Monthly Archives: November 2014


Kristen St. John, Caroline Robinson, Ben Suranovic, and Cari Rand, James Madison University; and Denise Bristol, Hillsborough Community College. Questions and suggestions on the exercise should be directed to Kristen St. John:

Overview:  This exercise uses empirical data and Google Earth to explore the surficial distribution of marine sediments in the modern ocean. Over 2500 sites are plotted with access to original data. We recommend first completing the Primer on Google Earth to become familiar with tools in Google Earth that are used in this exercise. The Exploring Marine Sediments in Google Earth exercise has four parts:

  1. Stories from the Sea Floor – A Lesson on How Science Works
  2. A First Look at Marine Sediments
  3. Exploring the Distribution of Marine Sediment Types on the Sea Floor
  4. Refining Your Hypotheses  on Biogenic Marine Sediment Distributions


Audience: Intended for use in undergraduate Oceanography, Marine Geology, Paleoceanography, and Sedimentology Courses.


Download Teaching Materials and Tips:

   Google Earth Primer

  Student Exercise

  KMZ files Used in this Exercise

Video Links Used in this Exercise

Tips for Instructors


References and Acknowledgements:

    Data used in this exercise comes from the following research programs and databases:

  • Development of this exercise is supported by the NSF-funded GEODE project.
  • This exercise supplements and compliments an NSF-funded exercise on Seafloor Sediments ( , which is an open-access chapter from St. John, K., et al., (2012) Reconstructing Earth’s Climate History: Inquiry-based Exercises for Lab and Class. Wiley-Blackwell, 485p.
  • Development of this exercise has greatly benefited from assistance by Cari Rand and Mladen Dordevic, James Madison University.