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

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

ABC News Dr Karl discusses the Earths heat video

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

Catalyst: 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

BTN: 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

Catalyst: 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 ...

Video

BTN: 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

BTN: 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 ...

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 ...

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Where do volcanoes occur?

This is an online resource about where volcanoes occur, part of a larger resource about volcanoes. It provides: important information about the occurrence of volcanoes close to the Earth's tectonic plate boundaries; a map showing the Earth's tectonic plate boundaries; and, near the bottom of the screen, a link to a map ...

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 ...

Text

What causes volcanoes?

This is an online resource about the causes of volcanoes, part of a larger resource about volcanoes. It includes sections on the Earth's tectonic plate margins spreading, the Earth's tectonic plate margins subducting, and predicting volcanic eruptions. The image at the top of the screen illustrates the inside workings of ...

Interactive

Sites2See: Volcanoes

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

Interactive

Sites2See – earthquakes

Resources on the topic of earthquakes to help explore the human and physical dimensions. Links to maps and interactive activities on plate tectonics, with a particular focus on the Caribbean plate, the movement of which caused the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, and links to news and information about the ...

Interactive

EarthViewer

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 ...

Interactive

Predicting earthquakes: are we there yet?

Ask and expert' ABC article exemplifies some creative approaches of scientists to the significant problem of predicting earthquakes. The science behind the various methods is outlined, their successes and failures and problems for possible future developments.

Interactive

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, ...

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.

Online

Secondary science: visual representations

These seven learning activities, which focus on 'visual representations' using a variety of tools (software) and devices (hardware), illustrate the ways in which content, pedagogy and technology can be successfully and effectively integrated in order to promote learning. In the activities, teachers assist students to understand ...