Earthquake Information

Fast Facts

WebQuest Online Exercise

In this journey around the Web, we'll discover what causes earthquakes, how scientists can figure out their exact location, where they occurred last week and much, much more! Click on the websites after each question to find your answer.

1.  The Earth's crust is made up of a series twelve interconnected landmasses are called tectonic plates. What are the major plates that affect the United States?

2.  Click the link below.  Scroll down and click through the "How Earthquakes Happen" animation.  Read each section of this movie.  What is the name of the crack in the Earth where tectonic plates meet?

3.  Check out this hazard map showing probability for earthquakes. Why do you think California has so many earthquakes but Florida doesn't? In what hazard zone is your home located?

4.  What is considered to be the most destructive earthquake in history? When did it occur, where was it, what was its magnitude and how many people died?

5.  What are tsunamis, what causes them and how fast do they travel?

6.  How much more energy is released by a 7.0 earthquake than by a 6.0 earthquake?

7.  What two applications does seismology have besides measuring the magnitude and location of earthquakes?

8.  On the entire Earth, where did most of the earthquakes happen last week?  (Note:  You can click on the map to zoom in on one area)

9.  In the United States, where did most of the earthquakes happen last week?  (Note:  You can click on the map to zoom in on one area)

10.  The following website is a wonderful resource of information.  Write down these questions and then click below to find the answers.

a.  In predicting earthquakes, do scientists believe that there will be a great earthquake along the San Andreas Fault in the near future?  What are the odds stated by these scientists?

b.  How many earthquakes are listed for San Francisco?  Give the year and magnitude of the largest.  Give the year and magnitude of the smallest.

c.  Find the information about the last San Francisco earthquake (Remembering Loma Prieta).  What date did it occur?  Describe the damage that happened on that day.

d.  Give three pieces of information that you found on this website.  What surprises you about earthquake history?