Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Plotting Earthquakes and Volcanoes

With the Redoubt Volcano kicking up its heels lately, this might be a good time to consider a classic activity that could be ongoing in your Earth Science classroom.

Basically, about once a week to begin with, and once a month later on for the rest of the school year, you provide your students with several volcanoes and earthquakes to plot on a world map.

I always had a World Map on a bulletin board and blue and red pushpins. Have a student volunteer do the pins. Great fun!

The beauty of this year-long project is that the plate boundaries of our planet become quite obvious after enough points are plotted. You have provided your students a truly "primary source" experience with one of the unifying features of the Plate Tectonics Theory.

Click here for an older version of this activity. You may want to update this with your own current earthquakes and volcanoes.

NOTE: It's always tougher to show the Mid-Atlantic Ridge plot points. You may have to search for those on one of these websites. They rarely make the news for obvious reasons!

Check these sites for good plot points:
Latest Earthquakes

Smithsonian Global Volcanism

PHOTO NOTES: Photos taken on January 30, 2009. "Fumarolic activity is associated with the most recent unrest at Redoubt Volcano. The vigorous steam/gas plume is coming from a large fumarole that developed between January 28 and January 30, 2009. Exposed rock, holes in the ice, and ice collapse features are all signs of thermal activity at the summit area." <>