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Earthquakes Volcanoes & Tsunamis

An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the Earth, resulting from the sudden release of energy in the Earth’s lithosphere that creates seismic waves.  A tsunami  is unlike normal ocean waves, which are generated by wind, or tides, which are generated by the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun. Rather, these are a seismic sea wave – a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean or a large lake. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions (including detonations of underwater nuclear devices), landslides, glacier calvings, meteorite impacts and other disturbances above or below water all have the potential to generate a tsunami.

Lesson 1 (or “Day 1”) Material
Lesson 2 (or “Day 2”) Material
Recommended: Lab 15 (as “Day 3 and Day 4”)

Standard Alternative for “Day 3 and 4”
Lesson 3 (or “Day 3”) Material
Lesson 4 (or “Day 4”) Material

2:57 Earthquakes 101 | National Geographic

3:04 Volcano 101 | National Geographic

7:37 How Big do Tsunamis Get?

Extra videos – Volcanoes

16:05 Hawaiian Volcanoes 101

4:37 What if the Yellowstone Volcano Erupted?


Compare Contrast and Debate

Background: When a major natural disaster strikes, there is often a major loss in life and property. Sometimes, these count into the thousands of lives impacted (or killed) – and hundreds of billions of dollars lost due to the disaster. Some believe that people and structures should be prohibited in areas of highest risk. Others believe the riskiness of an area should have no bearing or influence to the neccessity or choice of people inhabiting those regions.

  • Position A: Prohibitions should be in place.
  • Position B: Prohibitions would be ineffective and errant.

Resources Documents and Links

Special Notes and Notices

Instructor Emphasis:

  • Science & Engineering Practice: Use mathematical and computational thinking.
  • Cross-Cutting Concept: Energy and Matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation.

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