Are We On Solid Ground?

The Basics

Student Pages

  1. What is an earthquake? Where do most earthquakes occur in the world? How do you measure earthquakes and what determines how much damage they will cause? Visit Earthquakes or a website of your choice to find out. Make notes in your journal. By the end of the unit, create a crossword puzzle using Puzzlemaker. Your puzzle should include related terms and vocabulary of the unit.
  2. How do seismologists locate the epicenter of an earthquake? Visit the Geology Labs On-Line Virtual Earthquake to find out. Upon successful completion of the activity, print the certificate and turn it in to your teacher for credit.
  3. Research types of seismic waves. Find a wave motion demonstration you can perform. Practice the demonstration until you are proficient. Use the digital camera to take pictures and/or video clips of the motion. Save pictures/clips on a disk labeled with the names of your research team.
  4. Earthquakes have other dangerous effects besides ground shaking. Visit Earthquake Effects to see collapse of structures, tsunami, and fire. Record in your journal what you observe. Be sure to run video clip several times or you just might miss something! (*see note below)
Student Pages

*Note: You will need to download a QuickTime player. Follow instructions on the Apple Site to obtain the free QuickTime player for Apple or Windows 95/98/NT computers. For other platforms, QuickTime players can be found on WWW sites such as

Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.

Author(s): Starr Bright, Theresa Owens, Lu Anne Smith
School: Branchville High School, Orangeburg, SC
Created: March 21, 2001 - Updated: April 9, 2001