Lesson 5: A Whole Lot of Shakin’ Goin’ On!
Determining the Intensity
Materials / Preparation
Full class and then groups of two to four students
For your information, the website How
Geologic Materials Affect Shaking Intensity goes over how geological
materials affect shaking. Section two of the Seismological
Exercises provides a geolgic map of the area around Oakland, California.
We strongly recommend including the extension below, at least for high school students. It could be done as homework, following the second activity, but probably best as a classroom exercise. Before presenting the extension, preview the assignment and associated resources:
We recommend a slight modification to the Measuring Earthquakes activity in order to make the assignment more exciting. Have the students determine the epicenter of an earthquake purely from intensity data. This is how scientists determine the magnitude and location of past earthquakes. An excellent example is the 1811-1812 New Madrid Earthquake sequence (which was compiled primarily based on newspaper accounts such as the excerpts shown here: Contemporary Newspaper Accounts of Mississippi Valley Earthquakes of 1811-1812).
To adapt the activity from Measuring Earthquakes:
Students can explore the shaking intensity of past earthquakes online. Classes and individual students can also fill out a report (Did You Feel It?) when they feel an earthquake in their area.