GEOL/METR 309: Investigating
Land, Sea and Air Interactions
Fall 2005, SFSU
| In-class Activity, Part I:
Regional and Global
Patterns of Earthquakes
Dr. Lisa White
(Dept. of Geosciences)
Background: The San Francisco Bay area is, of course, not the only part of the world where earthquakes occur—they are also a prominent feature of life in lots of other places, including other parts of California. In this exercise we will investigate where earthquakes tend to occur and where they don't, and try to characterize the patterns that we find.
Pedagogical Strategy: In Part I, working with the members of your permanent group, you'll use earthquake distribution maps to try to identify patterns of earthquake distribution both in California and globally.
Working with the other members of your permanent group, develop a consensus response to questions about the several maps below. Select a spokesperson to communicate your consensus response to the rest of the class.
Recent earthquakes in California and Nevada:
Based on this map and on the previous map, would you say that the pattern of the last week's worth of activity is representative of the pattern of medium to large sized earthquakes in California historically?
Earthquakes stronger than magnitude 5.0 in California since 1800:
Based on this map, how would you describe the global distribution of earthquakes? Is the pattern relatively random, or is there some systematic organization? If the patterns appear organized, describe what pattern of organization you see.
Global distribution of earthquakes from 1975-1995: