Interpreting seismograms

The teacher knows that 6th grade students need excitement in the classroom so she shows a video of a devastating earthquake to hook the students interest in the subject. The teacher realizes that not all students are kinesthetic learners that can easily understand now machines work. The teacher will show the students an informational video about how a seismograph works before introducing them to a physical model.

Interpreting seismograms

Damage caused by earthquakes varies depending on many factors. In order to predict what the damage may occur, many factors must be considered.

Local Short Period Seismic Networks

The damage may be substantial if the buildings are not reinforced. Brick buildings are more prone to "fall" Interpreting seismograms. Earthquakes are caused by the sudden movement and fracturing of rock masses along preexisting faults.

The point on the fault at which the displacement begins is called the focus of the earthquake.

Interpreting Seismograms Worksheet Name_____ Answer the following questions about the seismogram. Round times to the closest half second. Seismograms are "read" like a book, from left to right, and then from top to bottom (these are the directions on the images that time increases). As with a book, the right end of any horizontal line "connects" with the left end of the line below it. Interpretation of Seismograms GEOL Spring After discussions with John Anderson and those who attended the organizational meeting Jan. 21 I propose the following proceedures and format for the class.

The point on the surface of the earth directly above the focus is the epicenter. The energy released by earthquakes travels through the Earth as seismic waves.

Scientists have developed many scales to measure the intensity of earthquakes. The Richter Scale measures the size of the waves produced by the earthquake, hence the energy it releases.

Interpreting seismograms

The Richter Scale is absolute, so the same Richter magnitude wherever they measure the earthquake. The Modified Mercalli Scale describes what a person feels during an earthquake. This scale is relative because it changes depending on how far you are away from the epicenter, and how much damage occurs around you.

P-waves and S-waves are easily distinguishable on a seismogram. P-waves are faster than S-waves, so the first shaking recorded by the seismogram is always due to P-waves. When S-waves arrive, their energy combines with the P-waves to amplify the shaking.

This makes the waves bigger, and the shaking stronger. The first arrival of S-waves is thus marked by a distinct increase in the size of the waves on the seismogram.

Review and discuss the concept that volcanoes and earthquakes provide data for understanding the movement of the lithosphere, as explained by the theory of plate tectonics. Show the class images of earthquake damage. You can use slides or transparencies, or the presentation below. We recommend showing the students the pictures before they complete the lab, so they can understanding the damage earthquakes can cause.

Explain that damage in urban areas depends on many factors. If you wish to customize or create your own presentation, here are several websites that have good earthquake damage information: Earthquake damage in Idaho. Good, simple descriptions of damage and location. Damage from the San Francisco earthquake in A link to photographs is towards the bottom of the each page.

An outstanding but huge collection of images of the effects of natural hazards, including earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunami. Introduce the assignment to the students.

Interpreting seismograms

Explain that interpreting the seismograms and describing potential earthquake damage both require imagination.

The point is not to get the "right" answers, but to speculate on what might happen. This is a prediction, after all! As a class, you may want to have the students find the geographic locations of the seismograms on the worksheet.

Use the United States placemats. Try to get the students to locate cities near the epicenters that might be effected by the earthquakes. Select a few students to read one or more of their answers to the rest of the class. The class should conclude that according to the seismogram, the San Fernando Valley earthquake appears to be the most intense and would probably cause the most damage.

Here is an example of a student response: The earthquake was probably a sharp quake. Maybe a 5 or 6 on the Richter scale.

However, conditions in the ocean created a large tsunami or tidal wave and it caused major destruction along the coast. Downtown Anchorage was not affected, except for small items thrown from shelves.Explain that interpreting the seismograms and describing potential earthquake damage both require imagination.

The point is not to get the "right" answers, but to speculate on what might happen. This is a prediction, after all! As a class, you may want to have the students find the geographic locations of the seismograms on the worksheet.

Seismograms are "read" like a book, from left to right, and then from top to bottom (these are the directions on the images that time increases). As with a book, the right end of any horizontal line "connects" with the left end of the line below it.

The surface waves (Love and Rayleigh waves) are the other, often larger, waves marked on the seismogram. They have a lower frequency, which means that waves (the lines; the ups-and-downs) are more spread srmvision.come waves travel a little slower than S waves (which, in turn, are slower than P waves) so they tend to arrive at the seismograph just after the S waves.

Reading and Interpreting Seismograph Data. Students will learn how to operate a model seismograph and interpret the data generated by a real seismograph.

Kendra L. Student. Show More. Save Changes Objectives. Students will learn how a seismograph works. Reading and Interpreting Seismograph Data.

Students will learn how to operate a model seismograph and interpret the data generated by a real seismograph. Kendra L. Student. Show More. Save Changes Objectives.

Students will learn how a seismograph works. Pupils reinforce knowledge of terms such as epicentre and focus before analysing a seismogram for the Market Rasen earthquake in Lincolnshire.

This fits in with the AQA A specification textbook.

Interpretation of Seismograms