Putting Roots Down in Earthquake Country Essay


What patterns to you see in the distribution of earthquakes across the continental United States?

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The distribution of earthquakes across the United States is focused on a number of different pockets. The most notable include: the entire Pacific coastline, the Midwest along the Mississippi River Valley (i.e. Missouri, Southern Illinois, West Tennessee as well as parts of Northeastern Arkansas) and the Southeastern United States. These different elements are important, because they are showing how the majority of quakes are occurring along major fault lines within these regions. (“U.S. Fault Line Graphics,” 2010)

Locate your home on this map and make a note of the relative risk to you by indicating the color where you live.

On the map, the color of possible earthquake activity is blue. This is an indication that there was a minor tremor that was occurring in the last week. However, the effects were so small that it did not cause any kind of property damage or casualties. (“Latest Earthquakes in the Last Seven Days,” 2011)

What patterns do you see in the distribution of earthquakes around the world?

The most notable patterns that are occurring in major earthquakes are taking place on some of the largest fault lines throughout the world. This is where the different plates will intersect with one another. The reason why, is because these areas are located at points where two different plates are constantly rubbing together.

Click on one of the earthquakes on the map and make a note of its magnitude and region.

The region that was chosen was Southern California (most notably: South of Los Angeles and North of San Diego). Over the past 30 days, there were a number of major tremors that were less than 1.0 on the Richter scale.

Would you be willing to live in one of the red areas on the map? Explain

Yes. If you are aware of the dangers in the area, this means that you can seek out structures to live and work in that have been retrofitted to protect you against these kinds of events. At the same time, you could prepare an earthquake survival kit and practice for possible scenarios that could occur. If someone is taking these kinds of steps, they will be able to be prepared for these types of issues in the future. Once this takes place, it means that the odds of being dramatically affected by these situations are reduced. This is the key in being able to survive these kinds of events. It is also important to note, that just because one particular region of the country has the potential to have major earthquakes, does not mean that one will occur. That being said, if you properly prepare for them, then the ability to survive and reduce the amounts of collateral damage to your property decrease. Therefore, if these kinds of precautions can be taken they will help to limit the adverse effects of what is happening.

If you and your family were forced to relocate to a red area, how could you use the USGS resources on earthquake readiness to help your family prepare themselves?

The USGS publishes a guidebook that will help you to prepare for potential earthquakes. As, this will identify ways to: protect yourself, your family and property prior to such incidents occurring. A good example of this can be seen by looking no further than, the eight steps that guide is outlining as a way to protect yourself in the eventuality that a quake will occur. These include: identifying potential hazards in your home / how to fix them, creating a disaster preparedness plan, building a disaster preparedness kit, identifying / fixing your buildings for potential weaknesses, how to protect yourself during an earthquake, checking for injuries and how to continue with your disaster preparedness plan in aftermath of these events. These different elements are important, because they are providing specific insights that will help everyone who is living in these areas to: be ready for the possible hazards and how them to create a contingency plan for dealing with these issues. Once this occurs, the odds decrease that you and your family will be adversely affected by these events. (“Putting Roots Down in Earthquake Country,” 2008)

Examine the list of the most destructive earthquakes on record: What are the two most recent earthquakes on this list? What does this list tell you about the power of science to control or predict earthquakes?

The first most devastating earthquake that occurred was in 1556 at Shaanxi, China. During this event there were a total of 830 thousand deaths. The second most deadliest quake, took place in 1976 at Tangshan, China. (“Earthquakes of 50 Thousand or More Deaths,” 1994)

What this is telling us about modern science is that they are unable to: predict or detect when these kinds of events will happen. As, scientists can provide some probability estimates of: the likelihood that they will occur. Yet, predicting the exact times and dates remains nearly impossible to forecast.

Even though science cannot predict or prevent earthquakes, what seismological tools do we have to sense the planet’s rumblings? What events do you think might have encouraged the development of these tools?

The main tool that is used to determine what is happening beneath the surface is a seismograph. This is a machine that will measure unusual activity in the earth’s crust. To monitor these movements, scientists will use a seismogram. This is a printout that is calculating the movement of the fault lines, based upon the extreme movements of these readings of to: illustrate the scope and intensity of the quake. These different elements are important, because they are highlighting how we are able to determine when an earthquake is taking place and the overall amounts of force. (“The Science of Earthquakes,” 2009)

The possible events that could have influenced these developments are: people were unable to understand how and the scope of what is happening. As a result, scientists created these tools as a simple way of measuring and comparing seismic activity with what is normally taking place.

How is this kind of geological energy different from biological energy (such as the calories creatures get when they consume food)? How are they the same?

This type power is different from biological energy in that earthquakes are based upon various crusts of the earth interacting with each other, after tremendous amounts of pressure have been built up over the course of many years. When different life forms are consuming calories, this is providing them with energy that is considered to be predictable and consistent on a regular basis. (“The Science of Earthquakes,” 2009)

The way that these two are the same, is that both geological and biological energy are expending power in one way or another. With the two exerting tremendous amounts of force, that will have a dramatic impact on the shape and form of the earth. This is significant, because it is illustrating how these two forces can have an effect the world that we live in. (“The Science of Earthquakes,” 2009)


Earthquakes of 50 Thousand or More Deaths. (1994). USGS. Retrieved from: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/most_destructive.php

Energy Story. (2011). Energy Quest. Retrieved from: http://www.energyquest.ca.gov/story/index.html

Latest Earthquakes in the Last Seven Days. (2011). USGS. Retrieved from: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/

Map Centered. (2011). USGS. Retrieved from: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/Maps/US10/27.37.-120.-110.php

Putting Roots Down in Earthquake Country. (2008). Earthquake Country. Retrieved from: http://www.earthquakecountry.info/roots/cover.html

US Fault Line Graphics. (2010). Huffington Post. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/22/us-fault-lines-graphic-ea_n_432948.html

The Science of Earthquakes. (2009). USGS. Retrieved from: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/kids/eqscience.php

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