 ...

Video

'Cooking' carbon to make crude oil

Visit the rugged Arabian mountains to see the exposed remains of the bottom of the ancient Tethys ocean, the prehistoric algal soup that gave rise to today's massive oil fields of the Middle East. Hear how oil-source rock laid down in the Jurassic Period changed over millennia as the Earth's surface was re-shaped. Under ...

Video

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 ...

Video

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 ...

Video

Japanese tsunami's nuclear threat, 2011

Remember the earthquake and following tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011 and damaged a nuclear power plant? Find out about the damage caused, what exploded and why, and the aftermath of the disaster. What debates about nuclear power plants were reignited by the events in Japan?

Video

Iceland's volcanic eruption, 2010

Imagine an ash cloud so big that it stopped all plane flights over much of Europe for almost a week. That is what happened in 2010 when Iceland's volcano called Eyjafjallajokull erupted explosively, sending black ash 6000 metres into the air. Find out from this clip what caused the eruption, why it led to widespread disruption ...

Video

Lured by fossils

Dinosaur fossils capture the imagination of all kinds of people, leading some to a lifetime of research and theorising. Find out about the devotion of two families whose examination of Australia's fossil record has contributed to understanding the geology and evolution of life here.

Video

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 ...

Video

Carbon and the origins of crude oil

Follow a carbon atom as the central character in a story about crude oil. Watch as this ancient chemical that has existed since the dawn of time is recycled through all life forms, oceans, rocks and the atmosphere. See the origins of the vast oil fields on which the modern world now depends.

Video

Earthquakes and volcanoes

What is the common link between earthquakes, volcanoes, and tidal waves? Watch the damage caused by these catastrophic events and explore evidence that the Earth's continents have moved and are constantly moving. Find out the role that forming 'a new crust' plays in this movement.

Video

Volcanic eruptions at Mount Ruapehu

Imagine a volcano erupting kilometres away. You are afraid, worried for the safety of yourself and others. Paul Willis presents the work of New Zealand volcanologists conducting research at Mount Ruapehu, a volcano with a history of devastating lahar (water, sediment and rocks) flows. Learn more about lahar flows and the ...

Video

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

Laptop wrap UGC: Plate boundaries

A compact resource with a focus on a plate boundaries and links to year 9 Science. Links to one main stimulus that illustrates the three types of plate boundaries and their locations and contains activities.

Interactive

Sites2See: Volcanoes

Links to resources outlining some famous volcanic eruptions and explaining the types and causes of volcanic activity.