Online Geography Resources


Earthquakes - An Overview

IB DP Geography
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Geography Starter


Think - location, prediction, frequency and magnitude?
Geography Activities


Geographical Visualisation

GIS > Geographical Visualisation - Spatial Extent

Magnitude 2.5+ Earthquakes during past 7 days
Google Earth Placemark   Magnitude 2.5+ Earthquakes during past 30 days [Source]
Geography Activities

Task One - Spatial Extent

Describe the global distribution of earthquakes with a magnitude greater than 2.5 that have occurred in the last 7 days? [You could get an exam question like this based upon a given map!]

Look at the global distribution of earthquakes with a magnitude 8 or greater that have occurred since 1900. Is there any difference between the observed distribution and the distribution of earthquakes with a magnitude greater than 2.5 that have occurred in the last 7 days?

So what is determining the location of global earthquakes? Time from some revision.

Geography Activities


San Francisco Bay Region Earthquake Probability
Geography Activities

Task Two - Predictability

The following are elements of an earthquake hazard:
  • Time of earthquake
  • Date of earthquake
  • Exact location of epicentre
  • Fault upon which the quake occurs
  • The magnitude of the earthquake
  • The economic impact of the earthquake
  • The death toll of the earthquake
For each of the elements explain how predictable it is.
Geography Activities

Task Three - Predictability

Print out a copy of the BBC news article San Francisco faces big shaker and find 6 different coloured pens/pencils/highlighters.

BBC News
Printable Version
BBC News: San Francisco faces big shaker
[17 April 2006]

Read the article and highlight the following in different colours:

  • Locations
  • Dates
  • Numbers/Values
  • Any prediction
  • Any basis upon which a prediction is made
  • Any issues with earthquake prediction
Geography Activities


Magnitude Average Annually
8 and higher 1 ¹
7 - 7.9 17 ²
6 - 6.9 134 ²
5 - 5.9 1319 ²
4 - 4.9 13,000
3 - 3.9 130,000
2 - 2.9 1,300,000
¹ Based on observations since 1900.
² Based on observations since 1990.
Geography Review

Something to think about - earthquake frequency

Are earthquakes becoming more common? Are there any patterns in the two illustration above?

Essay Question:

Evaluate the statement: "There were more deaths from earthquakes in the last decade than the one before so earthquakes are becoming more common."

Geography Activities


Richter Scale
Geography Activities

Task Five - Magnitude

Produce notes on the following three scales of magnitude used to measure earthquakes: Richter Scale, Moment Magnitude Scale and the Modified Mercalli Scale. You should know the differences between the three scales. The following sources of information should help you.
Page 43
Page 17
Page 10
Geography Review

Review and Homework Task


Research a recent news story focused upon the theme of earthquake prediction [BBC News Search would be a good starting point].

Produce a one side of A4 summary of the news story. Your summary must include the location, the methods used for predicting the hazard and some measure of success of the prediction scheme. on facebook
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