In this activity, students will use an accelerometer (iPhone, laptop or USB) to kinesthetically explore the physical "meaning" of three component seismic data by replicating a seismogram by moving the accelerometer.
- Describe the information contained in a three-component seismogram
- Identify the first S and P waves on a three-component seismogram.
- Describe how first S and P wave arrivals provide evidence for the curved path seismic waves take when they travel through the Earth
For the lesson
Earthquake video clip (YouTube) – 1995 Kobe 7.2M
- Mac laptops only - SeisMac software
- PC, Mac and Linux laptops - QCNLive software
- iPhone & iTouch - iSeismometer (this is a robust and free app but others with various functionalities are available through iTunes)
- USB accelerometers (for Macs, PCs and Lunix) can be purchased from the Quake Catchers Network (request a sensor on right hand menu)
- USB drivers and display software for PC, Mac and Linux laptops - QCNLive software
Related accelerometer activities
- How 'hard" does the the ground shakes during an earthquake?
- How are magnitude and intensity different (yet related)?