• # Magnitude and Intensity

Posted by Billie Lanigan on 2/19/2020 3:00:00 PM

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Today’s Warm-Up:

How do scientists know where the plate boundaries are?

They record where earthquakes happen and look at the patterns. Most earthquakes happen on fault lines between the tectonic plates.

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Welcome back! I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend.

Today we finished Plotting Earthquakes which illustrated how most earthquakes happen along fault lines and also how scientists discovered many fault lines.

We watched three videos today together (because of YouTube and internet issues it was easier to watch them as a whole class rather than trying to have each student watch them individually) and paused to answer questions on the Magnitude and Intensity notes. We highlighted the three plate boundaries where most earthquakes take place. After the videos and map work, students went back to the first page and in their groups, they wrote down as many differences between magnitude and intensity as they could. We will review those tomorrow.

How to Measure an Earthquake

Earthquake Magnitude and Intensity

Finding an Epicenter

The earthquake test is tentatively scheduled for March 5th. Use the Earthquakes Quizlet to get a head start on studying.

• # Magnitude and Intensity Links

Posted by Billie Lanigan on 2/19/2020 8:00:00 AM

How to Measure an Earthquake

Earthquake Magnitude and Intensity

Finding an Epicenter

• # Plotting Earthquakes

Posted by Billie Lanigan on 2/14/2020 4:00:00 PM

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Today’s Warm-Up:

Write a Haiku about earthquakes (Haikus are Japanese pattern poems with only 3 lines. The first line has 5 syllables, the second has 7 syllables, and the third has 5 syllables.)

Example:

Tectonic plates move

Just drop, cover, and hold on

Shaking will stop soon

Earthquakes move the ground

P waves jolt first, up and down

S wave side to side

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How did scientists discover where tectonic plate boundaries are? They started identifying where earthquakes were taking place by plotting them on a map. After analyzing the maps they discovered that most of them happen in specific places and patterns started to emerge. Today students started Plotting Earthquakes on a map so we can try to find those patterns. We will be finishing the map on Wednesday and analyzing the locations of the earthquakes.

Enjoy your long weekend! If you need something to pass the time, use the Earthquake Quizlet!

• # Japan's Killer Quake - Day 2

Posted by Billie Lanigan on 2/13/2020 3:00:00 PM

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Today’s Warm-Up:

How do scientists measure earthquakes?

Seismometers in seismograms set up on fault lines and other earthquake-prone areas. Scientists used to use the Richter Scale but most, including the United States Geological Survey, use the Moment Magnitude Scale.

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We finished watching Japan’s Killer Quake today. At the end of the documentary, the narrator compares the fault line causing the Japan quake with the Cascadia Subduction Zone and they show Seattle. There was a gasp in each class as they showed the Space Needle and they realized that I wasn’t making this all up!

After the video, we went over Japan’s Killer Quake and discussed some of the interesting facts about earthquakes and tsunamis. We watched two more quick videos about tsunamis to answer the last few questions. How Tsunamis Work explains some basics about tsunamis – they can be caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and meteor impacts. The wave can travel up to 800 km per hour and reach heights between 25-30 meters. The second video explains an even more severe earthquake and tsunami that happened in Indonesia in 2004. That earthquake was a higher magnitude than the 2011 Japan earthquake. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan killed approximately 10,000 people. The one in Indonesia killed 225,000 people! That earthquake was also a result of a release of energy on a subduction zone.

Don’t freak out! Although we are “due” for a 9.0 earthquake, scientists can’t really predict when it will happen. It could be tomorrow, and it could be a thousand years from now. And, if you decide to move away you could end up in the path of a hurricane or a tornado! Stay put and enjoy your life – if you’re bored, play with the Earthquake Quizlet.

• # Japan's Killer Quake - Day 1

Posted by Billie Lanigan on 2/12/2020 3:00:00 PM

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Today’s Warm-Up:

What is the difference between a P wave and an S wave?

P waves come first (primary), they push (move up and down), and are faster than S waves.

S waves come second, move side to side, and are slower than P waves.

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We watched the first half of Japan’s Killer Quake today. Students answered questions on Japan's Killer Quake notes sheet. This documentary explains the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. The plate boundary and subduction zone are similar to the one we live on so it is frightening to think that something of that magnitude could happen here. Scientists learned a lot from that quake that can help us prepare for future disasters. The documentary explains the way the earthquake caused the tsunami and how the waves moved to Japan and all the way across the Pacific to Hawaii and California.

We will finish the movie tomorrow and look a little closer at how tsunamis form. Until then, use the Earthquakes Quizlet to prepare for the test. The test will most likely be the week of March 2nd.

• # Simulating Earthquake Waves

Posted by Billie Lanigan on 2/11/2020 3:00:00 PM

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Today’s Warm-Up:

What could you do to prepare for an earthquake if you live in an area where they are prone to happening?

