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Lesson 6: Earthquakes and Tsunamis

1994 Northridge quake damage; photo by M. RymerDuring the next several weeks we'll be learning about the hazards associated with specific geologic processes such as earthquakes (as in San Francisco, 1906, at right), volcanic eruptions, floods, and landslides. Each chapter we'll study provides some background on the underlying geologic processes, looks at how the hazards they create impact human activities and at what steps we can take to minimize the loss of lives and damage to property.

This week we'll examine two phenomena—earthquakes and tsunamis—that are often closely related. You'll learn how seismologists measure and locate earthquake foci using seismograms, the strategies they are using to forecast the likely times and locations of future earthquakes, and what steps society can take to avoid or mitigate the damage and loss of life that quakes—and the tsunamis that often accompany them in coastal areas—are likely to cause.

As you read through the discussion of earthquakes and tsunamis in our text and work through the online Earthquake exercise it will be helpful to take notes so that you can keep track of major points and have that information available when we use it later in the semester. Be sure that you are prepared to meet the learning objectives outlined below before you move on to the quiz described at the bottom of the page.

Weekly Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this week's lesson, a student is expected to be able to:

Reading and Browsing Assignment

Exercise 6: Earthquake (Due by 9:00 AM on 26-Sep-2010)

After you have read the chapter and are comfortable with the concepts outlined in the learning objectives above, point your browser to Virtual Courseware's Earthquake exercise.

Quiz 6: Earthquakes and Tsunamis (Due by 9:00 AM on 26-Sep-2010.)

After you feel you have met the learning outcomes outlined above, please complete Quiz 6 in the Etudes "Assignments, Tests, and Surveys" area. There are ten questions, each worth one point. If you can answer all of them correctly it means that you know your way around the basics of earthquakes and tsunamis pretty well and are ready to move on to a more detailed look at volcanism and volcanic hazards next week.