What are earthquakes and how do we measure them
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What are Earthquakes and how do we measure them. Identify the different features of a seismograph. Create a machine for measuring earthquakes. Explain how a seismograph works and what seismic waves tell us about the Earth.

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What are Earthquakes and how do we measure them.

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What are Earthquakes and how do we measure them.

Identify the different features of a seismograph.

Create a machine for measuring earthquakes.

Explain how a seismograph works and what seismic waves tell us about the Earth.


They can occur at all four major plate boundaries but the most severe earthquakes are normally found at conservativeand destructiveplateboundaries.

conservative

destructive

What are earthquakes?

Earthquakes are vibrations caused by earth movements at plate boundaries and at major fault lines (cracks in the earth’s surface).


Epicentre and focus

The focus is the point at which the rock moves.

Seismic waves start at the focus.

The epicentre is directly above the focus on the earth’s surface.


You have 10 minutes

A length of string

A pen

1 A3 sheet of paper

1 lump of blue tack

To Create your own…

B

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E

A

T

I

V

E

B

E

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Measuring


A seismograph

The seismograph consists of…

The ground may move as a result of…

When the ground moves the weight…

This is because…

As a result of this…


The Market Raisen (UK) Earth quake 2008


How can we measure earthquakes?

The Richter Scale

This measures the magnitude of a tremor (how powerful it is) using an instrument called aseismograph.

On the Richter Scale, magnitude is expressed in whole numbers and decimal fractions. Although the Richter Scale has no upper limit, the largest earthquake ever recorded was in 1960 in Chile. It measured 9.5 on the Richter Scale.

It is a logarithmic scale which means that a size ‘6’ on the Richter Scale is 10 times larger than a size ‘5’ and 100 times larger than a size ‘4’.


The Japanese earthquake in Kobe (September 1995) measured 7.2 on the Richter Scale.

The Greek earthquake (June 1995) measured 6.2 on the Richter Scale.

How can we measure earthquakes?

How many times greater was the Japanese earthquake?

The Japanese earthquake was 10 times more powerful than the Greek earthquake.


Mercalli Scale

The Mercalli scale measures how much damage is caused by the earthquake based on observations.

It is measured on a scale between 1 and 12.

Mercalli Scale


Activity

Design your own cartoon based on the Mercalli Scale descriptions below.

IFelt by almost no one.

IIFelt by very few people.

IIITremor noticed by many, but they often do not realise it is an earthquake.

IVFelt indoors by many. Feels like a truck has struck the building.

VFelt by everyone; many people are awakened. Swaying trees and poles may be observed.

VIFelt by all; many people run outdoors. Furniture is moved.

VIIEveryone runs outdoors. Poorly built structures considerably damaged. Slight damage elsewhere.

VIIISpecially designed structures damaged slightly, others collapse.

IXAll buildings considerably damaged, many shift off foundations. Noticeable cracks in the ground.

XMany structures destroyed. Ground badly cracked.

XIAlmost all structures fall. Bridges wrecked.

XIITotal destruction. Waves seen on ground surfaces.


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