Friday, December 7, 2007

Day One - Plate Tectonics

California is famous for them. We exist in a culture of semi-annual duck-and-cover drills designed to make us ready in case a large earthquake hits. We are given regular reminders about where to stand during a tremor, where to meet family if you are split up, and how much food and water to store in case "the big one" hits.
But what are earthquakes? Why do they occur? What happens to the earth while it's shaking? What are the consequences afterwards? Can we ever learn to predict them?
For this assignment, you will be asked to define and summarize a number of key facts about plate tectonics and earthquakes. You will also visit a number of different sites that will give you information about how earthquakes are measured and monitored.
Feel free to explore the links provided, but make sure to answer the questions below.
All of the answers are available through the links located on the left (<--) of the this page. You may either copy them down by hand or copy/paste them into MS Word and type the answers directly into the document. Be thorough, but don't take too much time on any one question. If you can't find the answer, raise your hand and a teacher will come by as soon as possible to help you.


Plate Tectonics and Earthquakes
Plate (geological, not dinner) –

Fault -

Earthquake –

Seismograph –

Epicenter –

Seismic Waves –

Tsunami -

Richter Scale –

Approximately how many tectonic plates float on the Earth’s crust?

On average, how many earthquakes occur during the year with a magnitude of 4.0 to 4.9?

What are the three basic types of plate boundaries? Describe each one.

What are the four basic types of faults? Draw each one.

Where did the most earthquakes happen last week?

What was the largest earthquake in the U.S.? When did it occur? What was the magnitude?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Day Two - Earthquake Flowchart

Now that you know the basics of the Earth's crust and how/why it moves, it's time to show what you know. Today you are going to create a flowchart that that details the steps of an earthquake from the first plate movement to any possible effects after the shaking stops.
What is a flowchart?
A flowchart is basically exactly what it sounds like. It means that you chart the flow, or the order, of some event or thing.
For example: Say you were asked to create a flowchart for how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You wouldn't just say, "Put the peanut butter and jelly on the bread." If you did that, you may find two jars placed on a loaf of bread. You need to be specific about the flow. Step 1: Put the jar of peanut butter, the jar of jelly, and the loaf of bread next to each other a flat surface. --> Step 2: Carefully open the package for the loaf of bread and pull out two pieces of bread. Then close the package again and put the loaf of bread away. --> Step 3...
Now you can simply write all this out OR you can use a program like Inspiration to create a graphic chart with arrows, boxes, and bubbles to make your chart more appealing and, more importantly, easier to read. We can all agree that reading a list on a page is sometimes much harder than seeing graphics that take you from one point to the other.
You are required to address all of the important points of the sequence. If you get finished early, you may play around with the fonts, add images, and play around to get your chart to be the easiest to read while also containing the most information.
Warning! The more factual details you can provide, the better your score. So don't play around with all the "cool gadgets" until after you are absolutely sure that you have provided all the different points along the sequence of events.