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published by the United States Geologic Survey
The Earthquake Center, from the U.S. Geological Survey, provides information about recent and historic earthquakes throughout the world.  Maps and animations of the world and the USA illustrate the locations of earthquakes occurring within the last seven days or the last month.  Maps and lists of historic earthquakes are also provided along with scientific data, an earthquake search tool, ShakeMaps, seismogram displays, and more. In addition, a large collection of "learning links" provides interactive tools, lesson plans, and activities for K-12 classrooms.

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- Upper Undergraduate
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- Instructional Material
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= Lesson/Lesson Plan
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- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
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General Public
Access Rights:
Free access
Does not have a copyright, license, or other use restriction.
Earthquake Hazards Program, ShakeMap, earthquake, earthquake animations, magnitude, plate tectonics, quake, seismic, seismic waves, seismogram, seismograph, tectonics, tensor, tremor, wave propagation
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created March 27, 2007 by Ann Deml
Record Updated:
August 18, 2020 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 24, 2010
Other Collections:

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4C. Processes that Shape the Earth
  • 6-8: 4C/M1. The interior of the earth is hot. Heat flow and movement of material within the earth cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and create mountains and ocean basins. Gas and dust from large volcanoes can change the atmosphere.
  • 6-8: 4C/M2a. Some changes in the earth's surface are abrupt (such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions) while other changes happen very slowly (such as uplift and wearing down of mountains).
  • 6-8: 4C/M11. The outer layer of the earth—including both the continents and the ocean basins—consists of separate plates.
  • 6-8: 4C/M12. The earth's plates sit on a dense, hot, somewhat melted layer of the earth. The plates move very slowly, pressing against one another in some places and pulling apart in other places, sometimes scraping alongside each other as they do. Mountains form as two continental plates, or an ocean plate and a continental plate, press together.
  • 6-8: 4C/M13. There are worldwide patterns to major geological events (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building) that coincide with plate boundaries.
  • 9-12: 4C/H3. The outward transfer of the earth's internal heat causes regions of different temperatures and densities. The action of a gravitational force on regions of different densities causes the rise and fall of material between the earth's surface and interior, which is responsible for the movement of plates.
  • 9-12: 4C/H5. Earthquakes often occur along the boundaries between colliding plates, and molten rock from below creates pressure that is released by volcanic eruptions, helping to build up mountains. Under the ocean basins, molten rock may well up between separating plates to create new ocean floor. Volcanic activity along the ocean floor may form undersea mountains, which can thrust above the ocean's surface to become islands.
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Record Link
AIP Format
(United States Geologic Survey, Sioux Falls, 2007), WWW Document, (https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/earthquake-hazards/earthquakes).
USGS: Earthquakes (United States Geologic Survey, Sioux Falls, 2007), <https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/earthquake-hazards/earthquakes>.
APA Format
USGS: Earthquakes. (2010, August 24). Retrieved June 15, 2024, from United States Geologic Survey: https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/earthquake-hazards/earthquakes
Chicago Format
United States Geologic Survey. USGS: Earthquakes. Sioux Falls: United States Geologic Survey, August 24, 2010. https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/earthquake-hazards/earthquakes (accessed 15 June 2024).
MLA Format
USGS: Earthquakes. Sioux Falls: United States Geologic Survey, 2007. 24 Aug. 2010. 15 June 2024 <https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/earthquake-hazards/earthquakes>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {USGS: Earthquakes}, Publisher = {United States Geologic Survey}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {15 June 2024}, Month = {August 24, 2010}, Year = {2007} }
Refer Export Format

%T USGS: Earthquakes %D August 24, 2010 %I United States Geologic Survey %C Sioux Falls %U https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/earthquake-hazards/earthquakes %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %D August 24, 2010 %T USGS: Earthquakes %I United States Geologic Survey %V 2024 %N 15 June 2024 %8 August 24, 2010 %9 text/html %U https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/earthquake-hazards/earthquakes

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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

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