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Teaching Activities

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Mapping Plate Tectonic Boundaries
Michael Kerwin, University of Denver
This activity asks students to explore a National Geographic map showing Earth's plate tectonic boundaries. The exercise lets the students examine relationships between plate tectonic boundaries and geologic ...

Tectonics, Earthquakes, Volcanoes
Camille Holmgren, SUNY College at Buffalo
This is a two-part homework exercise. In the first part, students use on-line courseware from California State University, Los Angeles to investigate seismograph records. In the second part, students complete a ...

Earthquake Magnitude - Linking Earthquake Magnitude and Intensity
Eric Baer, Highline Community College
An activity that helps students link earthquake magnitude and intensity.

Measuring earthquake and volcano activity from space
Shimon Wdowinski, University of Miami
This tutorial is based on real InSAR observations acquired over the Andes from 1992 to 2005. It will get the student acquainted with InSAR observations and basic concepts of space geodesy.

Cause of the Mogul, Nevada, Earthquake Swarm, Spring 2008
Patricia Cashman, University of Nevada-Reno
Students examine data from fault- and magma- related earthquakes and determine distinguishing characteristics. They then apply these criteria to determine the cause of the Mogul earthquake sequence (that most of ...

American Museum of Natural History - Field Trip Assignment
Eryn Klosko, SUNY Westchester Community College
Self-guided field trip assignment to AMNH (largely based on the museum's teacher's guide for high school students)

Plotting Earthquakes with Near Real-Time Data
Bill Slattery, Wright State University-Main Campus
Students access the United States Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center at and plot the longitude latitude and depth of earthquakes on a physiographic ...

Seismic Evaluation of Buildings
Dr.G.P.Ganapathy, VIT University, Vellore 632014, India
Check list to retrofitting of buildings based on Rapid Seimic evaluation of the buildings

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Energy Released in an Earthquake
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question A magnitude 8.5 earthquake (such as the 1964 Good Friday earthquake in Alaska) releases about 1x1018 joules of energy. The atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima released about 1.5x1013 joules of energy. How ...

BotEC: The San Andreas Fault's Rate of Movement
Peter Kresan
Question: The San Andrea is an active fault zone, marked by frequent earthquake activity. The crust southwest of this strike-slip fault (including Los Angeles) is sliding to the northwest relative to the other ...

Explaining Seismic Hazard Probabilities
Mary Savina, Carleton College
This activity asks students to explain earthquake hazard probabilities to a lay audience of citizens, government officials and others.

Mapping Plate Boundaries
Rurik Johnson (Plymouth Middle School)
Students can discover plate boundaries by plotting different sets of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on maps. These are then stacked on the overhead projector, outlining the tectonic plates. -

Signal processing and earthquake triggering
Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, Western Washington University
In this exercise, written for an undergraduate seismology class, students use MATLAB to analyze waveforms from the 2004 Sumatra M9.0 earthquake, as they were recorded on three seismic stations in Alaska. Two of ...

Earthquake Magnitude: How Can We Compare the Sizes of Earthquakes?
Laura Wetzel, Eckerd College
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum module. Students build spreadsheets to tabulate and graph seismic wave amplitude and energy release to explore the logarithmic scale of earthquake magnitude.

ConcepTest: Continental Earthquakes
Predict which continent experiences the fewest earthquakes per year. a) Antarctica b) North America c) South America d) Asia

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