2019-01-23T11:18:05+00:00 Assignments

Topic: Earthquake: Plate Tectonic Boundaries, Implication Of Graph

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Topic: Earthquake: Plate Tectonic Boundaries, Implication Of Graph


7. Write a report interpreting your map and graphs in a plate-tectonic context (Section I) and describe one of the damaging earthquakes this semester (Section II). If you prefer, you may select one historical earthquake (non-U.S.A. earthquake) to discuss. The two sections of the report are described in greater detail below and in a separate handout: “How to Get a Good Grade on your GEO 3030 Quakewatch Project”.

Worldwide Seismic Project


Section 1 of Final Report: The data analysis section (interpretation) of your report should include:

w A discussion of which plate-tectonic boundaries are best defined by the earthquake data you collected this semester, which are less well-defined, which plate tectonic settings experienced the greatest number of earthquakes. Describe any correlation you can find between size of earthquakes and plate-tectonic setting. In other words, are there settings that appear to generate larger earthquakes? Deeper earthquakes? More damaging earthquakes?w A discussion of the implications of your bar graphs.w A discussion of whether you think your results represent the long-term pattern of tectonic events, i.e., how might your results differ if they had been compiled over 10 years? 10,000 years? 10 million years?w A discussion of how the data you tabulated might be biased, i.e., are there certain types of seismic activity might have actually occurred this semester, but did not appear in your sources of data for some reason? Is there a setting in which earthquakes regularly occur, but often go unmonitored? Consider all sources of bias, clearly explaining the nature of the bias (See Glossary for a definition of the word bias). You should also make an assessment as to how benign (insignificant) or severe (important) the bias might be.w Take your paper to the next level and earn a higher grade by further examination of your data to gain additional insights about the worldwide distribution of earthquakes. Devise a testable hypothesis, of your creation, about earthquake distribution around the world (in space or time) that can be tested with the data that you have assembled in your list of earthquakes and plotted on your map. Topics you might pursue include: earthquake clusters, depth profiles, time sequences, etc. You are strongly encouraged to develop your own ideas and follow them up. State your hypothesis and present the supporting evidence in newtables and graphs of your creation to earn the highest possible grade (See Rubric).

Section 2 of Final Report: A description of the most destructive earthquake this semester (or of a historical non-U.S. earthquake of your choice):

w Describe the physical aspects of the earthquake (e.g., physical location, country, plate tectonic and geological setting of the earthquake).

w Describe the factors that exacerbated (made worse) the damage and recovery or that mitigated (lessened) the potential damage and recovery from the event (e.g., population distribution, time of day, season, regional climate, types of buildings and other infrastructure, economic, social, and political factors).w Address the societal impacts if the earthquake, both short and long term (see HOW TO GET A GOOD GRADE. . .). You will need to research this aspect.

Additional instructions and examples, and the grading rubric are given in the “Quakewatch

Project F2016” links in Quakewatch Project Module, and Module 12How to Get a Good Grade on Your Semester Project


“Do not fall behind”. This is not an idle instruction! Because you will need to determine the tectonic setting for each earthquake, do this on a weekly basis or the task will become overwhelming near the end of the project. If you fall behind, you will not have sufficient time to write a credible report to accompany the data you so painstakingly collected and assembled. The presentation and

Worldwide Seismic Project


interpretation of these data are worth a lot more points (10 times) than the tabulated data. But, the interpretation of poorly collected and assembled data is usually not worth much. Concentrate on the report; allow sufficient quality time.


A. For earthquakes, you will "Search Earthquake Catalog" the real-time list of worldwide seismic events that is maintained by the National Earthquake Information Service (NEIS) of the U. S. Geological Survey:http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/.

Instructions on how to access and download earthquake data are given in the next section.

B. Not all earthquakes cause injuries, deaths, or damage to human structures, but an important part of your project is to make a table listing those that do and what damage they caused. You are responsible only for damage reported on the EarthWeek website:


This site is updated weekly, so print / save the earthquake information once each week. As locations of events reported in Earthweek are imprecise, key any damaging earthquakes to your NEIC lists. However, for your earthquake of choice (Section 2) you will have to do more extensive research.

Copies of a recent USGS earthquake list, and (as an example) a recent “Earthweek” column isshown in the next section. The rest of the data collection is up to you.


Name Instructor Course Date Earthquake SECTION I Plate tectonic boundaries The divergent boundaries (spreading zones) are associated with the tectonic plates spreading out. The transform boundaries (transform faults) are common when the plates slide past one another. The convergent boundaries (transform faults) are found in areas where tectonic plates converge, and they can be subduction or collision. From the convergent boundaries are associated with the deep-focus earthquakes and this is especially for the oceanic- continental boundaries. The subduction zone (SZ) experienced the highest number of earthquakes with 192 cases out of the 254 incidences accounting for 75% of the earthquake cases. The two earthquakes with the highest magnitude 6.9 were in the subduction zone, as were many others above magnitude 6, and there was one earthquake in the TF (transform fault) settings with 6.1 magnitude. The largest earthquakes occur at subduction boundaries, and shallow earthquakes are more likely to cause damages compared to the deeper earthquakes. The shallow focus earthquakes are associated with more damage since they cause more shaking near the surface of the earth. Implication of graph There were 198 earthquakes with magnitude range of 5.0 to 5.5, followed by 41 earthquakes (5.5-6 magnitude), then 11 earthquakes (6-6.5 magnitude range), and there were only four earthquakes. The high numbe


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