Geophysics > Teaching Activities > Exploring Earthquake Hazards with GIS

Exploring Earthquake Hazards with GIS

Constantin CRANGANU
Brooklyn College, City University of New York
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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

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

This page first made public: Jul 20, 2007


This activity is a straightforward application of GIS to assessment of earthquake hazards. The students get more modeling skills with GIS and a better understanding of earthquake hazards.

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Introductory course in geophysics Designed for a geophysics course

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Basic knowledge of computer operation.
Familiarity with ArcGIS software is desirable, but not necessary.

How the activity is situated in the course

It is a part of sequence of exercises using GIS.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

Each student will load a database file into ArcGIS software during the class period. Following the written instructions, each student will work through various steps necessary to analyze the earthquake hazards. Uses online and/or real-time data Addresses student fear of quantitative aspect and/or inadequate quantitative skills

Determining whether students have met the goals

There are 18 questions spread throughout exercise that will assess students progress and meeting the goals. There are also two tables to be completed with data. Then, the data need to be graphically represented as histograms.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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