The 2004 Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami
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 page first made public: May 12, 2006
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
- Students will be able to determine the epicenter location and origin time of the earthquake using P and S wave travel times drawn from actual seismograph output.
- Students will be able to describe the propagation of the tsnuami waves as a function of time and determine the amount of warning different communities could have had before being affected by the waves.
- Students will explore cross sectional diagrams and surface features to draw the plate boundary that the quake occurred on.
- Students will explore ways in which various locations might have been spared some of the enormous loss of life through analysis of their data, studying videos, images, and news reports, and learning about existing warning systems in the Pacific Basin.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
Determining whether students have met the goals
Download teaching materials and tips
- The activity is available for download (.doc and .pdf formats) from the website set up by the authors.
- Author Dave Robison's webpage has more information that instructors may find helpful
- Additional siesmograms for the earthquake are available so that instructors can customize the activity for their students.
- Aside from the resources in the activity sheet, this activity requires the use of a drawing compass and scratch paper for calculations. Access to the internet is also recommended to take advantage of web resources listed in the activity, and to find specific (and updated) information regarding casualties and warning systems.
- A website by the authors regarding the development of the activity with links to some of the sources of data used in the activity.
- Robison, D. and S. Kluge (2005). The Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami of December 2004: A Comprehensive Inquiry-Based Exercise for High School Earth Science Classes. The Earth Scientist, 21(2), 30. (Full Text of the issue is available as a PDF on the NESTA website.)