Earthquakes affect millions of people every year and provide a very tangible way to interest students in Hazards and Geoscience in general. They present the opportunity to examine ideas of risk and preparedness in society as well as to look quantitatively at the physical phenomenon.
Sources of Data and Information
USGS Earthquake Hazards Program (more info) This is the home page of the Earthquake Hazards Program (EHP) of the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The EHP is part of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) lead by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This page is a gateway to pages on Earthquake Activity, Earthquake Education, Earthquake Products, Regional Centers, Seismic Networks, Latest Significant Earthquake, Frequently Asked Questions, Report an Earthquake, and Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS).
National Earthquake Information Center (more info) This is a very extensive site about earthquakes. The USGS NEIC site provides access to near real time earthquake data from around the world, as well as data for recent earthquakes (last 3 weeks). The site can also be searched for information on specific earthquakes by time or location. There is a General Earthquake Information section with extensive earthquake education materials as well as information on seismicity, earthquake magnitude, preparedness, predictions, and locations.
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS): Education and Outreach (more info) This consortium of research universities is dedicated to exploring the Earth's interior through the acquisition and distribution of seismic data. Educational resources include high-quality, one-page handouts in PDF format on a range of topics within seismology (available in Spanish as well as English), gif animations that illustrate fault movements, and slides of earthquake-related damage. There are several links to seismology lesson plans and activities for a range of audiences, as well as maps depicting seismic activity around the globe.
Geological Survey of Canada: Cascasdia Subduction Zone ( This site may be offline. ) This page explains the tectonic setting of the west coast of North America. It explains the process of the subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate beneath the North American plate. It describes the methods used to observe tectonic deformation caused by subduction, and explains how they are used to estimate earthquake potential in the region. Links are provided to the Geological Survey of Canada's Geodynamics Program home page, and to their Pacific Geoscience Centre page.
EarthScope (more info) EarthScope applies modern observational, analytical, and telecommunications technologies to investigate the structure and evolution of the North American continent and the physical processes controlling earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Imaging the crust and mantle at an unprecedented scale, EarthScope integrates new observations from cutting-edge land and space based technologies to measure deformation in real-time at continental scales. These observations, integrated with geologic data, yield a comprehensive time-integrated picture of continental evolution and link surface features with their structures at depth. The site houses a number of original data sources (such as real-time seismic data and maps), a gateway to current seismic news and events, and Earth sciences related community event calendars.
Center for Earthquake Research and Information (more info) CERI, established in 1977 as the Tennessee Earthquake Information Center, is a Tennessee Board of Regents Center of Excellence at the University of Memphis devoted to understanding the causes and consequences of earthquakes and the structure and evolution of the continental lithosphere. CERI addresses these needs through cutting-edge research, comprehensive graduate student education, operation of state-of-the-art seismic and GPS networks, and dissemination of technical and practical information to the private and public sectors.