Multiple methods allow use in K-16 courses.
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
How the activity is situated in the course
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
Earthquake location is an interesting and significant aspect of seismology. Locating earthquakes is necessary for compiling useful seismicity information, calculating magnitudes, and study of fault zones, Earth structure and the earthquake process. Methods of earthquake location involve understanding of seismic waves, wave propagation, interpretation of seismograms, Earth velocity structure, triangulation, and the concepts (and mathematics) of inverse problems. Because earthquake location can be approached with relatively simple to very complex methods, it can be included in various levels of educational curricula and for "in-depth" study. Progressively developing a deep understanding of concepts, computational techniques and applications (and the capabilities, limitations and uncertainties of these applications) is a characteristic of science and an opportunity to "learn science by doing science." A number of methods that vary from simple to complex are available for learning about earthquake location. The methods also allow connections to other important concepts in seismology and provide a variety of approaches that address different learning styles and can be used for reinforcement and assessment.
Uses online and/or real-time data
Has minimal/no quantitative component
Determining whether students have met the goals
Download teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment (Acrobat (PDF) 18kB Jun27 07)