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Earthquakes: Are you at risk?

Just because something is natural does not mean it is not dangerous. Take the earth's energy as an example. Every year, hundreds and sometimes thousands of people are killed because of earthquakes and other seismic events that destroy homes, buildings, cities, and roads.

Begin this project by reading about earthquakes here:

1. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learning/kids/eqscience.php

2. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learning/facts.php

Use the United States Geological Survey (USGS) tools to help determine if you are in danger, based upon where you live. Visit the USGS interactive map: (Connecticut)

http://gldims.cr.usgs.gov/nshmp2008/viewer.htm

This displays the regions of the United States that are most likely to experience a significant earthquake in the next fifty years. The scale moves from white (almost zero risk) to red (very high risk).

1. What patterns to you see in the distribution of earthquakes across the continental United States?

2. Locate your home on this map and make a note of the relative risk to you by indicating the color where you live. The USGS also reports on earthquakes around the world. Visit this interactive map to find the latest global earthquake data from the past seven days: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/

3. What patterns do you see in the distribution of earthquakes around the world?

4. Click on one of the earthquakes on the map and make a note of its magnitude and region.

5. Would you be willing to live in one of the red areas on the map? Explain.

6. If you and your family were forced to relocate to a red area, how could you use the USGS resources on earthquake readiness (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learning/faq.php?categoryID=14) to help your family prepare themselves?

7. Examine the list of the most destructive earthquakes on record: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/world/most_destructive.php What are the two most recent earthquakes on this list? What does this list tell you about the power of science to control or predict earthquakes?

8. Even though science cannot predict or prevent earthquakes, what seismological tools do we have to sense the planet's rumblings? What events do you think might have encouraged the development of these tools?

9. How is this kind of geological energy different from biological energy (such as the calories creatures get when they consume food)? How are they the same?

response is 1,228 words plus seven references

Solution Summary

The risk of an earthquake depends on a variety of factors, primarily your location in comparison with seismographic evidence.

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