Incorporating earthquake data into the classroom

Friday 3:00pm-4:00pm Beren Auditorium
Poster Session Part of Friday Poster Session

Session Chairs

Wendy Bohon, IRIS Consortium
Tammy Bravo, EarthScope Consortium
Mladen Dordevic, IRIS Consortium
Perle Dorr, IRIS
Jenda Johnson, IRIS Consortium
Michael Hubenthal, EarthScope
Danielle Sumy, EarthScope
John Taber, EarthScope Consortium
Russ Welti, IRIS Consortium
To encourage active learning, IRIS EPO has created two new tools that are designed using best educational practices and which engage students to investigate, explore and discover the Earth and its properties using real seismic data. These tools allow students to look at seismic recordings on two different scales; local and global.

After a large earthquake (magnitude 7.0+) the Global Seismogram Viewer provides students with the opportunity to view real seismograms from select seismic stations around the world. Students can see the arrival of seismic waves at each station and determine the associated travel time curves for the earthquake. This data can be used in conjunction with the IRIS undergraduate activity "Imaging Earth's Interior with Seismic waves" where students examine seismic evidence to determine that the Earth must have a layered internal structure and then estimate the size of Earth's core. Supporting animations, videos and a teacher guide are also included.

Station Monitor is an online tool/app that lets student choose seismic stations near their location and view live seismic data feeds from those stations, as well as records of large or newsworthy earthquakes. This place-based approach captures the attention of the students, personalizes the data and can be used to supplement lessons on local geography, geology and physics. Additionally, by using this tool, students will soon realize that not all the information recorded at a given seismic station is earthquake related. This allows for student driven exploration of other phenomena that are captured by seismic instruments including weather events and man-made disturbances.

These resources, as well as animations, lessons, Fact Sheets and other classroom resources are freely available at