Earthquakes Web Quest

Marjean Swann, ABC UNIFIED, Cerritos, California


Area of Study:     Earthquakes

Click Here for More Links to Geology
Check out the world wide earth quake locator
Check out the Savage Earth -Earthquakes -includes Flash animations

To chart location, magnitude and frequency of recent Earthquake activity of the Mammoth Lakes area in California and determine which factor is most significant to your safety as a skier at Mammoth Mt.

Check the Seismic activity for the Los Angeles and Orange County area 

Web Quests # 1-4 Earthquake activity---
Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

We live in a region of  major earthquake activity. California borders the Pacific Rim of Fire. In this lesson  you will explore recent data of the Mammoth Lakes area of California by using web resources.  You will be given specific task and instructions. You may use the resources on this page or you can use the Search engines to find what you are looking for. Remember to make reference of all the web sites that you use during this web quest. Recordthe URL and a brief description of each site that you use. Use worksheet and graph paper to record your data. Your first web site will provide information commonly used to describe earthquakes. On your worksheet record a brief description of the following terms: Aftershocks, Crust, Epicenter, Fault, Intensity, Magnitude, Richter Scale, Thrust, Strike slip.Tsunamis, Uplift, Waves

Some Resources:

A Parents guide to Earthquakes - Definitions and Vocabulary
Compare the Richter Scale with the Mecalli scale
Mercalli Scale -Choice #2
Richter Scale -Choice #2
Comparism of Richter Scale and Modified Mercalli Scale 


Click on the image to start the animation

M 4.5 and greater, from January 1932 through December 1997

Web Quests 1- 3

(1) Take a tour of the Mammoth Lakes area:

Click on the link below
Scroll down to view the map of Mammoth Mt. area. Transfer data from screen to your homework sheet.
A) After viewing the recent Earthquake activity data which factor do you think is most significant to your safety as a skier?
Location of the epicenter?
Frequency of quakes activity?
Average magnitude of recent quakes?
Justify your answer from the data shown on the map..

(2) What is an epicenter?

Click on the link below 

A)  In your own words write what you think an epicenter is.
B) Pick 20  recent earthquakes and place their epicenters on a map of  the World.
C)Did any of the epicenters affect you personally? 

(3) What part does frequency play in earthquake severity?

Click on the link below

Recent Earthquakes in California and Nevada

A.) View the site and make a line graph for the ten most recent quakes listed for  the Mammoth area. 

B) Place the date on the x-axis and magnitude on the y-axis of your coordinate graph
. Is there a clear relationship between frequency and magnitude? 

(4) What have the magnitudes been for earthquakes recorded in the Long Valley area this past month?

Construct a scatter graph of  the information from the following site.

Scroll down to the end of the top ten quake list and click on l all earthquakes. 

A) Make a scatterpot graph of the 100+quakes listed.

(5) State your revised answer to the original question.  

Which earthquake factor is most significant to your safety as a Mammoth Mt. skier?

A few Internet Resources:


Created August 7, 1998
Last Revised March 5, 2000