These brief video segments can be used alone or in combination, to introduce a topic or to spark discussion among your students. The video segments can be adapted for any grade level – suggested focus questions are provided. Stream the video segments from the playlist below, or scroll to the bottom of the page to find downloadable QuickTime versions of the videos. These videos are also used in the lesson plan Breaking it Down (grades 9-12). (To view segments from “Violent Hawaii” on volcanoes, click here.)
The earth’s landscape is naturally shaped by the forces of weathering and erosion. Weathering refers to the breakdown of rocks at or near the surface of the earth, either by chemical processes (e.g. limestone being dissolved by water) or physical processes (e.g. rocks cracking because of temperature extremes). The movement of weathered rock fragments-also called sediment-by forces including wind, water, or gravity is called erosion. Human activity may both accelerate erosion (for example by removing vegetation which stabilizes soil), or prevent it (through reinforcement of erosion-prone areas like beaches, riverbanks, and hillsides).
These video clips, excerpted from the NATURE episode “Violent Hawaii,” illustrate how erosion has dramatically shaped Hawaii’s highly weathered landscape, and explore some measures being taken there to limit the sometimes dangerous processes of erosion.
Suggested Focus Questions:
Clip 1: Hawaiian Coastal Cliffs
- Why couldn’t these cliffs have been created by wave erosion?
- What geologic feature offers clues that the cliffs were been formed by massive landslides?
- What might have caused the landslides?
Clip 2: Water Erosion
- Why might heavy rainfall accelerate erosion?
- Is the steel mesh being draped across the hillside intended to prevent weathering or erosion?
- What other types of erosion management can you think of?
Downloadable QuickTime versions of the video segments:
(Note: To downoad a video, right-click on the video title and click “Save Link As…” or “Save Target As…” On a Mac, press the CTRL key and simultaneously click the mouse, then save the link.)
Clip 1: “Hawaiian Coastal Cliffs”
Clip 2: “Water Erosion“