Locate and Describe an Earthquake's Magnitude Using Matlab

Let’s say a big earthquake occurs somewhere in the world and you want to know a bit about it. This can be accomplished quickly by using broadband data from the IRIS DMC (Data Management Center) and some coding in Matlab. In this excercise students will learn to download .sac files from the DMC and load those files into Matlab for examination. The activity focuses on enabling students to locate the event based on P arrivals and then caculate the magnitude of the event. 

This exercise was developed by Susan Bilek at New Mexico Tech (sbilek@nmt.edu) and used as part of the IRIS Interhsip Oritnation Week.


Students will be able to:

  • Download seismic waveforms for a recent earthquake from the IRIS DMC
  • Locate an earthquake using matlab
  • Calculate the magnitude of an earthquake using matlab

Total Time: 1h 30min
Level: Advanced

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