Natural Disasters: Earthquake 101! 

Lets take a look at a before and after picture of an earthquake. We will we discussing what an earthquake is and the most known fault plane.

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Earthquakes occur when two blocks of the earth suddenly split past one another. The surface of the earth is shaken resulting from the release of energy from the earths lithosphere that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes take place on fault planes scattered around the world. One fault plane in the United States that is most known for is the San Andreas fault located in California. Today in 2017 earthquakes are one of the most common natural disasters happening in the world. An earthquake with a high magnitude like the one that occurred in 2015 in Nepal killed nearly 9,000 people and injured 22,000 more. Earthquakes are unique natural disasters because unlike many others they are not caused by weather patterns.



The goal of this WebQuest is for you to have a better understanding on earthquakes and why they occur. In the introduction, you learned that there's more to earthquakes than the earth just splitting apart, as it is often portrayed in the movies. This natural phenomenon can cause damage that may never be repaired; in terms of structural damage and human fatalities.

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If you click the "Process" button, you will see that there are links to two websites where you will learn different facts and locations of recent earthquakes. You will have two worksheets to complete, as well as 12 questions that you will answer on your own piece of paper. Don't worry, you will be watching two videos to answer one of the worksheets and five of the question. Jot down anything that you find interesting, because you will have a small review when you click on "Evaluation" .

Lets get started!!!

As you watch the video, please fill out this worksheet.


Earthquakes happen all over the world at any time. Let's take a look now at the past 30 days and see how frequent it truly is. Use the website below to find the information and fill out the following worksheet.


On your own piece of paper, answer the following questions using this website.

1) What is the fastest wave?

2) What is the largest recorded earthquake in the world and when did it happen?

3) What is the location under the earth's surface called?

4) What is the location on the earth's surface called?

5) What state is most prone to earthquakes? (hint: No it's not California)

6) Where was the first recorded earthquake and when did it take place?

7) What type of earthquakes does Antarctica have?


It's video time again!!! Let's talk a little about fossils and plate tectonics.

Answer the following questions on your own piece of paper as you watch this video.

1) When did excavation start and end?

2) What is continental drift? Who first purposed the theory?

3) What is the revised theory called?

4) How are fossils clues to this drift?

5) How are rocks clues to this drift?


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Go back through everything and make sure you have filled out everything completely! 


Grading Criteria - You will receive two grades for the 4 assignments. One grade will be a participation grade while the other is rated on a standard 0-100 scale for accuracy.


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Write a short 1 page essay on what you learned about earthquakes. Were you interested in learning more after this? Provide necessary citation of any information that comes from a website provided or one you find on your own. How do you feel about earthquakes now? This will be a test grade.



Go back to the frequency website and explain in 5 to 10 sentences what a shake map is and it's purpose. Click on any earthquake to get to the shake map.This is worth 5 extra points on the test grade.

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Earthquakes are very dangerous and can happen at any time. As technology advances the better we get at predicting these upcoming earthquakes. Although we have a long way to be able to successfully predict earthquakes we can prepare ourselves by making safer buildings and learning from past earthquakes. Earthquakes will always be part of our lives as we continue to live on earth.