Teach the Earth > Geophysics > Teaching Activities > Seismology and Global Earth Structure

Seismology and Global Earth Structure

Robert Cicerone
Bridgewater State College
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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


This laboratory exercise reviews the basic concepts of how seismic body waves travel through the Earth and how seismologists use these waves to determine global Earth structure. Also, the students analyze waveforms recorded from an earthquake to determine the earthquake's location, magnitude, and focal mechanism.

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undergraduate course in geophysics
Designed for a geophysics course

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

The student must understand how seismic body waves propagate through the Earth.

The students must understand how earthquake data (i.e., travel times, ampliduted, and first motions) are used to determine the parameters of an earthquake (location, magnitude, focal mechanism).

How the activity is situated in the course

laboratory exercise


Content/concepts goals for this activity

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Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

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Other skills goals for this activity

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Description of the activity/assignment

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Determining whether students have met the goals

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