geology-What are the three seismic stations

Question 1
An excellent educational tool has been developed to step students through the process
of locating the epicenter of an earthquake and determining its magnitude. This
interactive "Virtual Earthquake" activity is part of a series of "Geology Labs On­
Line." These labs were designed by Gary A. Novak of the California University at
Los Angeles and supported by grants from the US National Science Foundation and
the California State University System.
The learning module nicely steps us through the analysis and completes the
calculations. Please keep track of your answers along the way so that you can submit
them here.
Visit this URL in a separate browser window:

Read through and complete each step. Choose the Japan region for simulating the

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What are the three seismic stations and what are the S­P interval times for each
of them?

Question 2
Convert the three S­P interval times to distances using the travel­time graph

Question 3
Compare your calculated epicenter location with the true epicenter location.
Where is the true epicenter in latitude and longitude?
Use this URL for a site which will provide latitude and longitude information
on any major city in the world:­longitude.html
(Links to an external site.)

Question 4
Now we will proceed to calculate the magnitude of this earthquake. Follow the
instructions in the online module. What are the three S wave amplitudes you

Question 5
What is your estimate for the magnitude of the earthquake and how does it
compare to the true magnitude?

Question 6
The National Earthquake Information Center provides immediate access to
information on earthquakes as they are being recorded. Such a web resource
allow us (and many other geologists) to utilize and interpret data collected
across the globe. Let’s learn more about this resource by using a few of its
many features. Use the following URL to link to the NEIC:
(Links to an external site.)

then click on "Current Worldwide Earthquake List"

What are the locations of the five highest magnitude earthquakes to have
occurred in the last three days and what were their calculated magnitudes?

Question 7
Adjust the settings (the gear­shaped symbol near the top of the page) to select
an interval of 7 days to view a world­wide map showing location, magnitude
and depth.
What geographic area on the world had the most shallow earthquakes over the
last 7 days? Which geographic area had the most deep earthquakes? Which
geographic area had the strongest earthquakes overall (regardless of depth)?

Question 8
With respect to your answers for the previous question, what types of plate
boundary (or non­boundary) is present at each of these three geographic areas?
Do each of these plate boundaries fit with the types of earthquakes which have
occurred there? Explain.

Question 9
Name an earthquake (according to its location) which has occurred over the last
7 days in a non­plate­boundary setting. You will need to click on the "Current
Worldwide Earthquake List" and explore the world a little bit to find one.
What might be a possible source for such a non­plate­boundary event?

Question 10
Finally, we will visit the University of Washington Seismology Lab website (at
(Links to an external site.)
). This world­renowned website is maintained by the UW Department of Earth

and Space Sciences. This is the first place to check for important updates on
hazard conditions when a local quake has occurred. Click on "Recent
Earthquakes" to view a map showing the magnitudes, locations, and dates of
the earthquakes which have occurred locally over the last two weeks.

For the strongest recent Pacific Northwest earthquake of the last two weeks,
what was its magnitude, time of occurrence, distance from a major city,
geographic coordinates, depth and topographic setting? (You will need to click
on the square that shows that earthquake in order to get this detailed

Question 11
Below is some web­recorded data for the Mt. St. Helens swarms from
November, 2001. This information is presented as if it were actually produced
on a standard paper­plotted seismogram, though it has been color­coded for
convenience. Let’s practice reading one of these plots:

About how long (in seconds) did each of these tiny earthquake events last?
When (date and time to the nearest minute) did the largest earthquake occur on
this graph?

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