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?

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