Monday, December 5, 2011

Extreme Weather: Earthquakes

Did you know that there are thousands of earthquakes everyday?
The Earth is in a constant state of plate movement.

This animation shows the movement in the US in the last 7 days...

Interesting Earthquake facts from National Geographic:
  1. Most of the Earth's quakes are at the rim of the Pacific Ocean, called the "Ring of Fire." There is a lot of volcanic activity there as well.
  2. Most earthquakes occur at fault zones, where tectonic plates—giant rock slabs that make up the Earth's upper layer—collide or slide against each other.
  3. Scientists measure magnitude with a rating system: 3 to 5 is minor or light, 5 to 7 is moderate to strong, 7 to 8 is major, and 8 or more is devastating.
  4. On average, a magnitude 8 quake strikes somewhere every year.
Earthquake Map

Earthquake Simulator

Earthquakes in the News


Earthquake Videos







We were inspired by this experiment to create our own earthquake:

First, we took two pieces of cardboard
and curved an edge on each piece.

Then, we placed the curved pieces of cardboard
 end to end in a box.
The curved parts went up the sides.
The pieces are to be the plates.

We spread sand over the cardboard pieces 
(you could use dirt, if you have some).

Then we built a house right on top of the "fault line."

Using the curved parts of our cardboard,
we gently shook the "plates."
Just 3 to 5 on the Richter scale.
Not much damage, just a lot of swaying.

Then with each attempt we shook harder.
At about 5-7 on the Richter scale,
our chimney toppled, we lost our steps,
and things started looking rather slanty. 

At 7-8 on the Richter scale, our roof was tumbling.

And this one shot off the high end of the Richter scale.
Luckily, no one was home. :)

Wishing you homeschool blessings,
Bethany

learning laboratory at mama smiles

1 comment:

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

What a cool experiment! My kids would love this!

Thanks for linking up to Learning Laboratory at Mama Smiles =)

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