How many earthquakes happened in California in the last week? Write down your guess and then go to http://quake.wr.usgs.gov/recenteqs/ and count them. This is a clickable map. Find the ten earthquakes that are located closest to Sacramento. Make a spreadsheet showing the magnitude and location for them. (For location, you can use either relative (35 s.e. of Oakland) or absoluter (33 degrees, 16 minutes N and 121degrees 15 minutes W.) If you’ve forgotten about the Richter scale, you might want to review the explanation at http://neic.usgs.gov/neis/general/handouts/richter.html . Remember that the difference between a on whole number is ten fold; a magnitude 2.0 earthquake is 10 times greater than a 1.0, while a 4.0 is 104 or 10,000 times greater than a 1.0. The energy released from one level is roughly 31 times greater than the preceding which means the energy released by a 4.0 earthquake is 923,521 greater than a 1.0.
The US Geological
Survey and California Geological Survey Earthquake hazard maps and charts
. Go to California Geological Survey and read about the different charts and maps. Then look at the Probabilistic Hazard Map and locate the Sacramento area. Based on that map, answer the question, What is the annual probability of an earthquake happening in Sacramento? Look at the charts to check your answer.
Look at the map again at http://www.consrv.ca.gov/CGS/rghm/psha/Map_index/index.htm Clicking on the map again to look at the more detailed maps. Make a list of the cities that you think would be most effected by an earthquake. Now go to the Loss Assessment map at http://www.consrv.ca.gov/CGS/rghm/loss/index.htm Does what you see agree with your list of cities that would be most affected by an earthquake? If not, what do you think explains the difference? (A scientific paper explains the loss estimates )
Now go to the National Seismic Hazard map . . Read the explanation of what the maps are about .
Write a pamphlet for California home buyers explaining what the dangers are from earthquakes and how they can determine how likely it is that their home might be effected by an earthquake.