Finding the Epicenter of an Earthquake

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Resource Type:Classroom Activities; Curricula and Instruction
Grade Level:
7 8 9 10 11 12
Organization:American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Summary:In this investigation, participants will understand that S and P waves are used to find the epicenter of an earthquake by using seismograph data to triangulate an epicenter. Earthquakes occur every day all over the United States and all over the world. Most of these earthquakes are small tremors that can't be felt by people, but occasionally an earthquake occurs on a large magnitude that causes millions of dollars in property damage and kills hundreds to thousands of people. Earthquakes can also cause tsunamis, which are very large waves that can damage coastlines and put coastal residents in danger.
Earth Science Big Ideas:Big Idea 1; Big Idea 4; Big Idea 8
NGSS Discplinary Core Ideas:ESS2.A; PS4.A
NGSS Performance Expectations:HS-PS4-1; MS-ESS2-2
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering); Using mathematics and computational thinking
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation; Scale, proportion, and quantity
Subjects: coasts; earthquake; natural hazards; oceans; seismology; tsunami
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