Examining your Earthquake Hazard

This activity authored by Eric Baer and Carla Whittington, Highline College
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This is a partially developed activity description. It is included in the collection because it contains ideas useful for teaching even though it is incomplete.

Initial Publication Date: February 26, 2013


Students look at their seismic hazard and then determine the likelihood that their residence will be uninhabitable after 500-year return interval quake.

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Learning Goals

  1. Learn what seismic hazard is
  2. Learn to relate shaking to intensity
  3. Learn about the relationship between intensity and damage to structures.

Context for Use

This is used in a introductory natural hazards course. It could be done as a homework or lab.

Description and Teaching Materials

In this activity, students assess the ground shaking hazard and potential damage to their home from an earthquake of a certain magnitude using USGS data. The student handout (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 787kB Feb26 13) provides guiding instructions and questions designed to help students write a culminating Earthquake Hazard and Risk Report.

Teaching Notes and Tips


Students are assessed on their answers to questions on the student handout and via a Earthquake Hazard and Risk Report (described in the student handout).

References and Resources