You'll LAVA lot of fun with these links.....
This page archived in August 2008
A favourite subject with all ages, and one with tremendous potential to engage pupils. This page contains information on:
THE MERCALLI SCALE
Click to go to the excellent MSH National Monument site for details on commemorative events.
Remember to shout JISHIN! if you're ever in Japan and feel the earth tremble: it's Japanese for earthquake...
An earthquake is the sudden movement of the earth's crust caused by the release of energy at depth (at the focus or hypocentre). The vibrations are seismic waves (there are several types) Earthquakes are very common: those on the Richter Scale 2 level occur hundreds of thousands of times every year. Larger earthquakes are rarer.
What to do if an earthquake happens in California ? As in Japan, where they have earthquake drills on the 1st of September every year, school pupils are taught to do the following:
A recent article in the TES (of all places) suggested that although Japanese pupils regularly practise their earthquake drill, and don their padded helmets, their efforts may be in vain as the schools will probably collapse anyway. Less than half of Japan's schools are suitably earthquake resistant. The Government has apparently not told the schools which are which. There are warnings that before too long Tokyo will be hit by another large quake. Apparently the Kobe quake was only a 3 on the Japanese scale (need to do a little more research..)
December 2003 saw the earthquake in the Iranian city of Bam making the news, with a tremendous contrast in terms of damage and casualty figures compared to an earthquake in California a few days before Christmas. The earthquake happened on Boxing Day and destroyed an ancient city and citadel which is one of the symbols of Iran.
There were articles on all the major news sites.
For more on the BAM aftermath, go to this great BLOG. Also available on the Geo Blogs page. (This is no longer updated, but is available as a very useful archive site...)
Noel Jenkins comes up with another cracker! The NEW BAY BRIDGE site starts by exploring the causes and effects of earthquakes in the context of California. He has also added a whole activity which relates to earthquakes in San Francisco - check out his blogs for these resources and more....
You are then given the chance to design a bridge and test it to see whether it can withstand quakes of different sizes. It's rather fabulous, and I can see this giving hours of pleasure to groups of varying abilities. This comes highly Recommended.
http://www.lerdorf.com/php/ymap/yquakes.php - good maps mash up showing recent earthquakes reported by USGS...
In addition to the popular HORRIBLE HISTORY series, there is now a HORRIBLE GEOGRAPHY series of books. These feature amusing cartoons and a lot of useful detail. The Volcano one features information on the VEI Index for example, which is fairly high level stuff, as well as a cartoon version of the birth of Paracutin. I shall be using this this year as I've just read this and remembered it!
The details are: 'Violent Volcanoes' by Anita Ganeri (Scholastic, 1999) ISBN: 0 590 54375 X - price £3.99 on the copy I have, but it's probably gone up since then.
The series apparently also includes: Odious Oceans, Stormy Weather, Perilous Poles and Raging Rivers. Check them out! The Book People often have good details on these sort of books.
A good PLACEMARK FOLDER with over 1500 active volcanoes around the world has been placed on the GOOGLE EARTH bulletin board by a French contributor. Good work !
If you're looking for a specific disaster from the last few decades, then RELIEFWEB have details on the humanitarian response following tectonic and other hazards. The map centre has some excellent resources to download.
A recent discovery (2007) was EDUC 4 HAZARDS which has a nice suitcase interface where you click on a sticker to find out about a particular hazard...
Going on holiday ? You could try a new theme park which has just opened in France, 10 miles west of the city of Clermont Ferrand, in an areas famous for its puys (extinct volcanic domes). It's called 'Vulcania', and is on the theme of volcanoes. It has simulated eruptions. The Auvergne suffers from tourism bypass. The new A75 autoroute (toll-free to try to attract road haulage traffic) takes a lot of tourists straight through the region to the Cote d'Azur. Vulcania opened on June the 22nd, 2004, after 10 years of planning. There is a huge volcanic dome, a spiral path descending through 30 000 year old lava. There is a Rumbling Gallery and a Lava tunnel. Information on how volcanoes are valuable are included, plus the theme of risk management and prediction. There are 'before and after' models, and you can make your own earthquake by stamping your foot. Objects belonging to Maurice and Katia Krafft are included. Some local people fear that the estimated 50 000 visitors a year will damage the local environment. Cost £63 million.
Areas like Gran Canaria also trade on their volcanic landscapes. Mount Teide and the area around it is a dramatic volcanic landscape on Tenerife.
Check out the website for the attraction: VULCANIA here. (Updated link) - now has interactive games and a VIRTUAL TOUR.
From the FEMA site:
I. People do not feel any Earth movement.
II. A few people might notice movement if they are at rest and/or on the upper floors of tall buildings.
III. Many people indoors feel movement. Hanging objects swing back and forth. People outdoors might not realize that an earthquake is occurring.
IV. Most people indoors feel movement. Hanging objects swing. Dishes, windows, and doors rattle. The earthquake feels like a heavy truck hitting the walls. A few people outdoors may feel movement. Parked cars rock.
V. Almost everyone feels movement. Sleeping people are awakened. Doors swing open or close. Dishes are broken. Pictures on the wall move. Small objects move or are turned over. Trees might shake. Liquids might spill out of open containers.
VI. Everyone feels movement. People have trouble walking. Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall off walls. Furniture moves. Plaster in walls might crack. Trees and bushes shake. Damage is slight in poorly built buildings. No structural damage.
VII. People have difficulty standing. Drivers feel their cars shaking. Some furniture breaks. Loose bricks fall from buildings. Damage is slight to moderate in well-built buildings; considerable in poorly built buildings.
VIII. Drivers have trouble steering. Houses that are not bolted down might shift on their foundations. Tall structures such as towers and chimneys might twist and fall. Well-built buildings suffer slight damage. Poorly built structures suffer severe damage. Tree branches break. Hillsides might crack if the ground is wet. Water levels in wells might change.
IX. Well-built buildings suffer considerable damage. Houses that are not bolted down move off their foundations. Some underground pipes are broken. The ground cracks. Reservoirs suffer serious damage.
X. Most buildings and their foundations are destroyed. Some bridges are destroyed. Dams are seriously damaged. Large landslides occur. Water is thrown on the banks of canals, rivers, lakes. The ground cracks in large areas. Railroad tracks are bent slightly.
XI. Most buildings collapse. Some bridges are destroyed. Large cracks appear in the ground. Underground pipelines are destroyed. Railroad tracks are badly bent.
XII. Almost everything is destroyed. Objects are thrown into the air. The ground moves in waves or ripples. Large amounts of rock may move.
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