Cool Cores Capture Climate Change

This Earth Exploration Toolbook chapter is a detailed computer-based exploration in which students learn how various climatic conditions impact the formations of sediment layers on the ocean floor. They analyze sediment core data from the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica for evidence of climate changes over time. In addition, they interact with various tools and animations throughout the activity, in particular the Paleontological Stratigraphic Interval Construction and Analysis Tool (PSICAT) that is used to construct a climate change model of a sediment core from core images.

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Jean Pennycook
Earth Exploration Toolbook/TERC
Activity takes five 45-minute periods. Computer access required.

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

The PSICAT download program may be a technical concern for teachers. Pre-loading this software and testing the tool before class is highly recommended, and this may be an issue for some schools.

Pop up windows in the PSICAT software aid help learners understand and follow the directions to use technology in the activity.

Interactive animation is a Shockwave file that might need a plug-in for some computers

There is a tutorial movie for the PSICAT application in the Going Further section.

If images look fuzzy on the page, click on them to enlarge.

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