Teach the Earth > Geophysics > Teaching Activities > Locating and Measuring Earthquakes Using Real Seismic Data

Locating and Measuring Earthquakes Using Real Seismic Data

Kelly Liu
,
University of Missouri - Rolla
Author Profile

This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process. This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.


This page first made public: Jul 5, 2007

Summary

The objective is to locate an earthquake and measure its Richter magnitude using real data recorded by seismographs.

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications

Context

Audience

I am using this activity in Intro-level geology and the undergraduate and graduate geophysics course.
Designed for a geophysics course
Integrates geophysics into a core course in geology
Designed for an introductory geology course

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

The website has all of the concepts that are needed to do the exercise. I usally assign the exercise after I introduce the concepts of body waves (P and S) and surface waves as well as earthquake magnitude.

How the activity is situated in the course

As a stand-alone exercise.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

Locate an earthquake and measure its Richter magnitude.
This is a web-based activity. The exercise itself is straight forward.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

This is a web-based activities. The exercise itself is straight forward.

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

Your objective is to locate an earthquake and measure its Richter magnitude using real data recorded by seismographs.
  • Step one: Point your web browser to Virtual Earthquake to start
  • Step two: Read the instructions on that page, select an earthquake, and click on Submit Choice.
  • Step three: View the seismograms, measure S-P intervals, convert them, determine the distances from the earthquake to the 3 stations using a chart provided on the page, and compare your results with the real epicenter. If you get an "Ooops" or "you are close". you have to re-measure the S-P intervals and the distances.
  • Step four: After the earthquake is located, go on to determine its Richter magnitude.
  • Step five: Get yourself certificated as a "Virtual Seismologist". Print out the page which contains the Certificate and the Final Data Summary that shows what you have entered. Turn in this page with your name and ID at the top to receiver credit.
Uses online and/or real-time data
Has minimal/no quantitative component

Determining whether students have met the goals

As long as the student can print out a certificate, he/she will receive 100% credit for the exercise.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Download teaching materials and tips

Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs

New TTE Logo Small

Hazards resources from across Teach the Earth »

Hazards resources from Teach the Earth include:

Specialized collections including
or search

Geophysics resources from across Teach the Earth »

Geophysics resources from Teach the Earth include:

Specialized collections including

or search

Environmental Science resources from across Teach the Earth »

Environmental Science resources from Teach the Earth include:

Specialized collections including

or search

Earthquakes resources from across Teach the Earth »

Earthquake resources from Teach the Earth include:

Specialized collections including

or search

Intro Geoscience resources from across Teach the Earth »



Advertisements