For information about earthquakes and seismology, see:
- The Science of Earthquakes, an article by Lisa Wald on the USGS website.
- G. H. Girty of San Diego State University has a comprehensive Flash based Geology 101 course including a good section Earthquakes. It is written for a college audience and includes practice exams which can easily be adapted for middle and high school students.
- The Tech Museum of Innovation has an online exhibit on the science of earthquakes.
For an extensive list of earthquake teacher resources, check out the USGS Seismic Waves page.
Plate Tectonics and Earth's Structure
1. Plate tectonics accounts for important features of Earth's surface and major geologic events. As a basis for understanding this concept:
d. Students know that earthquakes are sudden motions along breaks in the crust called faults and that volcanoes and fissures are locations where magma reaches the surface.
g. Students know how to determine the epicenter of an earthquake and know that the effects of an earthquake on any region vary, depending on the size of the earthquake, the distance of the region from the epicenter, the local geology, and the type of construction in the region.
Investigation and Experimentation
7. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:
c. Construct appropriate graphs from data and develop qualitative statements about the relationships between variables.