Earthquakes: When the Earth Shakes
This week students became seismologists, studying the origin, nature, and effects of earthquakes. We began with an introduction to the structure of the earth’s interior and the tectonic plates that form its outer layer. We discussed the damage that quakes can cause, as well as why some regions are more likely to have earthquakes than others, depending on the type of tectonic plate boundaries they are near. It made sense to the students that earthquakes would be more common at convergent and transverse boundaries, rather than divergent ones. We demonstrated the difference between two types of vibrations, P-waves and S-waves, that take place as a result of an earthquake.
Finally, students did some seismology work in finding the epicenter of an (imaginary) earthquake. They used seismographs depicting P-waves and S-waves from three different cities to triangulate the city on a map.