Earthquake Wave Analogies: LIKE ripples on water

How are seismic waves in the Earth like a drop of water falling into a pool?

Exploration of how an earthquake is LIKE ripples on/in water. Dr. Geophysics guides you through the simple physics of potential energy and energy release.


Keypoints:

Earthquake compared to drop of water falling into a pool Potential energy (Mass x gravity x height ) of water and Earth compared Compression waves travel through water and Earth Potential energy of rock due to incompressibility and rigidity Potential energy converted to potential energy = earthquake

Total Time: 1min 47s
Level: Novice

7MB
Share it

Related Animations

Part 2/2 Comparing seismic waves to ripples in water. This animation explores how seismic waves are UNLIKE ripples on water. Dr. Geophysics helps explain 4 significant differences.

Animation Novice

Related Posters

This poster combines a visualization of ground motion resulting from the February 21, 2008 M 6.0 earthquake that occurred near Wells, NV, with the image of a faucet to illustrate a classic Earth science functional analogy: "Seismic waves radiate outward from an earthquake's epicenter like ripples on water".

Poster Novice

Related Lessons

Working in both small groups and as a whole class, students investigate the classic Earth science analogy: "Seismic waves radiate outward from an earthquake's epicenter like ripples on water". A discrepant image connects the unfamiliar concept of the spreading out of seismic waves to the more familiar scenario of ripples on water radiating outwards in all directions after a droplet falls onto a pool. 

Lesson Novice

The slinky is an effective tool for the demonstration seismic wave characteristics and wave propagation. Slinkys can be used both individually and in various combinations to demonstration different concepts.

Lesson Novice