Geology of the National Parks

Welcome to Unit 5!


Tearing Down Mountains: Weathering, Mass Movement, & Landslides

Picture of a landslide.
United States Geological Survey researchers investigate earthquake-caused landslide in Japan.
Credit: USGS

Fans of old-fogey rock music may recall that Paul Simon was "slip-sliding away," while Harry Chapin (when not slip-sliding on 30,000 pounds of truck wreck bananas) was convinced that "All my life's a circle". Mother Nature plays the best rock, and the Grand Tetons slip-sliding away are part of a circle that remakes the mountains from shells and soil. So crank up the tunes and the worm poop, and let's get rolling.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain why the equator is hotter than the poles
  • Discuss the effect of condensation and evaporation on the weather
  • Explain and identify examples of Mass Movement and soil creep
  • Explain the effects and products of mechanical and chemical weathering on rocks
  • Explain and identify the effects of frost and erosion on rocks

What to do for Unit 5?

You will have one week to complete Unit 5. See the Class Calendar for specific due dates.

As you work your way through the online materials for Unit 5, you will encounter a video lecture, several vTrips, some animated diagrams (called GeoMations and GeoClips), additional reading assignments, a practice quiz, a "RockOn" quiz, and a "StudentsSpeak" Survey. The chart below provides an overview of the requirements for this unit.

Overview of Unit 5 Requirements
Review the Unit 5 Overview No, the overview outlines the main topics and ideas that you will encounter in Unit 5. You will, however, be tested on the material found in the overview.
Read/view all of the Instructional Materials for Unit 5 including: No, but you will be tested on the material found in the Unit 5 Instructional Materials.
Take the Unit 5 "RockOn" quiz Yes, this is the fifth of 12 end of unit RockOn quizzes and is worth 4.5% of your total grade.
Submit Exercise #2: Geology is All Around You Yes, this is the second of 6 Exercises and is worth 5% of your total grade.
Begin Exercise #3: The Age of Nittany Valley Yes, this is the third of 6 Exercises and is worth 5% of your total grade.
Complete the "StudentsSpeak #5" survey Yes, this is the fifth of 12 weekly surveys and is worth 1% of your total grade. 
Read the Optional Enrichment Article No
Review the Unit 5 Wrap Up including the Supplemental Materials No, but you may find them helpful in preparing for the quiz.


If you have any questions, please feel free to email "All Teachers" and "All Teaching Assistants: through Canvas conversations.

Keep Reading!

On the following pages, you will find all of the information you need to successfully complete Unit 5 - including the online textbook, a video lecture, a supplemental enrichment article, and two supplemental Virtual Trips (vTrips).

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