With one of the largest earthquakes recorded in our state this past Sunday, I thought it would be appropriate to share some earthquake education activities, animations and other resources. This material generally addresses curriculum in 6th grade and Earth Environmental but check these out regardless. Take a look back at Will Blocher’s email from Sunday with links to the USGS earthquake website and others.
Teachable Moments - https://www.iris.edu/hq/retm - Power point with great information specifically about the 5.1 earthquake near Sparta, N.C. Some the information is pretty geeky but still lots to mine from it. There is more information about IRIS resources below.
Educational Resources and Information – 3 sections
Spectacular animation of global earthquakes that occurred from 2000 – 2015 (just under 4 minutes in length). These are actual recorded earthquakes from around the globe shown on the date they occurred. You probably won’t be able to keep yourself from watching it at least a couple of times!
Take a minute to read the description of the video before playing it because there a few different segments to it. The description also mentions “earthquake hypocenters”. A hypocenter is where the earthquake occurred within the earth. Whereas the epicenter is the spot on the earth’s surface above the hypocenter. Earthquakes occur at different depths according to the geology and tectonics (how the plates are interacting with each other) of a specific area.
I have shown this to upper elementary students and higher, all were enthralled. The animation works well with a plate tectonics map and discussion of where the plate boundaries occur.
Take note at the beginning of the video, before any earthquakes are shown, there are no plate boundaries drawn on the map. After the first segment (3 min 12 second mark), take a look again and compare what you see to a map with plate boundaries drawn on it. Earthquake (size, depth, magnitude) help define plate boundaries. Continue the video to see where magnitude 6.5 and larger earthquakes occur. Then continue to see where magnitude 8.0 and larger earthquakes occur. Is there a specific type of plate boundary that correlates to larger earthquakes?
There are a bunch of activities (from a variety of sources including IRIS) suitable for a variety of grade levels. Each broad topic has several downloadable activities. The earthquake topics include Earthquakes and Tectonics; Waves and Measurements; Risks, Hazards and Preparedness. Everything is a downloadable pdf so animations don’t work. https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/energy-mineral-land-resources/north-carolina-geological-survey/geoscience-education/earthquake-workshop-downloads
Here are some suggested activities:
(Go to Education tab - you will need to look for grade appropriate materials)
Interpretation and Education Specialist
North Carolina State Parks
Work Cell: (919) 632-2972
Office: (919) 707-9325
121 W Jones St. | Raleigh, NC 27603