Earhquakes 'R' Us
A WebQuest :
Dennis Decker

        If you live within the Ring of Fire you know what an earthquake feels like.  However, some areas of the Country feel "safe" from earthquakes.  What is an earthquake?  What causes the earth to shake?  How can we be safe before, during, and after earthquakes?  After this web quest you should be able to describe what an earthquake is; explain the probability of earthquakes in your area; and write about first hand experiences of earthquake survivors.
        Did you know that back in 1811 and 1812 there were 2-3 very devastating earthquakes near Memphis that rang church bells in South Carolina?  It is believed that these earthquakes might have been the strongest in the contiguous United States.  Some experts say there is a strong possibility of an earthquake happening again in that area. "Again?", you say.  It caused the Mississippi River to actually flow backwards; drained some lakes; and brought others into existence.
        Together we will take a trip back in time to hear what those living at the time had to say about these devistating earthquakes.  Then we will visit the future to see what the possibility of another earthquake of that size hitting our area might be. You will also become a virtual seismologist and even calculate an earthquake's magnitude and position from actual data gathered from worldwide seismographs.

Your Task:

Conplete all 16 of the tasks listed below. Be sure and hand write your report.  Click here to view the grading rubric

Earthquakes:  What are they really?

Task 1
Check out the United States Geological Survey site and describe the following: USGS

What are faults and what do they have to do with earthquakes?   ALL about faults and More about faults What are the 5 faults discussed on the second webpage, and what is special about each one?

Earthquake History

Click on the area of your choice and accurately describe that earthquake. Bakersfield , 1906 San Fransisco , Sylmar 1971(this one tossed me out of a bunk bed!) (photos of sylmar quake)

Check the history of seismology and tell:

TASK 5 Quiz Are You Prepared?


What in the world should you do in the case of an earthquake?  Should you run outside if you're in school or in your home?  Are you prepared for an earthquake?  In this task you will write a short story or poem about an earthquake experience you have had (or even make one up!).  Tell about what you did before, during and after the earthquake. Click the button, if you need help.

Earthquakes in the World


List five earthquakes that have happened in the last 30 days and tell:

TASK 8 TASK 9  Damage From the great Tokoku Quake in Japan 2011

Midwestern Earthquakes: The New Madrid Fault Zone.

Newspaper account



Recent Earthquakes


List the most recent top three (in magnitude strength) sites and give the following information:


Become a Seismologist




Extra Credit Task: Ask a Seismologist

After doing all your research, if you still have (a) question(s) ask a seismologist, print your question(s) that you asked. CLICK HERE

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