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Determination of Epicenters Using Triangulation

 

Amy Elleman and Chris Donovan

Rushville Consolidated High School

 

Day 1:       

To introduce the study of earthquakes, the NOVA video “The Day the Earth Shook” will be shown. By watching this video the students will see the local damage and social impact of an earthquake.  This information can be tied to information presented in World Geography class.

 

 

Day 2:

1.    Using seismograms, students will learn to identify P and S waves.  (Unbeknownst to the students, these seismograms are of the Kobe and Northridge earthquakes.)

2.    Students will learn to determine S-P intervals.

3.    Students will use a modified travel-time curve to determine distance to the epicenter from each seismic station.

4.    Using maps of Southern California and Japan, and a compass, the student will determine the epicenter of each earthquake from each seismic station.  (Students will have to learn to use map scales to determine accurate distances)

5.    Student will report the epicenter location by using triangulation method. (Students should recognize that the data used in this activity was the data collected during the Kobe and Northridge earthquakes.  This knowledge will be used later in the computer lab.)

 

 

Day 3:

          After completion of part A, the students will work in the computer lab using SWAP to test their results.  Students will also continue working with data from global and local seismic stations through the Internet.

 

Map of Japan Region

 

Seismic station---Akita, Japan

 

 

Seismic station—Pusan, South Korea

 

Seismic station—Tokyo, Japan

 

 

Map of Southwest United States

 

Seismic Station—Fresno, CA

 

Seismic Station—Phoenix, AZ

 

 

Seismic Station—Las Vegas, NV

 

Modified Travel Time Curve

Southwestern United States Data Table

 

STATION

S-P INTERVAL

EPICENTRAL DISTANCE

Fresno, California

 

 

Las Vegas, Nevada

 

 

Phoenix, Arizona

 

 

 

 

 

Japan Region Data Table

 

STATION

S-P INTERVAL

EPICENTRAL DISTANCE

Akita, Japan

 

 

Pusan, South Korea

 

 

Tokyo, Japan

 

 

 

 

 

 In or near what two cities are the epicenters located? ________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Works Cited-

 

The maps and seismograms were obtained from the web site http://vcourseware3.calstatela.edu/VirtualEarthquake/VquakeExecute.html

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