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Lesson 4: Seismic Waves

Lesson Links
  1. Earthquake Ground Motion Animation This short clip from IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology) shows the waves of an earthquake moving out from an epicenter (first P-waves, then S-waves, and finally surface waves). This is an explanation of what the circles and colors mean (from the IRIS website): "The circles in the visualization represent earthquake recording stations and the color of each circle represents the amplitude, or height, of the earthquake wave detected by the stations' seismometer. The color of the circle changes as waves of differing amplitude travel past the seismometer. Blue represents downward ground motion, red represents upward ground motion, and darker colors indicate larger amplitudes."
  2. The Seismograph This short video from NOVA will help you better understand P-waves and S-waves; it also describes how seismographs work.
  3. About Liquefaction This webpage from the US Geological Survey describes what liquefaction is and describes some of its effects.
  4. Landslides -
  5. Tsunamis This interactive website features basic information about tsunamis and factors that influence a tsunami's strength.
  6. Ancient Chinese Seismometer Used Dragons and Toads "Seismometer" is another name for a seismograph. In this article you can learn about a unique seismometer used in 132 A.D.
  7. Make Your Own Seismograph This webpage presents one method of making a seismograph. Think about how you could simplify or improve the design. Feel free to search for other seismograph models online to get inspiration for your own model.


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Concept 1: Semester 1
+ Unit 1: Egypt and Mesopotamia
+ Unit 1: The Hydrosphere
+ Unit 1: The Pearl
+ Unit 2: A Girl Named Disaster
+ Unit 2: Africa Today
+ Unit 2: The Atmosphere
+ Unit 3: Australia and Oceania
+ Unit 3: The Hobbit
+ Unit 3: The Lithosphere
-----1: Shifting, Drifting, and Spreading (0)
-----2: Plate Interactions (1)
-----3: Rocks and Minerals (1)
-----4: Seismic Waves (0)
-----5: Earthquake and Volcano Research (1)
-----6: Geologic Time (1)
-----7: Pedosphere and Soil (1)
-----Final Project: Our Lithosphere and Pedosphere (0)
+ Unit 4: A Single Shard
+ Unit 4: Ancient Asia
+ Unit 4: Ecosystems and Ecology
+ Unit 5: Asia Today
+ Unit 5: Earth Cycles and Systems
+ Unit 5: Independent Study


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