Exploring Patterns of Global & Regional Seismicity

In this activity students review their prior knowledge about various types of plate boundaries. Next students use the IRIS Earthquake Browser to investigate well-known examples of some of these boundaries. Students are asked to pay particular attention to the spatial distribution, rate of seismicity, and depth of quakes in each area. Students then point IEB to a new region and are asked to use the “templates” of seismic evidence they have previously constructed for the primary plate boundaries to argue for what is occurring within the mystery region. 


Students will be able to:

Describe the basic properties of crustal rocks

  1. Predict how these properties affect interactions at plate boundaries
  2. Predict relative ages of crust based on rock properties and boundary interactions

Use the IRIS Earthquake Browser to

  1. Explore current seismicity of the planet
  2. Explore the earthquake patterns at convergent and divergent plate boundaries
  3. Identify geomorphological features associated with plate boundaries

Apply knowledge to identify a developing plate boundary

  1. Identify and describe earthquake pattern in East Africa
  2. Use evidence (seismicity and geomorphology) to determine the type of boundary in East Africa   
  3. Make predictions about future geomorphology in the region

Total Time: 1h
Level: Novice

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