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ConcepTest: EQ and Convergent Boundary Sketch

ConcepTest questions by David McConnell, David Steer , Walter Borowski, Jeffrey Dick, Annabelle Foos, Jeffrey Knott, Alvin Konigsberg, Michelle Malone, Heidi McGrew, Kathie Owens, and Stephen Van Horn


The figure below was drawn by a student to show the relationship between earthquake epicenters (filled circles) and a convergent plate boundary (red line). The figure represents a boundary between an oceanic plate and a continental plate. The oceanic plate was moving from east to west (right to left). The size of the filled circle indicates the earthquake magnitude. What would be the best advice you could give to the student to improve the figure? This figure would best be improved if

a. the epicenters were located on the east side of the plate boundary and were only represented by small magnitude earthquakes.
b. the epicenters were located on the east side of the plate boundary and were only represented by large magnitude earthquakes.
c. the large magnitude earthquakes were moved closer to the boundary and small magnitude earthquakes were moved further from the boundary.
d. the distribution of earthquakes was redrawn as more random so that there was no relationship between earthquake size and distance from the boundary.

Student Convergent Boundary Sketch

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References and Notes:


Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics, Geophysics

Resource Type

Activities:Classroom Activity:Short Activity:ConcepTests

Grade Level

College Lower (13-14):Introductory Level

Ready for Use

Ready to Use

Earth System Topics

Solid Earth:Plate Tectonics, Earthquakes


Geophysics, Tectonics


Teach the Earth:Teaching Environments:Intro Geoscience, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Geophysics, Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Plate Tectonics