It has been 10 years since the magnitude 9.1 earthquake and resulting tsunami hit Japan, on March 11, 2011. This animation describes the earthquake and tsunami as well as the lessons learned from this disaster.
If you are in a building during an earthquake, the way the building is constructed and your position in the building can have an effect on the shaking you feel.
Ghost forests are part of the evidence that a Great earthquake and devastating tsunami occurred last on January 26th, 1700 in the Pacific Northwest. How do we know this?
The islands of the Lesser Antilles are formed by the subduction of the North and South American Plates. Much has been learned in the past decades about the affect of the subducting plate.
Florence Bascom conquered many firsts for women on her way to becoming the first American woman to attain a career as a professional geologist and tenured professor. Learn more about her amazing career in this BRAND NEW ANIMATION!
Two new animations explore exciting potential careers for people with geoscience degrees.
This animation demonstrates how ShakeAlert works by showing how P & S waves are used to locate and measure earthquakes, then send notice to your location about arrival times of potentially damaging waves.
In January 2020, Puerto Rico was rattled for more than 3 weeks by over 400 earthquakes greater than M3. This animation looks at the broader tectonic setting and earthquake history of the area.
IRIS has plotted over 100 Recent Earthquake Teachable Moment presentations into Google Earth, available as a .kml file that is updated whenever a new RETM is released by IRIS.
Continuing with our "World Series of Earthquakes", this animation examines the tectonics and earthquake history of Hispaniola.
Learn how the tectonic and geologic processes of the Carribean affect Jamaica in this new animation, which is part of our "World Series of Earthquakes"!
How do seismologists tell the difference between an explosion and an earthquake, when both shake the ground? Find out in this new animation!
This animation describes the geographic provinces of the Pacific Northwest, including the subducting plate, the subduction boundary, the Coast Range, the lowlands, and the Cascades mountain range.
This animation discusses the tectonic setting, the history of M7+ earthquakes in Haiti, and the aftermath of the earthquake.
"Myth-Conceptions" is a series of 2 minute animations where we address common misunderstandings, misconceptions and myths in Earth science.
Whereas transform-fault and shallow-crustal-intraplate earthquakes have dominated the recent history of deadly and destructive earthquakes in Central America, we should never underestimate the potential destructive power of subduction zone earthquakes.
Earth’s thin, brittle outer shell of rock is under a constant state of stress. This animation explores how this stress impacts the formation of small local faults, and broader tectonic plate boundaries.
This 50s video introduces the 3 main types of faults and the motion that creates them. Perfect for the classroom!
Seismometers in Alaska have it rough - they experience extreme weather, months of darkness and frequent encounters with wildlife. Learn about how seismologists are "bear proofing" remote seismic equipment!
If you live in earthquake-prone regions it isn’t a question of IF, but WHEN an earthquake will occur. This animation shows quick steps to take if you are in a building, outside, in bed, in a classroom or lab, in a wheelchair, in a store, in a high rise, or in a car.
Large earthquakes are usually followed by hundreds and even thousands of smaller earthquakes, called aftershocks. In some earthquake sequences, a smaller earthquake called a “foreshock”, precedes the mainshock.
Placas Tectónicas: ¿Que son las Placas (litosféricas) tectónicas?
Exploring undergraduates’ conceptions of elasticity, within a plate tectonics context, before and after experience with rock’s elastic behavior
How can we demonstrate earthquake magnitude and frequency using a block, sandpaper, and rubber bands? These videos will walk you through it!
The Mohorovicic Discontinuity, commonly called the “Moho” is recognized as the boundary zone between Earth's crust and the mantle. Learn more about what it is and how it was discovered!
Grafico Tiempo de Viaje—¿A qué distancia estaba ese terremoto?; Cambiando la magnitud de un Terremoto ¿Por qué los sismólogos hacen eso?; Sismogramas de 3 componentes—¿Cómo capturamos el movimiento de un terremoto?
How can a seismograph help determine the strength of a hurricane?
The “Jump and Watch” display, sometimes called “Make Your Own Earthquake”, is very popular in museums, universities and science fairs. We have basic instructions and suggestions to help you make your own “Jump and Watch” earthquake display.
The IRIS website has 300+ resources for teaching and learning about earthquakes, geology, geophysics & earth systems. This tutorial can help you find, filter, and share these resources!
The theory of plate tectonics represents a fairly young science. This animation gives an overview of the most-recognized proponents (and opponents) of Plate Tectonics Theory from the 1600's into the 1960's.
The cool, rigid, outer layer of the earth, the lithosphere, is broken into massive plates along discrete boundaries. What are these plates, and what do the boundaries represent?
Lithospheric plates are part of a planetary scale thermal convection system. The energy source for plate tectonics is Earth’s internal heat while the forces moving the plates are the “ridge push” and “slab pull” gravity forces.
This course instructs students on the basics of geology and geophysics in the petroleum industry. Webinars, PPTS, exercises and course materials are included!
Mega–terremotos de la Zona de subducción, los terremotos más potentes, pueden producir tsunamis a través de una variedad de estructuras que no son detectadas por los modelos simples. En esta animación exploramos diferentes mecanismos productores de tsunamis examinando tres terremotos famosos: Japón 2011, Chile 2010, y Alaska 2014.
Esto describe la dirección de desplazamiento en un terremoto y de orientación de la falla sobre la cual ocurre. Cuando se produce un terremoto, los sismólogos crean gráficos de mecanismos focales, informalmente conocidos como pelotas de playa para mostrar los movimientos de falla que producen un terremoto.
This animation integrates the unique and rich eruptive volcanic history of the Pacific Northwest in relation to the complicated tectonic regime revealed by seismology and geodetics in recent decades. We weave together geologic maps, time scales, and cross sections to help simplify and clarify elusive hidden structures and processes below Earth’s surface.
La intensidad sísmica, que es el temblor que experimentas, puede ser leve o severo, corto o largo, brusco o de bandeo. A diferencia de la magnitud de un terremoto, que es una medida de la energía liberada y es la misma para todos los lugares, la intensidad sísmica que percibes depende de dónde te encuentras.
Los científicos han desarrollado sismómetros mucho más sensibles, que con computadoras más rápidas, les han permitido registrar e interpretar un espectro más amplio de señales sísmicas, estas mejoras les permitieron determinar de una mejor manera la energía liberada por grandes terremotos.
Japan has more measurable earthquakes than any other country and has over 100 active volcanoes. The tectonics are complicated, but in this animation we look at the basic mechanics of the region as we focus on two famous earthquakes: the 1995 Kobe earthquake and the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake. For additional resources please visit IRIS In Class.
Do you have questions about earthquakes or seismology? Are you interested in learning more about Alaska or Cascadia? Visit our new and improved FAQ page!
Modern seismometers include 3 elements to determine the simultaneous movement in 3 directions: up-down, north-south,and east-west. Each direction gives information about the earthquake. This animation shows both the movement of the three basic waves (P, S, and surface) and the effect of the waves on a building.
NSF REU summer interns conduct geophysical research at IRIS institutions.