Can rocks bend? Do rocks have elastic rebound?
This demonstration shows that rocks are elastic by squeezing a slit core of solid rock. Energy is stored as potential energy while the rock is squeezed. Energy is released as kinetic energy, and the tongs return to their original position when pressure is released. This is called "elastic rebound" and is what happens along faults in the lithosphere. (John Lahr; USGS seismologist emeritus)
Through a demonstration lead by the teacher, the discrepant concept of rocks exhibiting elastic behavior is physically illustrated with an easily obtained, inexpensive model.
Using a block-and-sandpaper model, students collaborate in small groups to investigate how energy is stored elastically in rocks and released suddenly as an earthquake (the earthquake cycle). This activity emphasizes the role of mechanical models in understanding and testing ideas in science.
Animation of the single-block "Earthquake Machine", a mechanical model of the earthquake process using a wood block, sandpaper, and rubber bands. This model shows how "Forces, Faults, and Friction" interact as elastic energy is slowly stored when the rubber back stretches and then is rapidly released as the block jerks during an "earthquake".
Video lecture about elastic rebound and brittle material in the crust using a yardstick as a mechanical analog. This demonstrates elasticity, brittle fracture, and why it is difficult to predict earthquakes.
THE two-block "Earthquake Machine" uses two blocks with different grit sandpaper to model interactions between adjacent patches along a fault.