Interactive Animations

This is our collection of interactive rollover flash animations.

  • Click links or scroll down to view the available interactive animations.
  • Check out our Earth Science Animations and Videos pages.

Interactive Animations

     General                                                                                   Basin and Range

          Dynamic Planet- Earthquakes & Volcanoes                          Tectonics

          How Are Earthquakes Located- Walk Run Activity                Earthquakes

          Tectonic Plates                                                                       Volcanoes

          Significant Earthquakes from 2001-2011 NEW!                        Long Valley Caldera

     Pacific Northwest

          Pacific Northwest vs Japan

          Pacific Northwest vs Sumatra                                            Subduction Zones

          Northwest Plate Rollover                                                        Chile vs Sumatra

          Subduction Rollover Reveal                                                   Pacific Northwest vs Sumatra

          Earthquake Depth Rollover                                                    Pacific Northwest vs Japan

          Earthquake Rollover

          Volcanoes Rollover

Interactive Animations


Significant Earthquakes from 2001-2011

Significant Earthquakes

Download interactive Flash animation.
Rollover earthquakes to explore the event and generalized tectonics.

Dynamic Planet- Earthquakes & Volcanoes

Dynamic Planet

Download interactive Flash animation.
Touch buttons to see how earthquakes and Volcanoes align with tectonic plate margins.

How Are Earthquakes Located- Walk Run Activity

How are Earthquakes Located?Download IRIS one-pager, "How are earthquakes located?"
Download interactive Flash animation that uses a simple model using the arrival times of P and S waves to learn the location of an earthquake epicenter. Although computer algorithms using P wave arrivals are used by scientists today, this method is valid for introductory lessons.
Download PDF background information and links to short video lectures that help understand the method.

Tectonic Plates

Tectonic PlatesDownload interactive Flash animation.
Touch plates to reveal the names of the major tectonic plates.

Basin and Range


Basin and Range: TectonicsDownload interactive Flash animation.
The Basin and Range Province is a high-elevation, internally drained region of the western United States that is currently experiencing active tectonic deformation especially along the northwest margin. The province extends from Mexico north into Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The region is actively extending in the East/West direction. In other words, Northern California moves away from Colorado, (roughly "stable" North America) at approximately 1 cm/year.


Basin and Range: EarthquakesDownload interactive Flash animation.
Significant or newsworthy earthquakes in the Basin and Range Province. We include only earthquakes over M4, as hundreds of small ones occur every year.


Basin and Range: VolcanoesDownload interactive Flash animation.
Continental rifting causes a thinning of the tectonic plate. As a result, magma is closer to the surface and can rise up through faults producing volcanic activity. "Active" volcanoes are younger than 2,000 years, and have physical evidence that indicates that they could erupt again.

Long Valley Caldera

Basin and Range: Long Valley CalderaDownload interactive Flash animation.
Long Valley Caldera is one of the largest calderas on Earth, measuring about 32 kilometers (20 mi) long and 17 kilometers (11 mi) wide. It had one of the largest eruptions on the North American continent.

Pacific Northwest

Pacific Northwest vs Japan

Pacific Northwest vs JapanDownload interactive Flash animation.
Learn about the tectonic similarities between Japan and the Pacific Northwest U.S. in this interactive animation.

Also watch the tsunami propagation generated from the M9.0 earthquake in the Pacific Northwest on January 26, 1700 that caused dozens of deaths in Japan. (YouTube)

Pacific Northwest vs Sumatra

Pacific Northwest vs SumatraDownload interactive Flash animation.
Learn about the tectonic similarities between Sumatra and the Pacific Northwest U.S.

Northwest Plate Rollover

Northwest Plate RolloverDownload interactive Flash animation.
Learn how the physical geography of the Pacific Northwest reflects the plate tectonic regime.

Subduction Rollover Reveal

Subduction Rollover RevealDownload interactive Flash animation.
Rollover map to see the relative plate motion in the Pacific Northwest.

Earthquake Depth Rollover

Earthquake Deep RolloverDownload interactive Flash animation.
Learn about the 3 main types of earthquakes in and around a subduction zone.

Earthquake Rollover

Earthquake RolloverDownload interactive Flash animation.
Learn about historic earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest.

Volcanoes Rollover

Volcanoes RolloverDownload interactive Flash animation.
Learn about the volcanic peaks of the Pacific Northwest.

Subduction Zone

Chile vs Sumatra

Chile vs Sumatra RolloverDownload interactive Flash animation.
Learn about the tectonic similarities between the 2010 M8.8 Chilean and 2004 M9.3 Sumatran earthquakes in this interactive animation.