Have a plan with your family, know where to go or the safest place to be, retrofit your house, have an emergency kit…

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Students did an experiment today where they simulated earthquake waves. They used long springs, like Slinkys, to observe the way the waves move. One member of the group held the spring steady at one end while the other moved the spring. For the P wave they had to push the spring and wait for the wave to come back to their hand, and for the S wave, they moved the spring once back and forth and waited for the wave to come back to their hand. Students recorded the data on the Simulating Earthquake Waves lab sheet as they worked. This lab is far from accurate because it’s difficult to simulate the P wave. There needs to be a lot of force on the spring and the motion must be very fast. The spring needs to be just the right distance away from each person as well. What should happen is that the P wave takes longer than the S wave. That didn’t happen for all groups, but we watched some simulation videos to see how it works.

I showed a short clip from a movie about the Kobe, Japan earthquake that happened in 1995. There is a science museum in Tokyo, Japan that has an earthquake simulator people can go in to feel what the 1995 earthquake was like. That earthquake was a 6.9 magnitude that lasted 20 seconds. It is eye-opening to see the amount of movement the earth makes, especially during the S waves. I have only been able to find a bad quality copy of the movie on YouTube. If you’re interested in seeing it, check out minute 39:00 from The Day The Earth Shook.

We also watched The Seismograph, a short video about the history of measuring earthquakes and the instruments used.

Start using the Earthquakes Quizlet to get a head start on preparing for the test even though it’s not for a couple more weeks.

• # The Cascadia Subduction Zone

Posted by Billie Lanigan on 2/10/2020 3:00:00 PM

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Today’s Warm-Up:

What areas in the world are prone to (likely to experience) the most catastrophic earthquakes?

The Ring of Fire – including the Cascadia Fault that we live on. China, Japan, and Mexico are also high on the list.

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We spent time re-watching the video most students watched while taking notes on Friday. This was part of a newscast from King 5 news from November of 2019. Seattle is working hard to be better prepared for a big earthquake that could happen here. We live on the Cascadia Subduction Zone. This is a plate boundary that for a long time, scientists thought was minor. However more recently scientists have come to realize that this fault line is very active and the earthquakes that occur here happen on a cycle of an average of every 300 years. The last one happened 319 years ago. An article in the New Yorker a few years back called “The Really Big One” (because a magnitude 9 earthquake is expected) explained the subduction zone and scared a lot of people. I told students today that they need to be aware that we live on this fault line and they need to talk to their families about being prepared and having a plan. I’m hoping students were able to explain this all to their parents, but just in case it didn’t translate well, check this King 5 news video. Also, read the New Yorker article: The Really Big One.

We finished class by filling in the concept map on the Introduction to Earthquakes page. We will do a lab tomorrow to investigate how earthquake waves work. We’re slowly chipping away at the Words to Know for the earthquake unit. You can check on your progress by using the Earthquake Quizlet. This is a review for what we’ve covered to far and a preview of what’s to come.

• # Introduction to Earthquakes - Day 2

Posted by Billie Lanigan on 2/7/2020 2:00:00 PM

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Today’s Warm-Up:

What are some causes of earthquakes?

Movement of tectonic plates, volcanic eruptions, human causes (fracking, explosions) …

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Students finished their Introductions to Earthquakes notes today. We spent time going over them and will finish them up on Monday. We will be doing a lab next week – it feels like it’s been a long time since we did a lab! There aren’t a lot of labs for earthquakes and it is a fairly short chapter compared to the weather chapter. So, don’t hesitate to start preparing! Use the Earthquakes Quizlet to get acquainted with the vocabulary and concepts that will be covered on the test.

• # Introduction to Earthquakes

Posted by Billie Lanigan on 2/6/2020 3:00:00 PM

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Today’s Warm-Up:

In your own words, what is an earthquake?

Answers will vary. (When the ground shakes. Sometimes this is due to tectonic plates shifting or volcanic eruptions.)

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We’ve finally started the next chapter in our catastrophic events unit. Today students researched earthquakes with the Introduction to Earthquakes page. Using the links on my blog they found information about earthquakes and as they found the information they not only filled in the notes but also added information to the concept map on the front page.

Students also picked up the Words to Know sheet for earthquakes. In the past, I gave this sheet out at the end of the unit, but this time students will be using it as we go along and new vocabulary or concepts are brought up. This way they will also know what to expect on the test as we’re moving through the chapter.

I know it’s only day 1, but it’s never to early to find out what you will be learning about and what you will be tested on. Use the Earthquakes Quizlet to get a preview.

• # Introduction to Earthquakes Links

Posted by Billie Lanigan on 2/6/2020 8:00:00 AM

Use the following links to find the information you need for the Introduction to Earthquake notes. Fill in the concept map as you find the information for your notes.

USGS Science of Earthquakes

USGS Cool Earthquake Facts

K5 - The Big One

More Earthquake Information

Why You Should Prepare for the Big One

USGS has lots of great earthquake information to explore.