Earthquake Compare and Contrast Paper

Sarah "Sally" Zellers,
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Summary

Students will write a research paper comparing the Sumatran (2004) and Tohoku (2011) tsunami generating earthquakes.

Context

Audience

I have used a similar exercise in a class on earthquakes and volcanoes, but it could easily be used in a marine geology or oceanography class.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should have an understanding of fault types, tsunami and plate tectonics.

How the activity is situated in the course

This would be a stand alone exercise.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

  • research two different earthquakes and associated tsunami

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

  • compare and contrast two famous tsunami generating earthquakes

Other skills goals for this activity

  • write a research-based term paper utitlizing peer reviewed articles
  • use GEOREF to locate sources of information
  • use interlibrary loan to obtain peer-reviewed articles.

Description and Teaching Materials

I would assign this at the beginning of the semester. I would ask students to provide a general outline as well as show me their sources well before the paper deadline.

Earthquake Paper (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 19kB May30 13)


Teaching Notes and Tips

Assessment

Rubric is included in attached file

References and Resources

Students should be introduced to the concept of focal mechanisms before paper is assigned. The USGS has a good site that explains how these are read: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/beachball.php
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